SAW

SAW: LEGACY [VIII] Plot Details Revealed?

sawviiiplot

Imagine with me for a moment: a film series that has lasted seven films, with the seventh being called “The Final Chapter”, but somehow; another sequel was on the way. Impossible? Not quite. At least, not for the SAW franchise, because sometime next year [presumably around Halloween] we are getting another sequel/addition to this seemingly never ending cycle of films. The question on everyone’s mind though is if it is a sequel, a reboot, or a continuation; because with a title like SAW: LEGACY, it does not tell us much. It is no surprise that rumors and secrets circle this film because this is not the first time I have written about this sequel, just look at the SAW VIII tag on warrenisweird but today, I have a new exciting development to add to this tag: plot details..At least, that’s what they are being called since we have zero knowledge about this new film as far as trailers/screenshots/anything.

According to sources, SAW: Legacy is going to begin with bodies turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely and gruesome end. [No doubt as a result of their “tests”] But as the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one man: John Kramer. But as fans know, this is impossible.. The man known as Jigsaw has been dead for over a decade[see SAW III] Could it be that another apprentice has begun his/her version of the works of Jigsaw, or perhaps even someone within the investigation? Before people start jumping on the bandwagon of [spoiler] Hoffman surviving the sequence at the end of The Final Chapter, it’s also noted that Costas Mandylor [who played Hoffman] or Cary Elwes [who played Doctor Gordon] will not be returning to play their respective characters, who [spoiler] both ended up becoming apprentices of Jigsaw in previous installments. As for the original Jigsaw, it is rumored that Tobin Bell will be back in some way, shape, or form. [Don’t be too surprised if it is only through flashback sequences]

hxn6ice

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am feeling the same way as most people in the horror community: just what the hell is SAW: LEGACY going to be about, and what could the story arc follow? Personally, I want to know what Doctor Gordon was doing after the end of the “Last” SAW film; but if he is not set to star in this film – it raises even more questions: is this “new” Jigsaw a copycat? A new apprentice? Another cop? Or maybe someone new we have yet to know anything about. Let me know who You think it could be in the comments below, and if You are not sure who to guess; let me know if You are looking forward to another SAW film!


As always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [we’re at over 170+ 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.

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 [usually] 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!

4rwswt0

THANKS FOR READING.

Advertisements

SAW-TOBER PART 07: SAW VII [2010]

sawtober7

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.

mw6la50

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..

nt8jrls

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!

dt22rvw

THANKS FOR READING.

SAW-TOBER PART 06: SAW VI [2009]

sawtober6

This is it everyone, the beginning of the end. With the second last SAW film we have more traps, more choices, and more death. I mean, what else could you expect with this series? Thankfully, today’s sequel – SAW VI isn’t all that bad. It does dive a bit further/continues John Kramer‘s background story though, so expect more flashbacks. In this sixth installment, the series gets political, decidedly pointing a finger at the health care system. As the movie shows us, Insurance Companies aren’t always fair, especially to those that cannot afford it. So are you ready to play a game? Let’s look at the “beginning of the end” in SAW VI – which starts right after SAW V.

John/Jigsaw’s latest “game” focuses on a man named William, a guy who seems to be a big deal at an Insurance Company. He is also the man who personally declined John the coverage necessary to try and find a cure for his cancer. [bad move there, William!] Before you jump to conclusions, this is not a personal attack; because it turns out that John isn’t the only individual William denied the chance to live. The way William sees it is by following a “formula” that takes into account a person’s health, age, history and everything.. except their will to live. [coincidentally, isn’t that what John looks for?] Not finding himself in line with Jigsaw’s “way of things”, and William suddenly finds himself at the center of a series of traps requiring him to decide whether someone else will survive or die.What makes this sequel interesting is that logically, William can hide behind his desk when it comes to Insurance, but in the world of SAW, William is forced to suffer the consequences of his actions by watching the denied die.. Damn Jigsaw, that’s pretty extreme, even for you!

