movie review

SAW-TOBER PART 07: SAW VII [2010]

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Well, we knew it was coming, and now it’s here: the final SAW movie. After this post, I will be back to regular posts, but I feel like we accomplished something: seven days, seven SAW films. Was it worth the time? Were some of the movies better than other ones? For sure, but with this being the last one, [at least until the new one comes out] It’s time to see if it was all worth it – at least to wrap things up..

SAW VII, or SAW 3D: The Final Chapter as it was marketed, was like each of its predecessors, so consumed with its inventive, big idea judgment scenes  that it moves away from actual mechanics and story telling in order for a story to work. Because of this, what we ended up left with is a extremely broken movie that attempted to weave violence/gore with awkward/meaningless dialogue which ultimately, gave us a less than mediocre movie. It sounds fitting, but at the same time, it’s sad in a way; the supposed final installment tries to work overtime trying to tie a cohesive string [“storyline”] through all the previous movies.

So who are we following this time? Enter Bobby: a Jigsaw survivor turned motivational speaker and book writer who is touring the country in support of his new book which details his near-death escape from the trials and traps he had to endure. Meanwhile, Jigsaw’s widow Jill [I told you she’d come back as an important character!] has turned to Detective Gibson in a final attempt to save her own life. As we came to expect, her husband’s former partner Hoffman has turned against her, and she’s willing to spill details of the entire Jigsaw operation in exchange for immunity. It’s a request Detective Gibson quickly accepts, but that’s possibly because of a new Jigsaw murder and the untimely promise of a new game.

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As you may have probably already guessed, the latest victim turns out to be Bobby, and what follows is a complicated story-line that somehow managed to tie all six of the previous films. Yes, the SAW universe is brought full circle. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as appealing as more hardcore fans of the series would have suspected. The inclusion of a ‘full circle’ lies solely on a Jigsaw support group that’s been formed. [if you look at the group, you can see other survivors from previous movies!] The group is filmed publicly as publicity for Bobby’s book, and this breach in confidentially provides the setup for one final Jigsaw game. [Also, Doctor Gordon shows up!] I won’t go into extreme details about the trials and tribulations that Bobby has to endure, but I will say it does feature arguably, the most mechanically-complicated torture chambers. SERIOUSLY. It would have taken the entire Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team at least two weeks working around the clock to put all these traps together, which is why the SAW franchise really needs to stop. No one could do all this in a matter of days, I don’t care who you say could. It’s impossible.

The important thing to note about SAW 3D: The Final Chapter is that it is more a commentary on itself and its place in popular film culture rather than another addition. As expected, Bobby is punished – not for cheating on his girlfriend or killing some hookers, but for lying about being in a trap before and leading a Jigsaw support group. These sins and reasons for being punished are actually smart, and they’re sins that come from Jigsaw’s very existence as a killer. It could actually be seen as very clever and the concept itself is thought through, but sadly; that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a commentary on itself. Therefore, when something grows comfortable enough to comment on itself, it’s fair grounds to say it should just stop. The ending of this film is pretty decent too, seeing that we see that [SPOILERS*] Doctor Gordon has been helping all along since SAW II, and that he is the one who has been the one who has been doing the medical procedures on the victims, in exchange for living a life now deserved – at least according to Jigsaw..

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Suffice it to say, SAW VII is the type of film I would recommend for reasons of interest rather than quality. There’s actually a lot going on in this film: Cops chasing HoffmanBobby and the traps, Jill talking with the cops, and flashbacks galore. I like to believe that a lot of enthusiasm went into this idea when it was first pitched, but like in most of the other SAW movies, this final product has a fundamental disconnect between the one major idea: the death traps and the actual screen time that links those two [puzzle] pieces together. Far too often does SAW 3D resort to standard horror movie dialogue and convenient quick fixes to try and bridge gaps in the story. It constantly begs for a rewrite; yet, it never happens because everyone on the team were probably too impressed with the film’s simple premise: match everything up..somehow. After seven Halloweens and seven films, the SAW franchise is finally put to rest. [or is it?] Overall, it goes out applauding itself for it’s efforts, but something tells me Jigsaw wouldn’t have had it any other way.. Also, for those that have been wondering since SAW I, we also get to see the Reverse Bear Trap in action! [watch it happen here: NSFW]


And with that, we conclude SAW-TOBER: seven days, seven movies. As always, now I turn to You – the reader. What SAW film was your favorite? Are you looking forward to another SAW film? 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!

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THANKS FOR READING.

SAW-TOBER PART 05: SAW V [2008]

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Another day, another SAW movie. If you were not aware or are just joining me, there are seven of them – with an eighth coming next year – and I intend on reviewing each one. Why? Because I feel like, for the most part, they’re enjoyable films. With yesterday’s post being about one of my favorites in the franchise, lets talk about it’s specific sequel: SAW V and while its not terrible, it is certainly not “good.”

Like the other films before, SAW V begins with a slighter more “extreme” trap, killing one of Jigsaw’s victims in one of his more elaborate traps, although there is one major difference.. this time, the victim of the trap actually does what is required to free himself, which was crushing his own hands into a crippled and broken state. But for some reason, the trap doesn’t stop! The victim is still executed, and the message is made clear: this isn’t the same Jigsaw killer we’ve been exposed to in previous SAW movies.. why should it be, though? Don’t forget, the “real” Jigsaw was killed two movies ago, and while SAW IV managed to tell a pretty good story, SAW V doesn’t do it quite as well.

Beginning with SAW III, each chapter of the franchise has given us more insight, exposing more about the Jigsaw killer, giving a pretty decent backstory on Tobin Bell’s popular character within the last movie. With the initial killer pretty much fully explored [and explained] at this point, it’s time for some new blood/someone new. The story of SAW V gives us Detective Hoffman, the only surviving character from the previous movies, into the role of yet another of Jigsaw’s helpers. You read that correctly – the one remaining cop was playing for the bad guys all along. [Because of course he was..] In order to prove this to us, the movie begins to show a flash course history lessons in the previous story lines that try, but don’t really “fit” very well and feels more like it’s cheating; we are basically seeing the stories we’ve already seen before, with Hoffman squeezed in, instead of developing something new entirely..

