sequels

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

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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.

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[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?

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God I’ve missed you, Billy

THANKS FOR READING.

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film study: SEQUELITIS – the SAW movies.

Have you ever noticed in movies that when it comes time to write/make a sequel [or six], the films – as a whole – tend to become progressively worse than the one before it? I have. many times. As it turns out, there’s actually a word for that: sequelitis. As described by TVTROPES, sequelitis is when the number of films in a series grows, the higher the probability that the latest entry will be terrible. This makes sense if you think back to older films that had their share of many sequels: such as the Puppet Master films, Friday The 13th, and even A Nightmare On Elm Street – even if that last one and it’s sequels have a special place in my heart. In other words, sequels to movies, generally created on the hopes of box office revenue, are rarely as good as the movie they’re an actual sequel to. If there’s an attempt at a third installment as well, this will also [usually] mark a sharp downhill spike, even if the second movie turned out “all right”. I won’t even get into Direct-To-Video sequels, cause that screams ‘bound to be garbage’ [ahem! Hostel: Part III, cough] Today though, we’re going to be talking about yet another series that although I love[d] them as a whole, they really did get worse as the series went on. If you know me in real life, you’d know that I’m, of course, talking about Saw [and it’s many sequels]

the SAW films: ranked from 'best' to worse' as per Rotten Tomatoes

the SAW films: and their ‘freshness’ as per Rotten Tomatoes


Look at the picture above. Notice how the first Saw film was 48% fresh, but it’s sequel: Saw II,  had a  ‘freshness’ of 36%? That’s almost 10% of a difference already, already showing us that the second film wasn’t as good as the first! [granted, these films aren’t exactly everyone‘s cup of tea] By the time a third SAW film appeared on screen, we’ve dropped yet another 10% in popularity amongst the films. I mean, you’d think that’s where they’d stop..right? Except, this is where it gets kind of tricky though because the series was supposed to end at the third film, which could make sense if you’ve seen the films. But when Lionsgate began to notice just how much money Saw was bringing them in, they demanded that the script to Saw III be changed immensely to allow even more SAW movies to be made.. Obviously, this falls on the fault of “Executive Meddling” – which essentially means that these films started to get worse, because of executive decisions beyond our control.

It’s kind of unfortunate that the Saw films fell into such a death-trap though, [see what I did there?] because I actually enjoyed them – at the very least, for the story of John Kramer and the traps. The Final Chapter, which didn’t feel very “final” at all, ended up with 09% freshness, which is beyond saving.. Even if I have a terrible habit of trying to find something good with every film I watch; that score is fitting. The Final Chapter hurt to watch. [it very well could have been a trap of it’s own]i It didn’t even clear everything up, which it’s promotional teasers claimed it would. [it’s final moments/ending only really made sense if you watched the film with the commentary on]

“well, let’s see: do I want more SAW movies or no? can I think it over first?”

With news and confirmations of an eighth Saw film coming as soon as Halloween 2015, [groan*] I’m both guilty of being excited and overly nervous for what’s to come. With the last film in the series being such garbage, received badly by critics and fans alike, I don’t see why they feel the need to keep pushing with more. If this new sequel is as bad as I’m predicting it will be, I’m hoping Lionsgate comes to realize that more does not always mean better. But now I turn to you readers: how do you feel about the Saw films? Were they masterpieces of horror [I mean, they are the highest grossing horror franchise made] or something that should have ended after part three? Let me know in a comment or two down below.

Also, if you found yourself to enjoy this piece, 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.  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.

sorry everyone: I DON’T think HOSTEL is just violence!

HostelJustGore Oh, Hostel series. You really got people talking, don’t you? Even after 10 years of your initial release, people still mention how you’re insignificant amongst the others in the horror scene. But I don’t. I actually think you have a special place in this wide world of fear; making people think you’re only good for one thing: blood, and violence. But are you really just a mindless blood-bath? That’s what I’m going to be talking about: because I don’t like to believe what I’m hearing.

