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Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
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A Look At The Saw Horror Movies by Lianne Spiderbaby

Saw Horror Movies Right on time, the newest installation of the Saw series will be released in theatres this Halloween. Capitalizing on the latest trend, Saw is in 3-D, and this will be the seventh and final chapter of the series. As far as I'm concerned, this is the end of an era. We haven't seen a horror series with this kind of longevity since the '80s: Halloween, Friday The 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street. Horror fans have differing opinions on the Saw films. Some hardcore horror fans feel that the Saw movies are catered to teenaged boys who like to scare their girlfriends into getting to third base. This sentiment is based on snobbery, and I believe dedicated horror fans are entitled to that. We can be the hardest of critics because of how devoted we are to the genre. However, I think the Saw series deserves a closer, more critical look at how the films have contributed to the horror genre, as well as the issues Saw has dealt with that horror fans have quickly dismissed.

Recently on Canadian radio station CBC, George Romero spoke about his disappointment in the horror genre, and how films today lack social and political criticism. Romero stated that horror has always had an underlying commentary, but since the late 1970s, it has disappeared (cbc.com). I tend to agree with Romero on this point. Although, I think that while Saw has been successful in selling tickets at the box office, it has also been auspicious in commentating on the American government, and how poorly the country was run by the Republican party. The Saw films are so graphic and violent, that these political messages often get lost in the shuffle of blood, guts, and well… bad acting.

I will not argue against the fact that the more recent Saw films are very much like the one before it. After six films, I have trouble keeping track of which is which. The first Saw film paneled well with critics and audiences, thus the continuous sequels. Gradually, with each film, the reviews got worse, and even the teenaged boys trying to get into the pants of their girlfriends became tired with the same old. However, Saw VI was slightly more successful, scoring a 42% on the Tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes (rottentomatoes.com). This may not seem like an accomplishment, but Saw V scored a very low 13%.

In Saw VI, Tobin Bell resumes as his character Jigsaw, and this time, he is out to teach William Easton (Peter Outerbridge), major executive of a health insurance corporation, a lesson in how to live his life. Perhaps one of the biggest issues in American politics is national health care - and with the election of President Obama in 2008, health care seems like a possibility for the country's future. Saw VI was released in October 2009, and the film overtly criticizes health insurance companies and the executives who make decisions on who should live, and who should die.

As we know from previous Saw films, Jigsaw was a cancer patient who's goal was to "help" people discover themselves, their lives, and the choices they make. In Saw VI, we learn that Jigsaw (or John when he's not torturing people), once visited his friend, Easton, and begged for funding to treat his cancer. Easton instantly turned him down, not able to foresee how this decision would affect his own life years later. As expected, Easton dies a brutal death after suffering through several tests curated by Jigsaw, his minion wife, and newest helper, Detective Hoffman.

Saw VI also took a stab at mortgage lenders for their victimization of innocent homebuyers. The film is all about revenge and punishment. The first time I saw the Saw VI (which, I will admit, was not in theatres), I felt like I was watching Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story, cue the torture porn.

And, ah, torture porn. Saw was one of the first American films to be labeled as such, following Eli Roth's Hostel. Torture porn has it's own can of worms that I will not elaborate on, but the movement did take gore to a whole new level in the mid-2000s. The Saw series was an influential part of that, and the extreme mutilation in the films helped the series to become the most profitable horror film franchise of all-time (Lariam Peter. October 24, 2008, New York Post.)

After the wave and popularity of torture porn films, the newest trend in horror was the remake. Torture porn was replaced by rearticulations on original ideas of horror-past. Although I have enjoyed a few remakes (namely, Aja's The Hills Have Eyes), I do miss original ideas: horror films where I don't already know the final outcome, what I should fear, and who will and won't survive. In a surge of remakes: Friday the 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, My Bloody Valentine, The Amityville Horror, Halloween, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the Saw series provided us with some form of uniqueness, despite the fact that the Saw films themselves resemble each other. One could even argue that Saw revolutionized gore: it inspired and desensitized us, making way for Tom Six's gross-out Human Centipede (First Sequence), and the meticulously detailed deaths in Adam Green's Hatchet.

At this point, it is hard to predict how Saw 3D will do in the theatres. It's safe to say that the 3-D aspect alone will draw audiences, but Saw 3D will be competing with other October horror releases Paranormal Activity 2 (October 22), and Wes Craven's new film, My Soul To Take (October 8). I plan on seeing Saw 3D in theatres opening weekend with a large group of friends, to celebrate the success of the series. Six sequels is impressive and exclusive to the horror genre, which is worth throwing a theatre party for. See you on the 29th of October! And please follow me on twitter: @liannemac

Saw: The End Of A Series by Lianne Spiderbaby


Saw (2004)
Movie Review by The Undertaker

Saw Wasn't sure what to expect going in really. Would it be a gory slasher flick, a serial killer film, a murder mystery? Turns out Saw delivers, sort of along the same lines that Seven did, and really needs to be seen. If you're fan of Seven and similar films, you'll eat this shit up as Saw is a well-crafted film that packs a wallop of an ending! I don't wanna give away any spoilers, but this film excels on just about every level, especially the story and ending. I thought I knew what was up, but shows how much I knew by the time the credits rolled. The movie basically revolves around two people chained in a room, caught seemingly in a madman's game of mousetrap. The game they must play to live or die unravels, as does the back-story, showing a sick sadist who has caused the deaths of several others in various sick ways of life or death scenarios where the victims can either live or die based on the choices they are willing to make. Good shit here folks. I just watched Seven a few days before seeing Saw, so I seem to wanna keep comparing the two, as there are some similarities. Saw is nearly as good in it's own way & there's plenty of room left for a sequel, which would be cool. The movie could have been a bit bloodier I think, but there is something to be said for a well-placed shotgun blast and some cool, self-induced hacksaw fun! If you been worried about seeing this flick, don't be, it's cool and you'll enjoy.