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It’s just that the whole thing just isn’t given to the viewer very well. In the case of the other SAW movies, I had no trouble following the overall story arc. [How each one fits as a whole] And even though I’ve seen SAW IV, I had trouble figuring out just how SAW V tied into the franchise through the movie. Sure we see Hoffman, and where he has been during the last films, but then why does SAW V feel like a piece of a completely different puzzle? It’s convoluted and sloppy story-telling, and by superimposing Hoffman into previous scenes, it feels almost lazy. Surely I am not alone in feeling this way, right? [Maybe this is why I never liked Detective Hoffman as a character!]

Looking at SAW V as it’s own thing, it doesn’t really work well within itself. Granted, the movie does return to it’s proven formula of given us a group of people trapped inside a series of rooms, each with one of Jigsaw’s traps designed to play off their weaknesses. As the victims proceed [and y’know, die] inside, the police and FBI go through a dangerous hunt on the outside. Only this time, the two story-lines are completely unrelated.[wait, what?] Nobody is searching for these missing people, and they really aren’t linked to the other characters outside of the chamber. Hell, as far as I am aware, nobody even seems to know the five victims are even missing. That isn’t just bad story-telling, it’s a vital piece of information. This ongoing investigation in the outside world is all about Hoffman, not about any missing person cases. Because the stories are separate and barely even connect, it never manages to form a cohesive story for the movie as a whole.

Unfortunately, by the end of SAW V, it started to feel like the SAW franchise has run its course, and is now officially out of ideas of where to go next with the movie’s world. Between the broken history lessons, the disconnected story-lines, and traps that really don’t feel up to the same creative level of the previous chapters, SAW V is a disappointing addition to a franchise I used to love. Either that, or I am just bored with these films which – to a 17 year old me – sounds like blasphemy. I didn’t even mention Agent Strahm, who was the main cop chasing Hoffman. Quick adlib: he [unsurprisingly] dies at the end of this film, in the worst way you can imagine.

WHAT WILL FOLLOW FOR DETECTIVE HOFFMAN? JOIN ME TOMORROW WHEN I REVISIT THE CONTINUATION WITH: SAW-TOBER #06: SAW VI.

Now I turn to You – the reader. How did you take SAW V? What about Hoffman? Is he a worthy successor, or just a murderer? 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!

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THANKS FOR READING.

SAW-TOBER PART 04: SAW IV [2007]

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FINALLY: seeing as I am reviewing each and every SAW film in the franchise, I have been waiting to review today’s sequel: SAW IV and before you ask why, I think you already know – it is probably my favorite in the series. [At least, it is pretty close to the top of the list] Lets start with the obvious, you can expect a few things from a SAW movie: there will be blood [and gore] – and a lot of it. One thing that I have always admired about this franchise is that it definitely does not hold back on that gore factor, which is kind of nice for us horror fans who seems to be living in an era where so many horror films aim for a PG-13 rating, to gather a larger crowd. But with SAW, you can always expect indulgent traps – which usually are planned out mechanisms that are timed perfectly to deliver the final killing blow to the [poor] victim at just the right time. There is almost always those hyper-edited sequences [that I have grown to dislike] during the suspenseful moments, leading into some sort of dizzying wrap up sequence that explains all the twists and turns of the movie by replaying the last hour and a half in just under two minutes. Yet, somehow, the SAW movies are a fun form of horror entertainment. OKAY, with that said, lets get on with the actual movie review!

SAW IV opens with some coroners performing an autopsy on Jigsaw himself [remember, he did end up dying at the end of the last film] To keep you from any lingering doubt of his death, the first gory scene of the movie isn’t during a trap! It actually comes from watching Jigsaw’s skull and chest cavity being opened up in a graphic yet fairly precise sequence. [what makes this scene even cooler is the use of black and whites on his body/the table he’s on/the background, but his blood is a dark red] Eventually this autopsy leads to the beginning of the movie’s plot: a mini-cassette tape is found inside the corpse that proves that, although the killer is dead, the games are not.

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This time around, the action follows [my favorite] Detective Rigg, who has survived through life as a supporting character in the previous two SAW films only to become the newest target of Jigsaw’s game himself. While Rigg is off dealing with a gambit of traps and games, two other FBI agents are on a separate course, attempting to figure out how Jigsaw could possibly be still operating; considering the fact that he currently is not alive and Amanda is also dead. The solution is simple: Jigsaw had more than one helper, which means the [other] remaining “helper” is still out there – on the loose!

Now, this installment will have standard SAW fans a little disappointed because although they are there, the traps and gore seem to take a bit of a back seat. Instead, we get storytelling and exposition. Believe it or not though, that’s what I liked about this sequel. Seriously. Instead of just laying on the traps, and a quick explanation that these traps mirror the moral shortcomings of those involved, SAW IV gives us a glimpse behind the method and madness of Jigsaw and explains how the killer was “created.” What made this so special [and important] was the fact that the story doesn’t take away the mystery of Jigsaw, but rather explains how a brilliant architect named John became the killer he is [was?], thus expanding on the mythology around Jigsaw, as a character.

These flashbacks do a brilliant job of explaining Jigsaw’s complicated past [thanks to the FBI agents who were interrogating his ex-wife Jill – she becomes important in later films!] and they intertwine nearly perfectly with Rigg’s story-line. Instead of being placed in different traps, [like Jigsaw’s usual set of victims] Rigg is shown and exposed to other victims in traps. Sometimes, he is even forced to put them in the traps after seeing the killer’s reasoning behind why he picked certain people. It’s an interesting way to give a look to the audience and the detective, although don’t get me wrong – that doesn’t make some of the traps any less disturbing. Some of the traps made me cringe, but that’s because I have this problem where I imagine myself in that situation..

