Saw II (2005)

saw ii poster 2005 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Better story with better acting

Not as good of visuals, still filled with stupid characters

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Saw II

Studio:  Twisted Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 28, 2005

MPAA Rating:  R

saw ii jigsaw tobin bell

Gee, you got me. I’m not known for traps or anything…

Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is back with a new game! When he is captured by police, Jigsaw reveals he has captured the lead officer’s son Daniel (Erik Knudsen) and is holding him prisoner in his deadly obstacle course along with seven other prisoners. Daniel and the other prisoners discover that they are playing with a veteran of Jigsaw’s games; Amanda (Shawnee Smith) has been forced to play Jigsaw’s demented game again after surviving a previous encounter. With poison coursing through their veins, they must face their demons if they hope to escape. Meanwhile, Daniel’s father Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) learns that he has to play by Jigsaw’s demands if he hopes to see his son again…and breaking the rules could cost Daniel his life.

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, Saw II is a horror survival thriller.  Following Saw from 2004, the movie was a blockbuster at the theaters despite poor reviews from critics.

saw ii pit of needles shawnee smith

I bet she’s really just upset that after all this she’s going to need a tetanus shot

I didn’t enjoy Saw that much. I thought that the film was poorly acted, had obnoxious characters, and ruined opportunities for decent plot twists through poor writing. Saw II has a lot of the same problems, but I think it is actually a better movie.

Saw II kind of sets up the format of the sequels. Saw had a minimal number of “victims” and this format with more characters allowed for more twisted deaths. Here, we have people burning to death, shot, and my particular cringe-worthy favorite…the pit of syringes. The pit didn’t really kill anyone but the idea hurt like hell. The house of horrors that Jigsaw has set-up also involves a twist like the previous film.

*****Spoiler Alert***** The events in the house have already happened. Jigsaw’s real game was with Matthews (a dirty cop) and if he could follow the rules. I felt this twist was handled better than the body on the floor in the first film. I wasn’t shocked that the house happened early, but I did not expect Matthew’s son to be in the room the whole time. I liked this twist a little better, but a lot of it can be credited to the actors.

saw ii original room erik knudsen shawnee smith

Saw II was the actually inspiration for “The Room Where It Happens” from Hamilton…

The actors in this film are somewhat better than the awful performances by Cary Elwes and Leigh Whannell, but it the characters stupidity which works against the plot. The exploits of Jigsaw at this point are fairly published apparently (most of the characters have heard of him), and it seems like everyone (including the police) must realize that Jigsaw plays games. What police would rush into a house without securing the area first? Why would anyone crawl into a furnace without some question…or not question the words that Jigsaw is using more? It doesn’t make much sense and hurts the plot.

Visually, I have to admit that Saw was more creative and interesting than this sequel. The horrors of Jigsaw’s torture are better visually, but the actual look of the movie is not as good. I do like however that the movie does wrap around back to the original film and we get to visit Jigsaw’s original torture bathroom.

Saw II shows a small, slight improvement in the Saw series over the first film. I know that I probably am in the minority in that opinion, but I found this movie tolerable while the first film was borderline unwatchable due to its acting and stupid characters. Saw II was followed by Saw III in 2006.

Related Links:

Saw (2004)

Saw III (2006)

Saw IV (2007)

Saw V (2008)

Saw VI (2009)

Saw 3D (2010)

Jigsaw (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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