I was thinking about doing a short list today, but then that idea turned into a large review of all four Saw movies. Funny how things work out that way. First off, I know there are a lot of people who despise Saw (and Hostel, and all those other types of torture horror), and I tend to agree that these movies are less about actual fear than disgust or sadness masked as fear. Why people continue to take in this much gratuitous and useless violence is beyond me. Although, yes, I've seen all of these films. And who am I to denounce violence when I love horror movies and I tend to cheer on the bad guys? I don't know, that's just the way the world works. Lots of horror (especially modern horror) keeps up this weird tradition of having violence for the sake of violence. "Let's see how far we can go before people get sick and vomit." So without further philosophical discussions of the human obsession with the grotesque and the perverse, here is my badass review of the Saw series thus far:
Saw I: Being the first in the series is always a plus for any horror film or any film in general really, because people don't know what to expect and they have no preconceived ideas about how the film should play out. This worked to Saw I's advantage, in my opinion, because there are really only so many movies you can watch about people getting killed in ridiculous ways. And yet horror movies still exist, so maybe it is an infinite number. Cary Elwes plays Dr. Lawrence Gordon (I think that's the character's name, and I don't care enough to research anything that is not already in my brain.) I love Cary Elwes, but just once I wanted him to say, "As you wish," to someone in this film. It would have worked, I think. Plus Michael "Ben Linus/Henry Gale" from Lost is in this and I am in love with that bug-eyed little jerk. He always plays such mean characters. But he's just so good at it, and he creeps me out. I don't think he knows how to smile or laugh, he's just constantly in a serious mood. So basically, the plot played out very well and the twist was very unexpected, for me at least. I'm usually pretty good at guessing the endings, but this one kept me guessing. The grossest part for me was probably not the leg-sawing, but the crushing of Emerson's head with the damn toilet cover. That was so gross. And just the general dinginess of the bathroom. That was just too much for me, and I'm sure the filmmakers realized that that would add to the terror. So I would give this one an A overall. Maybe I'm too generous, but this is my review, so I make the rules.
Saw II: I liked Donnie Wahlberg, oddly enough. The whole Amanda-helps-Jigsaw-because-he-changed-her-life-and-she-is-possibly-in-love-with-him-now thing kind of pissed me off because I really don't think that would have happened. It's kind of ridiculous. I mean you can argue Stockholm syndrome all day if you want, it was still stupid. But I guess for a horror sequel, it was okay. The house thing, it's been done before, but I guess I didn't really mind it. The kid in the safe at the end, that freaked me out. I hope he didn't have claustrophobia. But overall, in sequel terms at least, and low budget no doubt, they accomplished quite a feat. They kept people interested enough to warrant two further sequels. Who would have guessed that a series of films about some guy torturing people to death would make so much money? I guessed it. And I was right.
Saw III: This movie made me sad beyond sad. It depressed me for days afterward. I refuse to ever watch this film again. It wasn't disturbing, but some things just affect me in this way, they make me sad. Jigsaw's puzzles just get insultingly stupid. The producers just want to have a twist at the end, they don't care how we get there. They realized that the first two had twists, so they can't stop it now. And they won't stop for the fourth installment either, but I'll get to that in a minute. My main problem with this film is that no one has any choice in anything except that main guy, I think his name was Jeff. So Jeff basically gets the choice of life or death for everyone. Well how does that follow along with Jigsaw's plan of choices? It doesn't. You can argue that Amanda had too much control and made things like that, but it would be grabbing for straws. And that poor kid at the end, he had his body all twisted and whatnot, that was disgusting. Sometimes I think about his legs snapping, it sounded like someone cracking his or her knuckles. Is it weird that I think about that and make that connection? I only think about it really when I think about the Saw series, which isn't a whole lot, but still…
Saw IV: Moving on. Although this film technically holds a special place in my heart because I went to it on my second date with my boyfriend. What a great date movie, he's such a romantic. Actually, it was cute, he knows I love horror, so he agrees to watch it. I don't know if he actually likes it or just likes me enough to watch it, but either way, he's pretty swell. He's the only one who reads this damn thing anyway, so I don't know why I don't just write directly to him instead. Well anyway, I guess the experience of going to the movie was a good time, but the movie was not so great. The cop was the heir to Jigsaw's shitty morality. There, I ruined the ending, now you don't have to go see it. I feel like I've done you a huge favor, so you owe me. And Donnie Wahlberg was still inexplicably alive, but then they killed him by having two blocks of ice swing down from the ceiling and squish his head like a watermelon. Yeah. Let that sink in for a second. I shit you not. Why bring Donnie back if you're just going to immediately kill him? I hope that's not what the New Kids on the Block are planning. Watch out, Donnie.