James Wan

SAW-TOBER PART 01: SAW [2004]

sawtober1

Today, I am working on a new series I call “Saw-Tober“. It’s a simple premise, really, I will be reviewing each of the SAW films; one at a time. This is both in part because of my love for the films, but also because it’s October. I’ve always had a love for these films, even if they did get progressively bad with their “torture-porn” ways. So let us begin, with the infamous first film that started one of the most successful horror franchises of all time and play a game called: SAW.


SAW is not for everyone, but for those who have seen it, remembers the first time they watched it. I remember sitting in my house and watching this on our “big” – 32 inch – screen TV. I also remember being confused, and amazed by just how crazy the whole scenario was: I mean for someone my age back then, [about 14 years old] this was pretty extreme, even for someone who grew up watching “younger horror.” Of all the “real” horror films I had seen prior to this one, SAW was something different: it felt – at least to me – real.

And it was quite a revolution back in 2004. Back then, the only thing I can remember seeing is remakes of Asian horror films, like The Ring or The Grudge, but SAW was different: it was like a big breath of fresh air. Looking back with the knowledge I have about the horror genre now, I think this was a good thing – especially for the genre as a whole. Before SAW, horror was a dying genre, and without it, I don’t think the genre would have lasted as strongly as it has.

But does it hold up now? Let’s find out.

wsfldwa

We start off with two guys waking up in a dingy, dirty old bathroom [see above] because all good horror stories start off as a drunken trip through the backwoods of Europe. [I’m looking at you, Hostel..] Our story follows Doctor Lawrence Gordon and Adam who are chained by the ankle to pipes at opposite ends of the room and have no apparent memory of how they got there or of who the other is. Naturally, the two look around. Between them lies a man in a pool of blood; with a gun in one hand and a tape recorder in the other. As the two men begin to question the scenario they have to face, Gordon, quickly realizes that they may be the next victims of a notorious serial killer known only as Jigsaw.

For those out of the know, The Jigsaw killer never directly kills his victims. He instead places them in elaborate [and] gruesome traps that he claims gives each victim a valuable life lesson – if you can survive, you’ll appreciate your life just a little bit more than you did before. However, chances of survival are usually small, with only one victim having survived so far. Gordon talks about how he knows of Jigsaw: it turns out this is because he was once a prime suspect in the case. Thankfully, he was released after his alibi for one of the murders checked out.

wnkisnq

What makes SAW so great is that there is no melodramatic lead-in: it quite literally throws you straight into the middle of the story and doesn’t let go until the final frame. Most of the movie plays out in the bathroom “cell” with all the other exciting parts, other than the final act, being told through flashbacks of various characters. This can and sometimes does make SAW seem stage-like, especially in the extended edition’s opening scene, but for an unusual approach; it works well as the movie never once drags.

Surprisingly, Director James Wan handles everything really well in this debut picture. He doesn’t give anything away too soon, leaving the viewer just confused enough to stay interested without letting them know everything, even if they might think they do. And just when it looks like SAW is going down a road of clichés, it pulls a fast one and leaves you surprised! If there’s anything can be criticized, it’s Wan’s use of hyper fast-cut scenes set to hard rock music to add a sense of urgency to what is going on. These are effective, particularly during the trap sequences; but over the course of seven SAW films it became tiresome and almost overused.

In all seriousness though, SAW is is not for everyone. It can [and later does] be gruesome and extreme, but that makes up a very small part of what can otherwise be considered an interesting psychological thriller. It’s not perfect; but for what it is – and what the franchise became – it is an important piece of horror cinema that has the heart of many.

ej2nruw

Now I turn to You – the reader. Are You a fan of the SAW franchise? Or are they “more gore, less story” in your opinion? Let me know in a comment below, and if you enjoyed this review, and are looking for more, go and follow me over on my Facebook page! [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. So go follow over there too!

JOIN ME TOMORROW WHEN I REVIEW MY LEAST FAVORITE OF THE SERIES: SAW II.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

THANKS FOR READING.

 

Advertisements

Here’s a set of TWO New Posters for “The Conjuring 2”

j53wsau

I’m not the only one who sees that right? Is that you.. Freddy Krueger?

