Another solid horror flick by Bousman. The evil convent isn't the most original setting and the film doesn't hold too many surprises, but the execution is on point, there are some nice, gory bits, the atmosphere is creepy and the actors do a solid job. Pure genre work that is sure to please the horror fans.
This one didn't quite hold up on revision. I was somehow expecting it, after noticing that the first one too had lost some of its former shine. The nice thing about Saw III is that there are more traps and they're even more brutal, the bad thing is that there's too much uninteresting filler in between them.
Jigsaw is still around and doing his thing, though he's clearly on his last legs here. That doesn't mean he hasn't got some final tricks up his sleeves. He targets a few more people who end up in his famous traps, this time though we see more of his accomplices and how they are tied into his big master plan.
The traps are absolutely nasty here, which is a big plus. Sadly, some of them are overshadowed by a plot that didn't really engage the second time around. Performances are middling too and Bousman is a bit too busy trying to copy Wan's visual flair, rather than give the film a spin of his own. Saw III is still pretty solid and a clear recommend for horror fans, but it should've kept to its strengths.
Bousman's latest is an exotic horror flick. Take a couple of Westerners, submit them to a bit of foreign folklore and the rest writes itself. Films like these can be pretty fun, even when exotism is somewhat frowned upon nowadays, and they sometimes border on xenophobia. That's the least of Bousman's worries though.
An American couple wakes up in their bedroom, clueless about what happened the night before. When they want to take the ferry they discover their passports are gone, so they're unable to leave the island. The man finds a two-hour-long video on his camera which confuses them even more. The video shows him killing his wife, even though she's sitting right beside him.
The folklore isn't quite as intruiging, performances are mediocre (Luke Hemsworth is by far the least talented of the brothers) and the horror feels somewhat predictable. The setting is nice though and Bousman makes good use of it, but apart from some gory moments Death of Me lacks bite.
Not a big fan of the zombie genre, the complete overkill of zombie flicks this past decade hasn't improved that situation. But Bousman's film really isn't all that bad. The direction is lively, the actors do a solid job, the gore is on point and there's a fun twist at the end. The film still feels a little too safe and expected, but entertaining nonetheless.
Worthy but flawed
The Saw spin-off I didn't need. Not that my expectations were extremely high, the series has been going downhill for ages, but with Bousman back on the project there was at least some hope. Sadly, they took the worst aspect of the series (the police investigation) and turned that into the main focus.
Zeke Banks is a lone cop, despised by his colleagues after he ratted out one of them. When a Jigsaw copycat starts murdering cops in his precinct, he is put on the case together with his rookie cop buddy. Zeke has to act fast, as the Jigsaw copycat has a short temper and dead bodies are turning up at breakneck speed.
Spiral is an overly serious cop flick, brought further down by a terrible performance of Chris Rock. The typical Saw contraptions are still there, but they're given relatively little attention, and the twist at the end is bland. Bousman's direction is not too bad, but the material is simply too poor. Bring back the torture porn please.