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If I had to point out one thing that I wasn’t too fond of, it is the way the writers feel the need to point out that Rigg is being lured into learning from Jigsaw’s mentality. I get why they said it but in this particular case, that sort of thing should have been left unsaid; yet the FBI Agents mention it as part of their investigation at nearly every damned crime scene. Again, I understand it, it just gets frustrating. On a more positive note though:

then there is my favorite part – that ending! Remember Detective Matthews from SAW II? Well, as it turns out, he is still alive [granted, only barely] and being kept on an ice block which in itself is a trap – if it melts, Matthews dies – which we cannot have happening, right? well, this happens to our fabled Detective at the end of the film [spoilers, obviously] and thus ends the life of yet another cop. The ending also reveals who the “other Jigsaw helper” is: none other than Detective Hoffman, who stands proud and tall at the end of SAW IV, knowing he is the successor of John Kramer.

As far as SAW movies go, SAW IV is probably one of the better in the series, hence why I consider it one of my favorites. Although the plot-heavy story arc might turn those who look to the franchise just for the interesting slayings away, I have always been interested by the justification given by Jigsaw and what he offers for his killing[s]. I like to believe that it’s great to see his background expanded without giving away too much about the character to a point where there’s no surprises anymore. What I personally liked about SAW IV is that now the franchise is evolving and not just giving us – the viewer – the exact same formula/movie every year..

Now I turn to You – the reader. Did You like SAW IV? Or did the storytelling get too boring for you? What other opinions do you have on the series? 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 SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT IN THE SAW SERIES: WITH SAW-TOBER #05: SAW V.

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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.

SAW-TOBER PART 02: SAW II [2005]

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Welcome back for a the second entry in SAW-TOBER with my least favorite of the entire franchise: SAW II. Now, by “least favorite” I don’t mean it is a bad movie, but rather that I have seen it far too many times. Hell, when late night cable plays a SAW film around Halloween, it tends to be this one. Like most sequels, the writers/creators feel that they have to “up the ante” in order to feel/stay relevant, and does the gore step up in this one – at least, in contrast to the first film. We also get more victims this time around – eight instead of two – and the setting is in what appears to be an abandoned house.. Will this game be more fun than the first? Let’s find out, and dive head first into the needle pit that is SAW II.


Right off the top, you can expect Jigsaw, the serial killer who tormented Doctor Gordon [and Adam] to be back in full swing in SAW  II, armed with trickier traps and games for everyone. As Jigsaw himself even tells the audience, “Oh yes, there will be blood.” However, that “audience” isn’t just us – the movie goer – but is also made up of police detectives who have captured him and have him for questioning. That’s rightJigsaw, or – as we learn from this film [his real name]John is now in custody within the first ten to fifteen minutes of the movie’s opening. [wait, what?] Let’s get one thing straight, since the Jigsaw’s secret identity was revealed at the end of the first film, this sequel doesn’t attempt to play dumb with that, we get reminded that this older man is the one behind these “games.” [and thus becomes relevant for the remainder of the franchise] We also get this opportunity to put the killer front and center camera with some some spectacular scenes between Jigsaw and Detective Eric Mason that for some, could very well rival the conversations in Silence Of The Lambs between criminal and cop. Mason, it turns out, may very well be a new target of Jigsaw’s game – a game of life and death the detective gets to watch live on video monitors as Jigsaw’s victims, including the detective’s son Daniel, struggle for survival.

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Like I mentioned above, this time around, the setting is different than the first film. Instead of just two people in a bathroom, we now have half a dozen people in a house where they are breathing in a toxic gas that will kill them in two hours. The “players” are a wide spread variety of people, including the aforementioned Daniel and Amanda, a woman who has been “tested” by Jigsaw before. The game this time is simple: find antidotes to the toxin and work together to find a way out. It’s nothing special, and I’m sure other movies have done this before [I’m looking at you, Cube!] but it’s SAW so I’m not overly surprised at this plot.

In this house, each room contains a puzzle intended for a specific “player” of Jigsaw’s grand scheme, complete with a classic cassette tape that explains for whom and why each trap exists. The tape also explains that character’s particular “crime” [why Jigsaw felt that particular person needed to be tested] which I thought was a great way for the viewer to get more engrossed in the victims, telling us each character’s flaws without going into tons of exposition. However, there is one major problem I have with this movie: the convenience of there being no puzzle rooms for characters who end up being killed off before finding their room – meaning, Jigsaw is either the best fortune-teller ever, able to predict which characters will die, [and when] or it means the writers got sloppy and put a few characters in with their only purpose being to serve as “red shirts.” I think it would have been far more interesting for the brute of the group, Xavierthis guy for people bad with names – to have killed one member of the group, only to find that character’s trap and not know how to deal with it..

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Speaking of, I should probably also mention the traps that come along in the film. In SAW II, they’ve been created by Jigsaw, a mentally disturbed serial killer. When I first saw the movie, the very idea and concept for some of these traps are can be seen as sickening and more then one made me wince just at the thought of what was going to happen, and then it finally appeared on screen to make me cringe. Yeah, at first, I was not a fan. [can you say ‘needle pit?’] The traps as a whole though are smart and cunning, they’re willing to make you act first and think later [like the image above] only to be left to bleed and die. It really shows the kind of people these characters are, and for that – I’ll give them the benefit.

As with most horror movies these days, SAW II does have that one disappointing aspect, the same issue I had with the first SAW film: the fast-paced and flashing editing style that ensues when the action kicks in. Seriously. Every time Jigsaw’s puzzles even prepare to go off, we see quick – and increasingly faster – strobe light like shots of the trap before, during, and after it “goes off.” Some of these shots are so fast I’m surprised there isn’t a warning for epileptics, that flashing [and blinding] lights are used. It does create an extremely tense atmosphere though, which I cannot argue. I always felt this type fast paced cut shows their mind racing at the speed of the shot. I will say though, if you can make it through the first five minutes of the movie, which is a eye-wrenching trap that references the first film, then you’ll be fine. But, if you’re having a panic attack by then, chances are, you won’t make it through the rest of the movie. It only gets more intense as it goes on.

