I decided I wasn’t going to write about this, any of this. But it is too late and I’m too lazy to think of another topic so I’m going to do. Yes, I am. Watch me.
The Saw franchise (see? I did it, told you!) is about a serial killer they call Jigsaw. They were are significant part of what became known as the “torture porn” franchise, whose other noticeable feature was the Quentin Tarantino presented Hostel. This genre was probably fully realised in The Human Centipede, though I don’t know. I’ve not watched them, I have no intention of doing so.
I also had no intention of seeing the Saw films, any of them. Now I have seen them all. Why? For the same reason I have seen all six Resident Evil films. It’s because I am mental.
(Note: my review of Resident Evil 6 can be found here).
Still, Until 5 months ago I had seen none of them, but a friend recommended watching just the first one. He assured me it was good. It wasn’t. He assured me the rest were terrible. They were. So why go all the way to seven?
Firstly, the idea of not watching every film in a series is pretty repulsive to me. That is why I have seen all the straight-to-DVD I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel, I’ll Always Know what You Did Last Summer. Now, you might think that title makes no sense and you’d be right. But the film doesn’t make any sense either so it’s a perfect match.
Now, where was I? Oh yes, the first three were bad but they sat together as a pretty consistent trilogy. Then they just went nuts and that re-sparked my interest. Let me be very clear here, I do not like the “games” nor the gory bits. Despite being the gimmick, they are the weakest part of the film and detract from what could have been a potentially interesting philosophical thread running through the films (which to be honest, is just Fight “how much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?” Club taken to its most extreme). Instead, it leaves it vastly underdeveloped and focuses on gore and possibly the most convoluted plot of all time.
Now, there are spoilers ahead. Now, if you’ve taken my advice it won’t matter, but you’re not going to listen to me. No one ever does.
The plot works on taking a number of characters and changing what you thought had been learnt from the original movies. The good cop from the first three turns out to be helping the serial killer all along. Which we don’t find out until the end of the 4th movie.
Incidentally, the beginning of the 4th movie actually takes place later on and in fact where the 6th movie takes place. Saw IV is actually a midquel (as wiki calls it) and takes place concurrently with the events of Saw III. This was such a roundabout plot twist that I had to read the wiki page several times to work out what the hell was going on. It is at this point that the casual viewer just cannot get into them. They become so impenetrably linked with their own mythology that to outsiders they may as well be in Aramaic. It also doesn’t help that they cast two actors who are near identical in dark, shadowy rooms which comprise 95% of the set.
Despite their being seven films, they all take place in a surprisingly condensed time frame. It’s almost as if it is a TV series in movie form. Though of course, unless you watch them in quick succession (as I have) then you will not have the foggiest what is happening. I still wasn’t sure for most of the time to be honest.
This is probably the only redeeming feature of a set of terrible films, which nonetheless struck a chord with a surprising amount of people. Yet whilst each film sheds more light on the serial killer’s background and makes the whole thing seem more ridiculous, there has clearly been a lot of attention put into making these plots into a coherent mass, something that a lot of long-running horror films fail to do. I’ve not see it, but I presume Jason in Space jars somewhat with the original premise.
Regardless, these are terrible films and hopefully there will be no more.