Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Saw IV

The Saw films are something of an anomaly. They aren’t well made, well acted, or well crafted at all. Yet, year after year they are released and they always make a great deal of money. The films also single-handedly kicked off a new genre of film, torture porn. Without Saw you get no Hostel, no Captivity, and so on.

I think I go to these movies based more on tradition and the fact that, four years ago on Halloween weekend, I walked into the original Saw not expecting much. Saw was made for 1.2 million dollars and grossed over 55 million in the United States. It made sense. I was genuinely intrigued by the creepy film, shot mostly in one room. Using mind tricks as a substitute for excessive gore.

Saw IV falls much into the same realm as the two before it. Parts II and III were tired and uninteresting. And while some of the killings seemed like fresh, new ideas, I always remind myself what I am watching, and that tends to ruin the film for me.

If you’re a fan, you know Jigsaw, the mastermind behind the elaborate mutilations was killed in part III along with his whacko sidekick. Well don’t worry, part IV is much of the Saw same, with plenty of shootings, stabbings, open brains, blood and guts to fulfill your needs (if you’re into that sort of thing).

I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite. Do I enjoy these movies? No. Is one better than the other? No. Do I go to them? Of course. Why? I have no idea. If Saw has just stayed Saw by itself, with no sequels, I think it would be remembered as one of the greatest horror films of all time. But now it has become jumbled with the mess that has followed. But don’t get me wrong, when part V makes its way to the screen next Halloween weekend, I’ll be one of the first in line. Why ruin a perfectly torturous tradition? Saw: A-, Saw II: C, Saw III: D+, Saw IV: D

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