Unlike what I initially thought, I actually enjoyed James Wan‘s The Conjuring: it was suspenseful, it was dark and claustrophobic at parts, and it was genuinely scary. I didn’t expect that, especially from a movie involving a haunting – which I’m really tired of seeing on film. Now we have the sequel, The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, and while the trailer looks promising; I’m both curious..and worried. The problem is that almost every time we get a good horror film, [such as the first Conjuring] a sequel almost always follows – and doesn’t give the same feeling that the first one gave us. Who knows? Maybe The Conjuring 2 will be different. I don’t know. I just wants the same claustrophobic feeling that the first film gave me, and I’ll be happy with the film’s outcome. I like you Wan, give me hope.

That being said, there is a new set of posters for The Conjuring 2, and they have just been released, both of which have a strong point of highlighting that this film is, “Based on the True Case Files of The Warrens“. To further cement this, one poster shows [the beautiful] Patrick Wilson as Ed Warren, holding forth a small cross with a look of [an intense] fear across his face while the second, shows [the even more beautiful..if that’s even possible] Vera Farmiga’s Lorraine Warren, pressed against a wall – crucifixes in the background, a rosary [wrapped tightly] around her fist.. with a shadow of an arm reaching out for her, her expression: terrified. [I’ll be posting these posters at the end of the post..whoa – talk about an accidental tongue twister.]

Hitting theaters on June 10 2016, The Conjuring 2 also said to start by mentioning The Amityville Horror case, which I think is a really interesting starting point – start with something familiar to horror audiences, and then tell of the infamous “Enfield Poltergeist,” which if you know your history, took place at a council house in the Brimsdown village of Enfield, England during the late 1970s. But you’re not here for a history lesson, you’re here for the posters.. so let’s take a look, and see what’s happening..in The Conjuring 2.

8jmgl0n

nfggxvo


Also, really quickly [I’ll get into this more in detail later on] I want to branch off super quick onto something completely off topic to The Conjuring 2. If you’ve noticed these past few weeks, I’ve been either late with a post, or I’ve just been anywhere but writing on here. [I even mentioned a while ago something has come up] There’s a legitimate reason for this and I think I’m ready to mention it on here: as of last Friday, I was accepted to the Funeral Preplanner course at College [in Toronto, though the course is entirely online] and to prepare for it, I’ve been doing major research. This is something I’ve been wanting for forever. It’s a stepping stone in the process of becoming a Funeral Director, but it’s something I need to do. Obviously, as warrenisweird is a hobby, and this is full-time career/school talk; the school planning is much more important. Now, I’m not going ANYWHEREwarrenisweird will still be around, and I will have updates and horror movie posts every chance I get – it just may be slightly more delayed than I want it to be. The big thing about this is that the course is online, so come September; I won’t be posting here as frequently. Hell, most of yesterday morning [which I really wanted write something on warrenisweird] involved calling/emailing about six different funeral homes..because second semester is an Internship! [a paid Internship!] I need to get that down before September because that’s almost, if not most, important. So, quick recap: warrenisweird is not going anywhere. I’ll still be posting here as much as possible. I just don’t know how much “as much as possible” is.. I’ll be writing a full post on this news both on here, and on my Medium account so please, if you were planning to, don’t ask too many questions about this, I’ll answer these questions when I write a full post on it. ANYWAY, what were we talking about again? I kind of trailed off, didn’t I?

Oh yeah, The Enfield Poltergeist:

nickell-enfield

above: Forensic illustration by Joe Nickell based on a photo in This House Is Haunted

Are You excited for a second Conjuring film? Why or why not? Maybe, like me, you’re tired of haunting films – or maybe you just don’t enjoy horror..[if so, you’re in the wrong place pal!] Let me know in the comments what You think about these two new posters.

Also, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 135+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, I’m trying to review every movie I watch, [both new and older] with my most recent reviews including Deadpool and The Revenant and you can be damned sure that The Conjuring 2 will be reviewed on there as well, so follow me on Letterboxd if you like movie reviews!

screen-shot-2016-01-07-at-2-10-13-pm-1200x545_c

THANKS FOR READING.