Now before you ask how this is all possible, seeing as John died three movies ago, keep in mind that John is still the man with the [big] plan, but he isn’t the one putting it into motion. That job went to Detective Hoffman. Carrying out John’s dying wishes is a big deal, but Hoffman also has to keep an eye on the FBI agents who are getting dangerously close to uncovering his secret. [He still “works” for them at this point]

u2lvhe2
What makes SAW VI better than the last group of films is that also holds plenty of references to the previous films that will go completely over the unfamiliar watcher’s head, so if you fall under the “I haven’t watched many SAW films” category, your primary source of entertainment is what is going on with William, and holy damn can it get suspenseful.. Not only are the blood and guts flowing – as usual – but the traps that unleash the carnage will make you cringe. [just look at that breathing trap above!] The violence and brutality shown in the SAW movies is nothing new, but what makes the franchise stand out from the rest is the mind-boggling mental aspect. What would you do if you were in that situation? SAW is not about catching the audience off guard, it’s about knowing what is coming, which makes the circumstances of the “game” far more terrifying.

Now, it’s important to note that while I’m very familiar with the SAW movies – I’ve seen them all a multiple amount of times – in no sense do I consider myself a franchise expert. My knowledge of the smaller details are few and far between and my devotion to the series only comes with the fact that I tend to watch one [or more] SAW film during Halloween. I’m sure many would agree that none of the SAW movies compare to the genius of the first, so watching SAW has slowly become more of a leisure activity than a meaningful movie-going experience. However, with that being said, I do enjoy SAW VI very much. Without spoiling too much, fans will be glad to know that Tobin Bell is back as Jigsaw, as so is Shawnee Smith, as Amanda, who has a major secret to share. This is refreshing after Jigsaw being almost entirely absent in the fifth film.

xul4fjk

SAW VI is far from perfect and not nearly as good as the first film, but writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton put together a tight script, especially compared to their work on the fourth and fifth films. The story is wonderfully written into the overall story, the traps [like the carousal trap above] are unique again, [finally!] and Hoffman is still a badass – though I still dislike him. These elements will help pull in the fans led astray by the “not so good” films from before, and also bring in new recruits to join in on the bloody fun that is SAW. The flashbacks and other elements from the series are enough to impress the devoted fans but they also don’t detract from the general pace of the film. This is nice because it allows novices to the franchise to get a satisfying horror film as well. So basically, watch this if you enjoy the series as a whole, because if you don’t have a desire to see victims ripped limb-from-limb, cut in half and watch their insides spill out onto the floor, you should probably avoid SAW VI at all costs.. The other real complaint I have is that once again, you can expect a HUGE cliffhanger.

HOW WILL THIS FRANCHISE “END” ? JOIN ME TOMORROW WHEN WE COMPLETE SAW-TOBER WITH #07: SAW VII: THE FINAL CHAPTER!

Now I turn to You – the reader. Are you like me and enjoy SAW VI? What about Hoffman? Is he a worthy successor to John, or just a regular 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!

uqzvpow

THANKS FOR READING.

SAW-TOBER PART 05: SAW V [2008]

sawtober5

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..

2rwbfnm

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!

ndygufh

THANKS FOR READING.

SAW-TOBER PART 04: SAW IV [2007]

sawtober4

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.

lcteczx

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..

aw7nqe6

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.

0jxwfht

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]

sawtober2

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.

fypoc8g

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..

1ml0yfx

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.

tfmjy7m

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]

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.

 

IF IT’S HALLOWEEN, IT MUST BE SAW: LEGACY [“Saw VIII” Release Date!]

SAWVIII2

A while ago [as in “February 2nd, 2016 while ago”] I wrote about how it seemed that Saw VIII was going into production under the name Saw: Legacy[There’s already an IMDb page set up for it!] The thing is though, we know nothing about it: Could it be is it a sequel? Maybe a reboot, or some kind of spin-off, and while we – the heavyhearted fans – wait for more information to be released, we do at least have an official release date; and I’m telling you, it’s a familiar one.