Also like the typical horror movie, at least the ones that have come out since the early 2000s, there is a necessary surprise twist. That’s not really spoiling much since the concept of a twist was such a big element for the first SAW, and besides; these movies are over ten years old. Thankfully, the ending of SAW II is well done. It makes complete and total sense and, more importantly, doesn’t feel plastered on just to get a rise out of the audience. It’s the kind of plot that was clearly determined early in the writing process, therefore making it an essential part of the movie. That ending scene with Xavier will always make me grind my teeth.

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With a stronger story, sicker and more disturbing traps, and better acting then the original, SAW II is one of those rare sequels that builds and even surpasses the foundation it was built on. Even though I consider this film to be my least favorite of the series, it’s still a solid addition to the SAW series, and while the movie does, yet again, leave things open for a potential sequel – or three – they got the SAW concept [and story] down by this sequel. There was really no need to delve further and possibly steer the franchise in the wrong direction..right? right?

JOIN ME TOMORROW WHEN I REVISIT AND REVIEW THE ENDING OF WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE ENDING OF THIS SERIES: SAW III.

Now I turn to You – the reader. What were Your thoughts on SAW II ? Was it a better film than the first? Or are you waiting for a certain sequel to be reviewed – and if so, which one? 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!

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.

SAW-TOBER PART 01: SAW [2004]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

WEIRDO’WEEN #02: HOSTEL Part II [2007]

You know, one thing I have always wanted to do is travel to different parts of the world. I’ve always been attracted to the idea of going cities/towns that aren’t familiar to me, and the idea of disappearing into a crowd – and getting the chance to be completely unrecognizable to those around me – is pretty damn awesome. I’d love to go somewhere that has a different meal plan than my own, and getting to try all sorts of things that I wouldn’t be able to try otherwise; even ideas like being shoved into a bullet-train in Japan, or taking a ride one of those boat things in Prague during the sunset sounds so exciting, and so different.. But you know what’s not awesome? [but certainly “different”] Being convinced to go somewhere you don’t know just because some hot European woman told you to, being kidnapped and tied up, and ultimately; torturedslowly. At least, that’s what happens to Beth, Whitney, and Lorna in today’s weirdo’ween edition of Hostel: Part II. I’m going to warn you now, this particular review is long.. like a lot longer than my usual reviews. If you can handle a lot of reading. Let’s move on!

I actually really like Hostel – at least, the first two films – for their story telling. [we don’t talk about Hostel: Part III] I feel like they’re more than torture-porn, – which they get a lot of flack for – I like their story telling, the explanation that the real monsters are the ordinary/everyday people around us. To me, that is scary and knowing that being in an unfamiliar place; anything can happen. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Hostel, but I’ve always preferred it’s sequel, Hostel: Part II, just a little bit more. Probably because we get more of a back story to how the Elite Hunting Club really works.

weird'oween-#2The film opens up with the lone survivor of the first Hostel film, Paxton, in a hospital being “treated” for his wounds that happened roughly a week before. While in the hospital, the Doctors are all asking questions involving the ones who “did this to him”. As he’s answering the questions as truthfully as he can remember, he starts noticing them whispering to one another, and he starts questioning if these “doctors” are truly the good people they come off as. Good thing Paxton seems to be good at reading people, cause when he mentions the tattoo that the Elite Hunting Club members all had, the head doctor rolls up his sleeve asking; Did it look like this? Paxton wakes up, and it was all a dream – but it’s seemingly obvious that he’s mentally disturbed from the whole thing. His girlfriend, Stephanietries to convince him to talk to someone but he won’t have any of it, explaining that “these people are tied into everybody“. The very next morning Stephanie wakes up to an empty bed [Paxton stayed awake after his nightmare, I guess?] only to discover his headless body seated at the kitchen table with their cat licking the blood from his neck.. [talk about ‘no strings left untied’!] Meanwhile, in Slovakia, a seemingly mysterious package is delivered to Sasha, who we learn is the head honcho of the Elite Hunting Club. From the reaction of Sasha‘s bloodhounds and the approximate size of the box, it’s pretty well assumed that this package had Paxton‘s head in it, which would explain why it wasn’t rolling on the floor or anything in his home.

We are then flash forwarded to Italy, where American art students Beth, Whitney, and Lorna are approached by the beautiful Axelle, a nude model they are sketching during what looks like an outdoor, free to join-like class, to join her on a vacation to a luxurious spa in Slovakia. The four decide travel by train to a small Slovakian village and check into the local hostel, [which, if you’ve seen the first film, it’s the exact same one] where the desk clerk [the same, creepy clerk from the previous film] takes their information for their night, and the girls go to their respective rooms. It’s only after they’re out of camera shot, that the desk clerk goes to a restricted area of the Hostel, and uploads their passport photos to an auction website, where it’s we see American businessman Todd bid on Whitney and Beth for himself and his passive best friend Stuart as their victims for their murder-vacation. I found this to be extremely important, because it shows us that there’s so much more to what we saw in Hostel – in Hostel: Part II, we see how the “bets” are placed, and how the information gets there..

Later that night, at the village’s “Harvest Festival”, Lorna learns that Beth has inherited a vast fortune from her mother, who died when she was young. Stuart approaches Beth and the two share a friendly, but awkward, conversation. An intoxicated Lorna leaves to go on a boat ride with her new friend Roman, a charismatic local, who ends up using her only to kidnap her with the help of two accomplices. A local of the village is seen walking up to Beth and asks her for a dance, which she declines. He responds with I could have helped you. Although Beth doesn’t understand, he walks away and afterward the creepy Hostel’s clerk from earlier approaches and tells her He won’t bother you anymore. Eventually, Beth and Whitney leave the party, meanwhile Axelle volunteers to stay behind and wait for Lorna to get back from her boat ride.