Saw II (2005)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Saw 2 I found that the pacing and action moved the movie along much better than the first, though the main character, a cop named Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) is extremely irritating. He only does two things in the movie-he yells and he cries. In fact, his character remains exactly the same from beginning to end, which I suppose was the point, but it is difficult to endure. He's your ultimate unhappy/corrupt cop stereotype.

There's a new batch of people abducted by the serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and they all have something in common with each other. Matthew's teenaged son is also among them. They find themselves in a boarded up, booby-trapped house and are told that they've been exposed to some form of nerve gas. If they don't solve the puzzle and find the antidote in two hours they will die, if they aren't killed off by some other means first.

Amanda (Shawnee Smith of THE BLOB), the only survivor from a previous Jigsaw abduction, returns and finds herself among this group. Emmanuelle Vaugier of HOUSE OF THE DEAD II, CERBERUS, PAINKILLER JANE is type-cast again as a bad girl/prostitute.

Although the "surprise" at the end was not totally unexpected it nevertheless worked and sets up the possibility of many future sequels. Overall, I enjoyed part 2 more than 1.

Saw III (2006)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Saw 3 I think this is the best of the SAW movies, as it has some surprising revelations in regard to the first two movies and provides more insight to Jigsaw's motivations for doing what he does. First, there's John/Jigsaw who is still dying of cancer-and a woman doctor is forced to keep him alive until the current game is finished--or else she'll die. The explosive device around her neck is connected to Jigsaw's heart rate. Jigsaw's protegee, Amanda (Shawnee Smith), isn't playing the game fairly and is going against everything her mentor has tried to teach her, which causes a lot of conflict. There's also a side story of a man (Angus McFadden of MIRACLES) who wants to get revenge on everyone who was responsible for setting free the driver who killed his son two years before. However, he soon discovers he has second thoughts...

SAW III is a great sequel, putting everything in place and completing the story of Jigsaw, and I hope the ending to the SAW series so that it ends on a good note.

Saw IV (2007)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Saw 4 These SAW movies keep on getting better and better.

Although Jigsaw is dead, he's still very much a presence in this installment of the franchise. In fact, the movie starts off with his graphic autopsy, as they remove his brain and open his stomach. They find a cassette tape in his stomach and when the police detective plays Jigsaw says the games will continue.

The police suspect there is a third person who has been helping Jigsaw, though it's a bit more complicated than that. Through his manipulation, he's able to get a lot of his victims to torture and test themselves. There are lots of flashbacks, particularly of Jigsaw and his wife, which clarifies why he went insane. It wasn't just because he had cancer - it's something even worse.

The tortures are gruesome and the movie is fast moving. I liked the surrealistic transitions between a lot of the scenes. IV is the best SAW yet.

Saw V (2008)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Saw 5 This is another interesting installment in the SAW series, which only continues to improve. Through some clever flashbacks, which thread through the previous movies, the story concentrates on Detective Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) and why he's continuing Jigsaw's legacy. Close on his heels is FBI Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson), who is onto Hoffman's secret. Betsey Russell returns as Jill, Jigsaw's ex-wife, and Julie Benz (ANGEL, DEXTER) is in a very different role than she usually is. And the gore/torture effects are appropriately gruesome, particularly the pendulum scene at the beginning.

In the future, it would be interesting to see all the SAW movies re-edited so it tells the story in a linear way. It would be different but cool.

Recommended viewing for the Halloween season.

Saw VI (2009)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Saw 6 This installment of the series begins with a suitably nasty scene in which two people have to cut off pieces of themselves and put them on this scale. One is a fat guy who starts slicing off chunks of his stomach, the other a small African American woman who goes for her arm. The one who gets rid of the most flesh wins.

The main crux of the story revolves around Detective Hoffman (Costas Madylor), who is continuing Jigsaw's (Tobin Bell) legacy. He is kidnapping more people who affected his mentor's life--but is he doing exactly what Jigsaw wants? Then there is William (Peter Outerbridge of ReGENESIS), the insurance agent who had denied an experimental cancer treatment to him and who is now suffering the repercussions of that hasty decision. He is put to the test, in an abandoned zoo, and forced to make life and death decisions about others. Hoffman is also tested and the way the movie ends may put future events in an unexpected direction.

What I continue to enjoy about the SAW movies is that they keep on building upon one another and supply new information about the characters. There's much more involvement by Jigsaw's former wife, Jill (Betsy Russell), and we witness the jealously between Amanda (Shawnee Smith of THE BLOB) and Hoffman, which resulted in her death. And of course, there's plenty of screen time , via flashbacks of Jigsaw/John himself (Tobin Bell). The editing is also an important factor to this franchise and this time around it's directed by Kevin Greutert, who has edited all of the previous SAW movies. This, perhaps, makes him the best person to direct the continuing franchise.

If you've enjoyed the previous SAW movies you will not be disappointed by this sixth one. It is, of course, the perfect Halloween movie.

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