In the case of the Hostel films, I only tend to hear about it’s cringe-worthiness or even complaints that the series is part of a sub-genre of horror known as torture porn. According to Urban Dictionary, the term ‘torture porn’ was a term coined by various film critics who felt [and still feel] that the current trend in horror Hollywood consists of having no plot whatsoever but instead, we the viewers get gratuitous graphic imagery of people having body parts removed, from legs, heads to even genitalia; torture porn is definitely a sub-genre that doesn’t fit everyone‘s bill. The most common films that fall under this category are the SAW films [which I’ve talked about on here a dozen times] and, the reason why I’m talking about them, the Hostel trilogy. Now, I am a fairly large fan of both series, [so I might come across as bias] but I will admit that the later SAW films [more so SAW IV and onward] did fit the stereotypical torture porn category, but part of me is not so convinced that the Hostel films do.

In the first film, we learn of three backpackers: Paxton, Josh, and Oli who all decide to head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their male chauvinistic expectations, with no idea of the hellish tortures that await them when they arrive. Within my first viewing, I fell into the thought process that everyone else had: that it was just a g0re-fest for the sake of filming a gore-fest. But was it really? Let’s delve a little deeper into the film, and for that reason – I’m going to issue a fair-sized spoiler warning.


For this particular argument, I’m only using one point: the plot.. or more importantly, the EHC. Whether you agree or not, the movies do far more than just show blood, guts and everything in between; they actually has a genuine story attached.I mean, yeah; we have the bullshit about the three guys wanting – and succeeding – to sleep with Natalya and Svetlana [and I mean who wouldn’t?] but the real thing I find the most intriguing is the Elite Hunting club. [it’s funny cause their club’s logo is a dog: and that dog is a blood hound..get it?] This “club” and it’s “members” are super important not only because they are our main villain, [they are just as important in the sequels!] but because of what – or who – they really are: extremely fucked up individuals.

writer’s note: this is the part where I take a deep breath, cause this is going to be a long winded piece of writing..

According to Hostel and Hostel: Part II, this “club” had used a hostel in Slovakia. In this “hostel”, the “players” [who ultimately become victims] check in and give their passport to the desk clerk who then uploads the images to the EHC website. From the moment the photos are placed online, the members can start bidding actual cash on their victims of choice. The highest bidder gets the victim. [sort of like a fucked up eBay?] The catch is, that the member [sometimes more than one] have to travel to Slovakia to claim their prize. If they can’t make it to Slovakia, they lose their chance and the other members get a second chance to bid! Once arrived, the organization provides the client with the best services in a hotel while the organization takes care of the rest [kidnapping the victims, placing them in a underground bunker, standard stuff]. Once kidnapped, the members are told and they can head out, and go to the location of the facility. There, they choose the “tools of the trade” that they wish to use to torture their victim they just “bought”. Then when they’re officially ready to begin, they are dressed up. [quite professionally, might I add] Mostly does the torturers wear standard orange jumpsuits, leather caps and a leather apron [as seen worn by Stewart and Todd] but in Hostel: Part 2, we see a female EHC member who wears only maroon cloak, but, she eventually removes that goes completely nude. [check that out here! NSFW] If desired, the member can even choose how their victim is dressed, if they are chained in a chair, laying on a stretcher or even chained on a crucifix!

Like any other organization, the EHC has rules to follow: [in this case, two rules] no one leaves without killing and no one leaves with being a member or becoming a member of the organization. The last rule is only for the rich victims because you need money in order to become a member. In the event that a victim escapes without becoming a member, he/she will be hunted down and eventually: decapitated. His or her head will become a trophy for Sasha – the head boss of the organization. Interestingly enough, in Hostel: Part III, we learn that the EHC also have a facility in Las Vegas. [which makes sense, cause Part 2 taught us that the EHC is a world wide phenomenon] like before, they use a hostel to attract victims, sending them to room 9. The concept of this facility is slightly different, though.. complete in style of Las Vegas, the members now bet on how a victim will be killed. They look in from behind a glass window while the victim is tortured and if desired, they can participate in this ‘game’ with the Wheel Of Misfortune. [which I feel is a really lame name for a torture ploy]