The next morning after waking up, the three girls [Lorna is still not back] decide to head to the spa to relax in the hot springs. Basking in the relaxing atmosphere, Beth is able to fall somewhat at ease [finally!] and dozes off, leaning against the side of the pool. Flash to a now naked and gagged Lorna is seen shackled by her ankles and hanging upside down in a large – and empty – room, where a woman named [but implied] Mrs. Bathory enters, promptly undresses herself, and lies just beneath where Lorna is hanging. She then slowly kills Lorna by slashing her several times with a long scythe and bathing in her blood, then ending it by slitting her throat with a sickle!

Back at the spa, Beth finally awakens, only to find herself alone. [and her belongings stolen] As she looks for her friends, she notices two or three men approaching her. Fearing for her life, she climbs over the walls of the spa enclosure. Making her escape, she is ambushed by The Bubblegum Gang, the same gang of violent street children that appeared in Hostel. [so many throwbacks to the first film, I love it!] Before they are able to attack her though, Axelle and Sasha casually appear and ward them off. Axelle escorts a flustered but now relieved Beth to the vehicle they drove over in. With Axelle and Beth now off screen, Sasha confronts the children.. He comes off as extremely angered, since they “got in the way” of his “business operations.” Wait, what? As punishment, and to warn against future “interruptions”, Sasha draws out his gun and has one of the children brought forward before him. Sasha then puts a silencer on the handgun and kills the kid. Naturally, the rest of the gang runs! After arriving at Sasha‘s mansion, Beth slowly comes to realize that Sasha and Axelle are the ones responsible for her friends’ disappearances. This became obvious after noticing the men who tried to kidnap her at the spa coming up the stairs of Sasha‘s home. Like anyone in a situation like this, she tries to hide only to discover a room filled with severed heads [including Paxton‘s] only to be captured and taken to the factory.


Overall, the movie is fun. Especially if you’re a fan of Eli Roth. It’s much more than the first movie in terms of story, especially as we learn more and more about the Elite Hunting Club. There’s plenty of gore for the gorehounds [bloodhounds?] and the story is enough to keep you interested. In my opinion though, the ending of the movie is probably one of the best parts of it. I know this review has been really long, but bear with me for this last part. If it’s not already obvious, this is going to spoil the movie’s end:

Beth offers to buy her freedom with part of her large inheritance, except Sasha explains to her that she must kill somebody to leave, Beth [without a second thought] cuts off Stuart‘s balls and tosses them to one of the guard dogs; in that moment, Beth then orders Stuart to be left to bleed to death as he screams in pain. As per the standard Elite Hunting contract, Beth is given an Elite Hunting tattoo and is made an honorary member. Beth is told she is allowed to leave, but she is sternly ordered to keep silent about the organization for the rest of her life. In the final sequence, Axelle is lured from the village festival into the woods by The Bubblegum Gang, where the revenge-seeking Beth surprises and beheads her for leading her friends to their deaths. The film then ends on a shot of Axelle‘s decapitated body with The Bubblegum Gang dancing in the background and playing soccer with Axelle‘s severed head..


In summation, I really enjoyed Hostel: Part II [if you couldn’t already tell] – if not more so than Hostel. It’s gory, it’s violent, and it’s more than shock/torture porn. Sure, it has faults; but what movie these days doesn’t? Eli Roth created a world that makes viewers scared to leave the comfort of their own homes, because sometimes, the real monster is the guy [or girl] next door.

Then I turn to you. Have I convinced you to check out Hostel: Part II? If you already have seen it, what did you think about it? Worthwhile? Or completely a waste of time? Let me know in a comment or two! Also, even if I have the first few film reviews planned already, please let me know which movie[s] you want to see reviewed next! If you found yourself to enjoy review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as 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! Join me tomorrow when I post weirdo’ween #03STAY TUNED!

POP! goes the..head?

THANKS FOR READING.

because NOTHING is scarier than the loss of innocence: “WELP” / “CUB” [2014]

If you’ve been following warrenisweird for a while now, you should probably know that I receive “screener” copies of movies in the mail. One such screener I received recently was Welp – or in English – Cub: a movie I had been looking forward to since it was first announced through a crowd-funding campaign. Now, after finally getting a chance [after my first day at my new job, today] to sit down and watch this, I feel the need to talk about it – because this film is different than most foreign films I’ve watched lately; and I mean that in the best way possible!

Cub revolves around a 12 year old cub scout named Sam, a very over-imaginative child who has a ‘violent history’, and tends to get bullied by his fellow cub scouts. [and even the cub leaders!] The film revolves around Sam and his fellow scouts who are all out on a camping trip [during what seems to be the summer] when He decides to head off into the back woods to find something – or someone – he’s fairly convinced he will find in the wilderness: a monster- like boy that the scout leaders describe as “Kai“…and he does.

SPOILER-ALERT

[NOTE: just a little ‘badge’ that I will be posting in my reviews starting now – this way, people won’t complain when spoilers come up!]

The thing is, even the locals know to avoid the remote part of the woods where the Cubs set up camp, which the group is forced stay at after finding their [original] booked campsite occupied by some dirt bikers. Unbeknownst to them, they’ve landed in an area filled with sensors and booby traps operated from an underground lair by a sinister man known only as “The Poacher“, and watched under the watchful eye of the feral boy known as Kai.

The film does a great job of showing an effective build up that nicely gives us suspense, humor and sometimes; even homage to other horror films. It’s only after the build up that all hell breaks loose. Even though the film is a now-gory action flick and is well handled, it feels like everything we’ve come to learn about Kai, and his Poacher-like father figure, just get tossed out the window.. We never really find out what the deal is with the Poacher or his young protege, and even though we get a hint at Sam‘s troubled psychology, it isn’t developed enough to make much sense to us as a viewer..

