Wednesday, November 04, 2015

SAW - ing through the series

I will freely admit that I do not appreciate the SAW films. I watched the first at the time of its release and found it aggressively stupid and completely silly with its famed final reveal being the dumbest moment in cinema of that year. A few years later I caught SAW II (2005) on video and it was a small step up from the first film in that it didn't insult the viewer's intelligence but I wouldn't call it good. And now, years later, I decided to watch SAW III (2006) just for the hell of it. Once again I am underwhelmed. SAW III isn't a terrible film but it barely ekes out 5 of 10 from me. It didn't bore me but it also was never very compelling and it's that problem that I think separates me from the fans of this series. I think that the biggest thrill of the SAW films is the big final reveal that unfolds in the last ten to fifteen minutes of each movie that demonstrates how intricate, complicated and brilliant the master plan of the killer turns out to be. The thing is that the reveal in the three I've seen have been idiotic, pointless or impossible to believe so I can't give a crap about what it all means, man! I'm so busy sniggering at the faux intellectual justification the villain lays out to express the intense significance of his daring scheme that the idea of being impressed by this silliness seems like the ultimate joke - on the audience. I mean really- Jigsaw's entire modus operandi is so flamboyant it begs the question of WHY. Why the exaggerated complexity? Why the silly games? Of course, in the context of a film we know - it is to entertain us. But the events and their unraveling have no logical justification within the story being told other than the obvious one - the killer wishes to humiliate and torture his victims. The weak attempt to justify this sadism with some twisted BS morality just makes it all seem even less clever since it can't escape falling back on the old 'punishment for your sins' cliché. And, of course, the sequels so far are just rinse and repeat as they off the characters left over from the previous film first to set the latest ridiculous plot in motion.

Each of the SAW movies are the kind of film I can easily imagine being written by some stoned teenagers over a weekend and I suspect that was the target audience as well. Maybe they will age well, but who knows? So far I'm not seeing the appeal. 


Steven Millan said...

The first two SAW films are the only good SAW films and the series should have ended at Part 3 instead of extending onward and getting more ridiculous along the way(and all of the silly plot twist finales making the films less believable),as if it were a celluloid horror soap opera that's divided into a five part movie(from 3 onto 7).

Rod Barnett said...

Wow! So 3 though the final film is one long story? Damn!