Saw V

  • Directors: David Hackl
  • Producers: Mark Burg, Oren Koules
  • Writers: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan
  • Genres: Crime, Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Tobin Bell, Julie Benz, Meagan Good, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell

Seth Baxter (Joris Jarsky), a convicted murderer who was released early from prison on a technicality, is chained to a table beneath a pendulum blade. A videotaped message informs him that in order to survive, he must crush his hands by putting them into two presses and pushing the buttons inside. Even though he does so, the pendulum swings down and slices him in half. The fact that the trap was inescapable marks it as a creation of someone other than John Kramer (Tobin Bell).

In a scene from the end of Saw IV, Agent Peter Strahm (Scott Patterson) enters the room containing the corpses of John Kramer, Amanda Young and Lynn Denlon, and shoots Jeff Reinhart (Angus Macfadyen) dead in self-defense. As he examines Jigsaw’s corpse, he is trapped in the room by Lieutenant Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor). Discovering a hidden door that leads into a passage and a microcassette that urges him not to proceed any further, he moves down the passage and is attacked by a figure in a pig mask. Regaining consciousness, he discovers that his head is trapped in a small glass box that begins to fill with water. A self-administered tracheotomy using a pen keeps him breathing until the police arrive at the Gideon meatpacking plant, where Hoffman emerges carrying Jeff’s daughter Corbett (Niamh Wilson), claiming that they are the only survivors until Strahm is brought out alive as well.

Strahm’s investigation brings him to a small underground room that contains a transparent box full of glass shards. A recorder inside the box delivers a message from Hoffman: Strahm will have to trust him and get in the box if he wants to survive. Instead, Strahm stops the tape short and ambushes Hoffman when he enters the room, eventually throwing him into the box and closing it. When the door to the room suddenly slams shut and locks, Hoffman advises Strahm to finish the tape. As the box sinks into the floor, the tape explains that if Strahm does not comply, he will die in that room with Jigsaw’s legacy becoming his own. Strahm then attempts to escape the room when the walls begin to move inward, but is eventually crushed to death while Hoffman watches from below.

The Unborn

  • Directors: David S Goyer
  • Producers: Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller
  • Writers: David S Goyer
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Meagan Good, Jane Alexander, James Remar, Idris Elba, Rhys Coiro, Carla Gugino

Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) is plagued by nightmare visions of strange looking dogs, and an evil child with bright blue eyes.

While baby-sitting Matty, her neighbor’s son attacks her with a mirror. After being hit with the mirror, Casey’s eyes begin to change color, an optician explains that she is experiencing Tetragametic chimerism and Heterochromia. After questioning her father she learns she had a twin brother who died in the womb. Casey begins to suspect that the spirit haunting her is the soul of her dead twin, being possessed by a dybbuk, wanting to be born so it can transfer to the world of the living.

Casey meets a woman named Sofi, who is revealed to be her grandmother. Sofi explains that she had a twin brother who was killed in Nazi experiments in Auschwitz when they were both just children (presumably having been experimented on by Josef Mengele, as Sofi describes him as looking like an angel and Mengele was often referred to as the Angel of Death). The boy was brought back to life by a dybbuk who intended to use his body as a portal into the world of the living. Sofi killed her twin to stop the dybbuk, and now it haunts her family for revenge. Sofi refers Casey to Rabbi Sendak (Gary Oldman), who can perform a Jewish exorcism to remove the dybbuk.

The exorcism is performed, but things go awry as the dybbuk tries to stop Rabbi Sendak from completing the ritual. Several people are wounded and others are killed. The exorcism is finally completed, and the dybbuk is drawn back from the human world. Casey’s boyfriend is severely wounded and later dies with Casey by his side. Casey mourns him and she soon finds out that she is pregnant by him, with twins.

Stomp the Yard

  • Directors: Sylvain White
  • Producers: Will Packer, Rob Hardy
  • Writers: Robert Adetuyi, Gregory Anderson
  • Genres: Drama, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Columbus Short, Meagan Good, Ne Yo, Darrin Henson, Chris Brown, Brian White, Laz Alonso, Valerie Pettiford, Harry Lennix

DJ Williams (Columbus Short) is a krump dancer in inner-city Los Angeles. He and his younger brother Duron (Chris Brown) compete in local dance competitions as members of a crew known as the “Goon Squad”. During the battle there are backs and forths, but in the end of the battle the Goon Squad win a cash-prize, and the losing home crew responds by ambushing DJ and his crewmates after the show. A fight breaks out, and when the leader of the rival crew starts beating up DJ, Duron pushes him away and starts fighting him, leading the rival to pull out a gun and shoot Duron, killing him.

Arrested for assault, DJ is subsequently sent by his mother to live with his aunt Jackie (Valerie Pettiford) and uncle Nate (Harry J. Lennix) in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is to attend historically black Truth University. Nate, the physical plant director at Truth, aims to teach DJ responsibility, and puts the boy to work doing maintenance as part of a work-study program.

While waiting in the line to register for classes, DJ sees a fellow student named April Palmer (Meagan Good), to whom he is immediately attracted. After registration, he moves into his dorm room, where he meets his new roommate Rich Brown (Ne-Yo). Rich meets DJ at a stepping competition on the green between the Truth chapters of rival fraternities Theta Nu Theta and Mu Gamma Xi. The Mu Gamma Xi crew, seven-time national stepping champions, easily steals the show until DJ sees April across the way and runs right through the Gammas’ step line in an attempt to speak to her. A fight nearly breaks out between the freshman and the Gamma steppers, whose best stepper Grant (Darrin Henson), is April’s boyfriend.

A quote of Martin Luther King appeared just before the credits. “Intelligence plus character. That is the goal of true education.”

Brick

  • Directors: Rian Johnson
  • Producers: Ram Bergman, Mark G Mathis
  • Writers: Rian Johnson
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery
  • Actors: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O Leary, Noah Fleiss, Lukas Haas, Brian J White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan

Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a student of an unnamed California high school, stares silently at the body of ex-girlfriend Emily (Emilie de Ravin) lying in a storm drain. Days earlier, Brendan, in the know of the intricacies of the “upper crust” of drug-addicted socialites but choosing to live outside them, receives a terrified phone call from Emily, who tearfully tells him that she “didn’t know that the brick was bad” and that “the Pin’s on it now,” imploring him to help her. Brendan manages to find her, only to face her plea for him to leave her alone.

After her death, Brendan takes it upon himself to avenge her, enlisting the aid of fellow loner The Brain (Matt O’Leary) to track information, while feigning to be an inside man for his assistant vice-principal (Richard Roundtree). His intrusion into the tightly knit circle of high school cliques brings him into the lives of several people, including popular Laura (Nora Zehetner), prolifically violent Tug (Noah Fleiss), stoner Dode (Noah Segan), seductive play actress Kara (Meagan Good), jock Brad (Brian J. White), and drug baron The Pin (as in kingpin) (Lukas Haas). All are pivotal in his pursuit of Emily’s fate.