Arguably my favorite thing about this movie though, is it’s lack of innocence. The film itself proves that it’s not all happy camping for the kids whatsoever, as proven by the kids fighting amongst themselves, the adult guardians flat out swear and even threaten the kids at times, and worst of all; one of the Scout Leaders beats one of the other kids! It’s a dark, moody atmosphere that truly makes you feel like the woods are dangerous, and I’m not just talking about Kai.

While it isn’t a perfect film, it’s still an enjoyable experience that every horror fan should at least look into – if only to say that they did. It’s a thrill ride that has decently made effects, and some surprises that will impress the average viewer – that ending may come as no surprise, but I finished the film with a sense of wonder. So watch Cub, it’s definitely something that has enough horror elements to keep even a seasoned horror fan satisfied! If this movie sounds like your kind of thing, check out the trailer for the movie at the end of this post, and a quick fun fact: in the movie, one of the Scout leader’s cellphone rings, when it does; it plays the theme from Suspiria as the ringtone!

if you found yourself to enjoy this film review, please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – only 15 more and we’ll have reached 130!] 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!

THANKS FOR READING.

in defense of Rob Zombie’s “The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto” [2009]

indefenseElSuperI always find it fascinating when an actor or a movie Director steps out of their comfort zone to try something new. A classic example that I think of is Martin Scorsese, who followed up the masterpiece that is Shutter Island with a film adaptation of the children’s book “The Invention Of Hugo Cabret.” [Hugo] Hugo wasn’t a bad movie at all, it’s just that it felt so much more different than what we came to expect from Scorsese. The same could be said for Rob Zombie: who was working on The Devil’s Rejects, which was violent, filled with gore and filled with inappropriate themes such as necrophilia; when he came up and started working with the concept/art for the animated movie we’re talking about today:The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto. When it was first released, it came with very mixed reviews: saying things like “it’s way too inappropriate” or “it’s not funny – it’s sick and perverse!” Some people even said it deserves an X-rating! Even fans of Zombie‘s work weren’t entirely happy, I remember reading some reviews saying it was disappointing..but I have to say otherwise – though, maybe I’m bias. As with most things I talk about, expect spoilers; because I really couldn’t say much if I didn’t spoil it. If you’ve seen the film, or you are perfectly fine with spoilers – we’re starting..right after the jump.


Let’s start from the beginning: the plot of The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto is completely different than what we’re used to from Rob Zombie; because instead of a murderous family, [The Fireflys] we find this film to be a comedic homage to horror, action and exploitation films…it’s also animated! The plot isn’t really anything special, but it revolves around a super-hero luchador, the titular El Superbeasto who, along with his sister Suzi X, must try to save the world from the evil Dr. Satan[but not this Dr. Satan] who plans to try and gain ultimate power by having sex with an swearing, big breasted stripper by the name of Velvet von Black.. Also, Nazi Zombies are in the film, because they can be. seriously. But you know what? I like it – it’s different, and the fact that it’s an animation makes the whole thing feel goofy, and I like that it isn’t trying to take itself too seriously, even the music is only there as a way to tell the audiences what is happening during that particular scene – It’s like it knows it’s a parody, but there’s one true reason I love this movie so much, what is that reason? If you’re curious enough, you should read on!

[note: the whole catfight scene – as seen here – is arguably one of the most entertaining bloodfests I’ve seen in a long time! The music during really sets the scene..]

The single greatest things about the film is that it includes [many] cameo appearances by many iconic horror figures including King Kong, Dracula, The Bride Of Frankenstein, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Michael Myers and The Creature From The Black Lagoon! Even Jack Torrence from The Shining makes an appearance! If that isn’t enough, we also see two very special characters from Zombie‘s previous work, House Of 1000 Corpses; Captain Spaulding and Otis B. Driftwood in the bar scene. [don’t believe me?] Zombie‘s wife, the [extremely] beautiful Sheri Moon Zombie also provides the voice for Suzi X. Also, while not strictly horror film, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto is notable for its genre casting, which includes many [voice] actors who have appeared in Rob Zombie‘s other works such as Ken Foree, Dee Wallace, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and even Danny Trejo! It really shows Rob‘s dedication to the genre of horror, placing them in his film[s] as an homage – which works really well! It feels like he’s paying them tribute, almost thanking them for being an inspiration!


I guess realistically though, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto isn’t the most fantastic film on the planet. It’s [really] good, and it’s a fun cult film to watch if you need something ‘scary, but not really scary’, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it my favorite Rob Zombie film, because that title still is held by The Devil’s Rejects. So now I turn to you, dear reader: have you watched El Superbeasto? If you have, what were your thoughts on it? Did you actually enjoy the film, like I did; or did you find it disappointing – like many fans of Rob Zombie? Let me know in a comment or two! Leave it to Rob Zombie to have a smokin’ hot blond hide out as a werewolf Nazi.. I mean, I’m confused how I feel about that!

Also, if you found yourself to enjoy this article/review, please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – thanks so much!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted; 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, [even if I have been busy lately – more on a later date!] 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!

As always, STAY WEIRD and:

THANKS FOR READING.

SPECIAL REVIEW: “THE SKY HAS FALLEN”

One of the perks about writing about horror films is that occasionally, film makers will send me copies of their film to review – it’s not a paid gig, and I don’t expect it to be: I do it for the sheer entertainment of it. Whether it’s horror or otherwise, I’m always up for watching something to help someone get noticed in the film industry. It’s generally by email [where I get contacted through my contact page] and I’m asked if I’m willing to do a review, which I’m not one to turn down. It’s kind of like when I wrote the last film study, I was requested to write my thoughts on the info-graph and without hesitation, [because I thought it was interesting] I jumped at the opportunity. Same goes for movies, I’m not against reviewing every film I can, it’s just a matter of if I can get to each [and every] one of them, and having time.

