Want to play a game? Or rather 8 games? Saw 8-Film Collection returns to Blu-ray in time to celebrate the upcoming Saw X with a slick Walmart-exclusive retro-horror-themed SteelBook. Of the films on disc, this set is exactly the same as the previous 8-Film collection, right down to not including Spiral. A/V is decent enough, but as the series is steadily appearing on 4K, it's far from the “best” - but the SteelBook art is a fun addition for the collection. For Fans Only
I like the Saw movies. Well, to be specific, I really liked Saw through Saw III, but once Saw IV started dismembering hapless nitwits in more extravagantly convoluted ways, I started to check out. I’ve seen them all, looking at my shelf I own most of them, but I don’t love them. It wasn’t until Spiral that I thought the series picked up any kind of refreshing note to the bodily terror. The series kept coming up with interesting ways to keep Toben Bell involved, right down to reversing his baseball cap to make him look younger for a flashback and really he’s the heart and twisted soul of the show. Some plot points in the third film probably should have been saved for later in the series, but then who knew the franchise would last this long? Almost 20 years since the first film’s release, folks can debate the value of each film, but you can’t deny the franchise has had staying power!
Previously published franchise Blu-ray reviews:
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Lionsgate sharpens its blades for another Walmart-exclusive SteelBook for the Saw Collection. The first seven films are spread between three discs with Jigsaw getting its own solo disc. These are simply repressings of the previous Saw Collection set - only that one also included five DVD discs. We get stylish retro-horror-themed artwork. Saw and Saw 2 share a BD-50 disc, Saw III, IV, and V share another BD-50 disc. Saw VI and The Final Chapter get their own BD-50 disc with Jigsaw getting its own BD-50. Each disc for this particular SteelBook enjoys its own tray without being stacked as was the case for the Leprechaun set.
Stripped of any bonus features all of the disc the transfers for each of these are essentially everything we had before just stuffed together with multiple films per disc. Sadly in the case of something like the original Saw that enjoyed an excellent 4K release, this is a notable step backward in video quality. For the other films, it’s just what we’ve always had which was decent in its day but plenty of room for improvement. Compression artifacts, telecine wobble, edge enhancement, all standard companions of early Blu-ray releases come calling with each of the original films. Things get a little better by the time VI and The Final Chapter come around but again slim margins really. Jigsaw again comes out looking the best since it got to play with its own Blu-ray disc without being stripped back and squeezed down, but the 4K of that is still the better option. Considering Saw X is just about to hit theaters, I’m actually more surprised that Lionsgate hasn’t fired up new 4K or Blu-ray releases for the early sequels. In the end, these are all right for no-frills bargain-priced collections.
Saw - Saw: The Final Chapter: 3/5
The bigger frustration for many will be the use of only lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 audio for the first seven films. That’s right, even the later sequels that saw (no pun intended) excellent DTS-HD MA 7.1 tracks are stuffed down to skimpy DD 5.1, and you can feel that loss. Overall they’re fine, they’ll get the job done, but again we’ve seen and heard better for these films between 4K and solo Blu-ray releases. And again because it has its own disc, Jigsaw rocks out to that excellent Atmos audio track which really only works to heighten the disappointment with the audio of the previous seven features.
Saw - Saw: The Final Chapter: 3/5
Rubbing some more salt into the wounds none of the first seven films have any bonus features. Again for a few of the early entries on Blu-ray they didn’t have any of their extra features either, but later releases offered up a few here and there. And keeping with the theme of the hour, Jigsaw comes packed with all of its extras - which are the only extras on this set.
I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of the Saw franchise, but I am mildly amused by them. I enjoyed the first three quite a bit, the rest until The Final Chapter all kind of wash together and even the seventh film really is only memorable because it was in 3D. Jigsaw was the first attempt to relaunch the franchise but it ultimately feels like more of the same only slightly better. Not included is my favorite sequel Spiral because that one at least tried to be something different while keeping with the flavor of the original. We’ll just have to see if Saw X does anything new or original - probably not - but you never know. Crazy shit happens. Now as a redresseing of the previously available collection Blu-rays, the Walmart Exclusive Saw Collection SteelBook really is only appealing for the SteelBook art. The overall A/V for the first seven films is pretty mediocre at best as better solo options are readily available. However, if you’re just in it for the SteelBook collection I dig what Lionsgate and Walmart cooked up here. These SteelBooks are certainly attractive collector's items even if the overall A/V quality leaves something to be desired. For Fans Only