Welcome to HorrorFest 2009.
Oh, my. I had no idea how much work it was going to be to step back in and review the newest film in the long-running "Saw" series.
I didn't intentionally sit the series out, but I also didn't make any big effort to catch up with them at any point, either. The last "Saw" film that I know for sure I saw was the second one. I think maybe I saw "Saw III" at some point, but I couldn't swear to it in court. I definitely didn't see the fourth or fifth one. I just felt like I got the point already, and I didn't find the films to be fun or interesting. I could see why you might enjoy them if you buy into Jigsaw as a character and the underlying mythology of what his big plan is and why he's doing it, but I wasn't convinced that there was a righteous anger to the character, no matter how hard the series tried to convince me there was.
So when I was sent the invite for "Saw VI," I almost didn't go. And then my sister-in-law, who lives with us, found out I had an invite to the new "Saw" film and went, to put it politely, berserk. She's a big fan of the series, and she basically informed me that I had no choice but to go with her to see the film, and if I tried to get out if, she knows where I sleep.
I sent a Tweet to Scott Weinberg, horror nerd supreme, because I know he's a fan of the films, and I asked him if he could give me a short primer on what I'd missed so I wouldn't be too lost, and I was promptly hit with a ton of replies from people telling me that I'd never be able to figure it out because of how complicated and continuity-heavy the films have become. I was worried, too, based on how many of those responses I got. I figured if I needed help, my sister-in-law knows the movies well enough that she could explain things to me.