“If it’s Halloween, it must be Saw.” Sound familiar? It should, because for many years, the Saw franchise released a new sequel every year around Halloween – to the point of it becoming a tradition, so with the new film coming our way October 27th, 2017: just four days before next Halloween feels pretty right to us horror fans. It feels like it’s welcoming the franchise home, and I like that feeling. a lot. This news comes to us from Movie Pilot, who says that IATSE 873 – a technical union based in Toronto – posted a notice about Saw: Legacy, and that it will be filming from September 12th through October 21st 2017. From the union’s forms, we can see that Dan Heffner and Oren Koules [who have been on board for all the previous installments of Saw to date] are listed as producers. A Director though, hasn’t been chosen yet, but all in due time.

f2c2fuu1

[I quite enjoy the fact that the company is “Tricycle Productions“]

Last we heard, Lionsgate hired Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger to write up the screenplay, and series co-creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell will, naturally, be returning to produce the new film. It’s pretty crazy to consider that it’s already been six years since we had our last Saw experience in a theater with the less than perfect Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. With this upcoming October marking the 10th anniversary of Saw III, it seems appropriate to revisit Saw: Legacy, especially now since some exciting news has come up. Not only is the film actually happening; it’s happening a lot sooner than we might have initially thought. So I guess what I’m really trying to say is, whether or not you want it to happen, we are getting [yet another] Saw film! I’m personally both excited and nervous, because The “Final” Chapter – as I mentioned slightly above – wasn’t my favorite in the franchise [and definitely wasn’t the best way to “end” a series..] but I’m skeptical – I just don’t want this to be another case of sequelitis..even if it feels like it already has.. But could this film be the “true” end? What do you think about having a new Saw films come to theaters, let alone so quickly?

As always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute 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.

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!

8zhdfr6

God I’ve missed you, Billy

THANKS FOR READING.

Deja Vu? Lionsgate OFFICIALLY begins Development on SAW VIII

SAWVIIILEGACY

If you’re a regular on warrenisweird, you’re probably feeling like we’ve talked about this before; and that’s because we have. Back in mid January, I talked about how Saw VIII was still possible, and now The Tracking Board has confirmed that Lionsgate is working on another sequel..and it’s official title is “Saw: Legacy“. This.. could mean anything. Remember, for fans of the series, Jigsaw‘s games came to a “close” with 2010’s Saw 3D [sometimes titledSaw: The Final Chapter”], which was considered the end of the franchise.. But if you remember, the final scene set up a world that could easily be expanded; especially because this “finale” didn’t answer all the questions that we were given. Considering Lionsgate hasn’t made a new Saw film in over six years, it’s clear that they took the time to take a breather from the series. I, along with countless other fans have talked abut the seventh Saw wasn’t…couldn’t… be the end, and as proof; the studio has even considered remaking Wan and Whannell’s original film – which is often called one of the most important horror films of all time. [or at the very least, of it‘s time]

The only weird part of all this is who is writing the story. It isn’t Wan or Whannell, or even one of the writers of the many sequels.. it’s actually going to be Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger – who we know as the guys behind Sorority Row, Piranha 3D and Piranha 3DD! Naturally though – being as it’s their characters/original story-line – James Wan will executive produce this “new chapter” with Leigh Whannell at his side.

8s3p0ko

I always thought this ending was a cop-out – there’s no way it was the “finale”..

One of the things I always found most interesting about the Saw series is that it was meant to tell a single story across all the sequels. I mean, sure, it may have ended up a complex, and wild web of flashbacks, but at least it wasn’t just the same story over and over with a different cast every time. It did try to follow one big story and The Final Chapter did leave threads hanging for possible future contributions. At this point and time though, there’s no sense trying to guess at what Saw: Legacy will be, or what it’s trying to accomplish. Will it be a continuation? A reboot? Maybe a prequel showing John Kramer becoming Jigsaw? Nobody’s saying anything. But one thing’s pretty much certain: there will be blood.