One such movie I was asked if I was willing to review was called The Sky Has Fallen, and the request to review was coming straight from the director/writer. I had never heard of such a film, but armed with the knowledge that it won “Best Horror Feature” at the Horror Freak Show Festival in 2009, and that the director insisted on only using practical effects; I was sold already. I looked into it a little, [not the trailer though, I wanted to go into the film blind] and found out it started out on Kickstarter, and already had a ton of people praising either the film, or the fact that Mr. Roos [the writer/director] was using practical effects, which one fan even called “a dying art” – which I must agree with. Roos also seemed to be a reader of warrenisweird, because he had mentioned in his email that he had read my thoughts on [bad] CGI, and even agreed with me! I was beyond excited for this film. With this excitement [and free time] ahead of me: I dove into the horror award winner, known only to me as: The Sky Has Fallen.

for an indie film – these effects are flawless.

The movie begins with telling us that the world has [more or less] ended, and that within a couple of hours, a new disease has wiped nearly the entirety of humankind. Trying to avoid this “infection”, people have started to evacuate cities, fleeing to remote locations such as back woods, or by the river. Some survivors have also claimed that they have been seeing mysterious black figures carrying away the dead and actually experimenting on them. Now, our two “heroes”: Lance and Rachel, are determined to fight back and plan on killing The Leader of these creatures before the rest of humanity disappears: for good. As you can tell from the above picture, the practical effects I was told about are beyond what I expected; with an almost Sam Raimi feeling attached to them. This is a great thing, as I’m a huge fan of the original Evil Dead trilogy, and Raimi is a practical effects master! [as far as I’m concerned] I would have loved to see more of the make up effects though, because as the creatures show up, you could tell that there was great effort put into the detail, but as soon as you want to get a clear look, the camera either looks away, or pans to another scene. If I had to make a constructive criticism on one thing though, it’d be that the back woods they were walking through could have used more scenery. By this, I just mean that most – if not all – the film takes place with just trees as background. If we saw maybe some survivor huts, or some sort of structures to add more to the feeling of moving forward; giving the characters a feeling of traveling further into the woodlands.

The other thing is the acting. Overall, it’s mediocre at best, but as a lower budget flick; I’m not overly surprised. The dialogue, however, is where I have a slight complaint. It’s just how the actors deliver their lines: they’re almost over-dramatic bursts.. This can be overlooked thanks to the special effects and the story, but it’s something that sometimes feels out of place at times. My absolute favorite thing about this film [besides the use of practical effects] is that the story was not fully explained. Although that can sometimes be a downfall – especially in the horror genre – I like that other than talk of: a plague, some zombie-like beings, horrible and violent deaths, and something weird happening to humanity. That’s really the only explanation we’re given. It’s strange and obscure, but we never really know what’s actually going on or even why these two “heroes” were immune to.. whatever this virus really is: It’s subtlety at it’s finest.

Ultimately thought, in an age films are filled with CGI – which I absolutely detest –  it’s so freeing to see that practical effects are still something people play with. It’s something we need more of, even if CGI can fix what practicality can’t, it’s the effort and the time that’s put into it that makes it feel so special. The Sky Has Fallen isn’t the most perfect film I’ve ever seen – but it’s great to look at visually, and for a low budget film; it’s brilliantly put together. It’s a great first [full length] film from Director Doug Roos, and I look forward to his next film[s] ! If you like zombies, swordplay, and violence – check out The Sky Has Fallen over here: it’s not free to watch, but it’s definitely a fun film to spend an hour and a bit on. Definitely Recommended.

If you found yourself to enjoy this review, please take a minute and follow me over on Facebook where you can click the “like” button on my Facebook page. By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share links and pictures that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps a ton, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with family and friends!

THANKS FOR READING.

FILM STUDY: why SCREAM [1996] is an important horror film

Ever since 1996, slasher film maker Wes Craven hasn’t made a movie like Scream. While not all of the movies were perfect, one thing is for certain: the movies certainly did flip the slasher movie genre around its head. Even today, the Scream franchise has had it’s influence on pop culture, and many different horror films. We haven’t seen a new film since Scream 4 which was back in 2011, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they decided to make a fifth. With MTV announcing that they will be making a TV series based on the films, I decided to re-watch the first in the series, and analyze why it’s such an important film in the horror genre as an whole. I even wrote up a Friday Fun Fact on the movie – which can be read here – because it’s so damn entertaining to watch!

besides the fact that the film is self-aware, Scream had been credited with revitalizing the horror genre in the late 90s by combining a typical slasher film with filled with humor, it’s awareness of horror film clichés and a fairly clever plot! While Scream was one of the highest grossing films of 1996 and became, and remains; the highest grossing slasher film in the world, its success was only matched by Scream 2, which not only broke box-office records at the time but also had some critics argue that it was actually a better film than the original. Unfortunately, Scream 3 ended up being considered worse [by many, including myself] than its predecessors, both critically and financially. Critics even were making comments that it had become the type of horror film Scream was making fun of in the first place.. It did however, receive some positive responses with claims that it was the perfect end to the film trilogy.. at least until Scream 4 came out..

Another important thing to note is that there has been a few films that tried to follow in the footsteps of Scream, including the ever famous I Know What You Did Last Summer [which would make sense, since it’s screenplay was written by the same guy] and surprisingly, Bride Of Chucky [considering it’s poster pretty well ripped off Scream 2, and it’s totally self-aware]

Being as we’re only talking about the first Scream film, one of the bigger twists that we, the viewers, learn was the fact that not only was Billy the killer, but Stu was one as well. [as seen above] This tends to raise question[s] like: who killed whom? Obviously, to make things less suspecting – one would stick around, while the other killed. To clear up confusion for first time viewers, I’ve made a list of the deaths [of characters] and who committed the kill, So hopefully, this helps clear the confusion.. If you don’t remember a name, be sure to click on the name of the individual to see the character in the film. Enjoy:


PHONE CALLS: There are three main phone calls in the film. The first is Casey‘s, the second is Sidney‘s, and the third is the one Sidney gets at Tatum‘s house. In the film, Billy and Stu are using a voice changer to disguise their voice which means it could have been either one of them at any time. But, if you look at the script, there originally was no voice changer. That wasn’t added in until later. In the original script, you find out at the end that it as Stu doing an impression the whole time, which means he did all of the calls. They probably changed it only because they were worried the audience would recognize Matthew Lillard [who played Stu], but that doesn’t change the fact that Kevin, the screenwriter, envisioned Stu making those calls. There’s other evidence, too. The cops checked Billy‘s phone records and found no calls to Casey or Sidney. And if Billy somehow did do the Sidney call, how come the cops couldn’t find a voice changer on him or at the scene? And because he didn’t have said voice changer in jail, he couldn’t have done the call to Tatum‘s house.

