While “Saw II,” released Tuesday on DVD, contained just as much blood, gore and stomach-cringing moments as the first, the filmmakers deviated too far away from the whole point of the first one. In the first movie, the killer known as “Jigsaw,” (Tobin Bell) for the jigsaw-shaped piece of flesh removed from his victims, abducts various people who aren’t exactly living the straight and narrow. He then places them in elaborate traps so dangerous, that they will either make it through and quit taking life for granted, or they will die.

The sequel kind of follows the theme of the first installment, with flawed individuals drugged, abducted and then waking up in a strange and dangerous atmosphere.

In “Saw II,” Jigsaw traps eight people in an abandoned house, complete with mystery, clues and booby traps. Having seen the first movie, the audience knows the eight are in there for a reason and very well may have a connection, but the panicked group is frantically trying to figure a way out.

The house is sealed on all openings, making an escape impossible and, oh yeah, a deadly gas is being pumped into the house. Jigsaw instructs them that they have exactly three hours to survive and the only way to do so is to find one of eight antidotes hidden around the house.

One of those abducted is the son of police detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg), who quickly locates the house where Jigsaw is controlling everything from. Upon confronting Jigsaw about the house’s location, the killer tells him if he just will sit down and talk with him, he promises the detective’s son will come away unharmed and alive.

In the sequel, you are looking at the film through a different set of eyes. The first one has you with the perspective of one of his victims (Cary Elwes), while the sequel has you look through the eyes of an outside observer to the horror (Wahlberg). The change in perspective, though, does not make the movie any easier to handle. The audience gets up close and personal with these victims, especially in the opening scene, when a man is strapped to a death mask which will drive steel spikes into his head if he does not unlock and remove it. The trouble is, the key was surgically inserted right behind his eye, making some self-inflicted scalpel action necessary if he wants to live.

The one thing I wasn’t too sure about, and the place where I felt it deviated from the whole point of the first one, was that it turned from man vs. self to man vs. man. In the first “Saw” film, it was (usually) just one person thrust into a situation where he or she really had to discover how strong their will to live was and figure out if they’d rather go through a lot of pain or have their life ended. The way the sequel works, with eight people in the same room and the antidotes hidden individually around the house, the victims were forced to compete, and sometimes even fight, with each other to get that one shot of life.

“Saw’s” writer and co-star Leigh Whannell also wrote “SAW ll” with director Darren Lynn Bousman. With two movies, these horror-makers still seem to have fresh ideas and find new ways to shock, surprise and turn the stomachs of those brave enough to watch.

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