I’m very curious what they’re going to with the franchise. I used to love the fact that every Halloween meant another Saw film, and now I feel they’ve been bled dry. [haha…sorry] But, seeing as they waited six years, and didn’t just churn out another film just to say they did, I’m thinking pretty positive..so far. Obviously, there’s no trailer, details, or even pictures that have surfaced [this news only became public in the last day] So, the next we’ll see a movie from James Wan will be The Conjuring 2, [June 10th, 2016] which I’m actually fairly excited for! But enough about me. What do You thing about yet another Saw film? Is this something that you’ve been hoping for? If so, what do you think is going to happen – a prequel? Sequel? Or maybe a reboot? Let me know in the comments below!

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!

ncyjgxp

THANKS FOR READING.

FILM STUDY: Is SAW VIII still a possibility?

SAWVIIIAs you’ve probably caught onto while reading things I write on here, I’m a fairly regular reader over on IMDb. [I often tag a movie I mention with their IMDb page] When not using their pages for posts on here, I enjoy looking up movie trivia, and even sometimes even reading [and commenting] in the forums. But when looking up a few behind the scene features on the Saw franchise [I actually do this a lot, for many movies] about the traps, something caught my eye: in the section that tells a reader what other movies they may like, [based on the movie page they’re currently on] I saw something.. something titled ” Saw VIII ” with a tag line stating “ARE YOU WORTHY?” . Wait. Seriously? Yes – Seriously. [here’s the IMDb official page for it!] I started doing some research on it, and naturally, various rumors and a lot of fake trailers for a “Saw 8″ have made appearances on YouTube and even message boards. But going back, to IMDb, it looks as if it was added a while ago, with the original writers [Leigh Whannel and James Wan] and Tobin Bell, who plays the John Kramer himself, have been added to the cast and crew section. Curious, I dug deeper. Eventually, I came across on the 31st of March 2015, Lionsgate uploaded an image from SAW V onto it’s Facebook page, seemingly without out of no where. Not just any picture – this picture. But trust me, it gets better. As expected, people went crazy over this picture, as proven by it’s nearly 10,000 likes. In one comment, someone [who’s has been whited out for obvious privacy reasons] says “So let the games continue!” and how does Lionsgate reply?

9rgp8kt

Of course, other than this reply, [which, in all honesty: could mean anything] not much is known about this ‘sequel’ other than Tobin Bell, Whannel and Wan are back. Another possible hint as to another film showed up a few months later, in May 2015, when a site called Release Date Portal put up an article titled ‘Saw 8 Release Date June 2016‘. The article isn’t really anything special, and it doesn’t confirm anything, but it does include some interesting quotes from producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules about their plans for making another Saw film, and about bringing the original writers back on board:


 James and Leigh…when Saw came out they were so afraid of being ‘the Saw guys’ and they were trying to make their own mark. Now that they’ve made their own mark, they’re very comfortable to come back. It’s one of the reasons we agreed to do this again…Our goal is to go to Comic-Con, not next summer but the summer after [ by this point, they would have meant 2016] with our heads up saying, ‘Alright. Here we go!’ “


Realistically, this would mark the first time a SAW film hasn’t come out a year after it’s previous sequel. Speaking of that last sequel, by the end of [the terrible] Saw 3D, we see Cary ElwesDr. Lawrence Gordon putting Hoffman – as played by Costas Mandylor – in the original film’s bathroom trap. For a lot of fans, myself included, the final SAW movie was kind of bland; and almost a cop out for the series. What happened to Hoffman when he got locked in the bathroom? It’s implied that he dies in there, but does he? This is only one of many questions that “the final chapter” left for viewers, and if we’re being honest: we need at least some of those questions answered. Mainly being, does Gordon become the next Jigsaw? It’s not like he can just shrug off what he’s done, and go back to a normal life..

uxaksfi

So the question[s] remain: Do YOU think SAW VIII is really a necessity – Why or why not? Also, if we do get an eighth installment in this series, what do YOU expect to happen? Let me know in the comments below! As for myself, I’m curious, but I’m glad that they’ve waited longer than a year to make this. Maybe they’ll have a fantastic story..at least better than “the final chapter” which no one likes to talk about..

As always, 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 130+ 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!

pkhfafh

THANKS FOR READING.