STEVE: First, lets get this out of the way. Both killers were there. Some say Stu couldn’t have been there because Tatum says Stu was with her that night, but what about what Randy said? “Was that before or after he SLICED and DICED?” We don’t know how long he was at Tatum‘s, which means Stu could have helped kill Casey and Steve and then went over to Tatum‘s, or he could have went to Tatum‘s first and THEN helped kill Casey and Steve. We already know he made the phone calls, but there’s also the fact that the killer gets around quickly in this scene, which Wes and Kevin explain in the commentary as they were needing more than one killer. So who killed Steve was probably Billy. Stu was on the phone, so Billy probably had more elbow room and free time. Plus, Steve is gutted practically as soon as the killer stops talking, which shows that there wouldn’t be enough time for Stu to make the kill.

CASEY: Kevin Williamson already confirmed on Twitter that it was Stu, and there’s enough evidence to support that., When Casey takes off the killer’s mask before being stabbed, there’s a big dramatic “she knows who it is” moment, and based on the fact that we know Casey used to date Stu. [which would explain why she was targeted in the first place]

SIDNEY’S ATTACK: Again, both were there, while Stu made the call. So who popped out of the closet? Look how fast the killer disappears and Billy appears – it couldn’t have been Billy. It had to be Stu. On a sidenote: Billy dropped the phone on purpose because he wanted to get arrested so the cops could find out he didn’t make the calls and he would be written off as a suspect. It’d also help guilt trip Sidney into sleeping with him. Not to mention, they were planning on killing Sidney on her mother’s anniversary, which wasn’t for another 2 days in-movie.

BATHROOM ATTACK: This one is difficult and also heavily debated. It couldn’t be Stu because Stu was wearing brown pants and the person in the bathroom was wearing dark blue washed jeans. This means it was either Billy or one of the pranksters. First off, when did they get in there? Sidney goes in, goes into the handicap stall, the two cheerleaders come out and leave, then Sidney comes out right after. No interruptions. So the person must have been waiting there the whole time. It raises the question of how could it be Billy when Sidney entered the bathroom in order to get away from him? This makes me believe it was probably one of the two pranksters. The following scene with the reporter seems to hint at this when she says “Many teens have been seen wearing scary masks..”

MR. HIMBRY’S DEATH: with Stu was outside inviting people to his party, Billy was the only one available to be the one killing Himbrey. quick, and easy.

BUSHES AND GROCERY STORE: Some assume this to be another prankster, but a prank usually involves someone popping out and going “BOO!”, so when the person in the bushes and in the grocery store was plainly stalking someone.. That’s not a prank. Therefore, I’d say it’s probably Billy again. Who knows? He was perhaps following Sidney around to see if she still suspected him.

TATUM’S DEATH: Stu was inside entertaining his guests, so it makes you wonder where was Billy? Isn’t it convenient that he doesn’t show up until right after Tatum‘s death? it can be inferred that Stu sent Tatum to get him a beer where Billy was waiting the whole time. They needed her out of the way so Billy could be alone with Sidney. “If Tatum sees you she’ll draw blood”, can also be taken as a dark, but humorous clue.

BILLY’S “DEATH”: Stu: Obviously.

BEHIND RANDY: Some say it’s Billy because actor Skeet Ulrich was the actor in costume while filming the scene, but that’s just because Skeet really wanted to wear it at some point. [whereas Matthew Lillard never got the chance to] This doesn’t mean the character is in costume, or else that’s like saying that Billy and Stu didn’t kill anybody and it was a stuntman the whole time. This makes it seem it was probably Stu. After Sidney got away he came downstairs after her, then that’s when he heard Randy talking to the TV.

KENNY’S DEATH: Probably Stu. It was also the same person that was behind Randy, which can be proven by the editing of the movie.

DEWEY STABBING/COP CAR SCENE: This one is also tricky. Let’s start with the order of events: Stu kills Kenny, Dewey and Gale come back from their walk, Dewey goes into the house, Gale crashes the van, and Dewey comes out of the house with the knife in his back followed by the killer. The stabbing could have been Stu, except for one thing: “I thought you said she was dead”. “She looked dead, man. Still does.” This means that Stu must have checked on Gale, but how could he have done so if he was in the house stabbing Dewey? He probably couldn’t even see the crash from in there, let alone check on her. So there’s the possibility that it was Billy. He heard Dewey calling names, got himself into costume, came down, and then stabbed him in the back. That’s when he saw Sidney, who was clearly terrorized her in the car while Stu was checking on Gale, then disappeared and found a way back upstairs while Randy and Stu were with Sidney. But that raises a question: when did Stu even tell Billy that Gale was dead, and how did he get back upstairs without anyone noticing? The most likely scenario is that the line was added in for a joke but wasn’t really thought out fully. If that’s the case, it was most likely Stu who did the stabbing.


Hopefully, the above list explains things a little better. It’s a complicated film in it’s own right, but it’s also very clever. Although the sequels weren’t all as good – the classic first film is probably my favorite. While I’m still a bigger fan boy of Wes Craven’s original film: A Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream is still just as good, making both cult classics within the horror genre! With the talks of a Scream TV Show, I’m both worried and excited – because now anything is fair game for Ghostface. Now I turn to you, the reader, do you like the SCREAM movies? If so, which sequel is your favorite? Let me know in a comment or two!

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