According to Eli Roth himself, the films weren’t intended to be mindless violence. Hostel is supposed to be about how Americans view the world and how they tend to behave towards other countries- thinking the world is their playground and that they are untouchable. Remember the scene at the beginning of Hostel where the guy gets the characters to go to Slovakia by simply claiming its a war-torn country with absolutely no women? Anyone with knowledge of Eastern/Central European history would know that isn’t true at all! In short, the film is meant to come off as a huge joke about how Americans view the world around them. As for Hostel: Part 2, it’s about the “corporate killing” mentality. Now, obviously, we can argue that Roth’s intentions were not executed as well as he may have hoped, [that, or they were so buried by the gore that they’re difficult to recognize] but the point is Hostel, and it’s sequels, have some intentional social commentary. As long as one takes the time to look.


In the end, I feel that the Hostel films can be considered a bit more than just “gore for the sake of gore”. I mean, there is a significant amount of blood and gore, but The Elite Hunting Club is far more interesting than people give it credit for. Unfortunately, I’m only a fan of the first two Hostel films. I gave the third one a watch [it is on Netflix] and it greatly disappointed me: especially when it took the second film’s cliffhanger, and threw it out the window. [maybe just ignore Part 3..] The films are entertaining, more-so if you’re a horror fan, just don’t buy into them being “just torture porn”. Cause they’re really not..

THANKS FOR READING.

[also – a fun fact: according Eli Roth, he got the idea for the film after getting email about an organization who claimed to sell people to rich western men and women to let them shoot at them with real guns. this email claimed that would happen in Thailand]

warrenisweird’s top 07 SAW traps

“I’m not that bad..I’m just misunderstood”

This is going to be a long one.. okay, here. we. go! My love for the SAW series is  a fairly complicated one. I enjoy them immensely but like many things, it comes with a price: the loss of story-telling, for the sake of a gratuitous gore-fest. The one thing that did keep my interest the whole series [SAW to SAW: THE FINAL CHAPTER] was, as expected, the traps. In this list, I’m going to share my top 07 traps: one from each film. no repeated films. in chronological order. [from the first film to the last] To make this a bit easier, the traps will be from the films, there will be no traps from the two video games. However, it’s not as simple as choosing seven random traps, if we are to truly “see as he sees”, we must understand the six different kinds of traps [which have also been called “tests” or “games”] that our friend, Jigsaw has set in motion for us. so with all that in mind, do you want to play a game? be mindful of spoilers, cause they’ll be all over the place.

  • Standard Traps – these are usually devices [or situations] applied to a victim [or victims], with the intent of causing serious bodily harm or even death if not removed by completing a given task within a specified time period. There are some traps, however, that are impossible to escape from [such as Amanda‘s inescapable traps.]
  • Competition Traps – these traps tend to involve two [or sometimes more] victims who can each individually pass their own specific test, but the catch is the other victim’s have to fail.
  • Tests – these “games” involve a victim being given a set “rules” or a specific task. [usually told by a tape or by Billy] The outcome of the test is decided based on whether or not the victim follows the “rules” they were given and wins, or if they break  them and ultimately loses. “Losing” generally ends with death of the victim or some other major sort of loss such as suffering serious injuries or even causing the deaths of loved ones.
  • Trials – A series of tests or traps that the subject[s] must face [as opposed to a Standard Trap which only involves a single test] with the intent of “testing” the victim’s psychological progress from the beginning of the film up until the Final test. [see below]
  • Final Tests – The last test in a series of Trials. This “final test” ends in a final decision that is designed to directly relate to and put to use what the victim has [hopefully] learned from each of their trials leading up to this moment.
  • Security Traps – Plain and simple, these traps are designed to put a stop to the progress of the victims and to prevent them from continuing on their path. Sometimes, Security Traps are put in use to protect Jigsaw from police or other intruders.

Hope you took your notes cause with all that in mind, let’s start the list of the top seven SAW traps: for the curious, I will also include a YouTube link to a clip from that specific film’s trap. Enjoy!


REVERSE BEAR TRAP – SAW:

Starting off with a classic, Amanda Young woke up strapped to a chair, in a darkly lit room, with a fair sized metal device locked into her mouth. A video tape showing Billy and the voice of Jigsaw explained that the device on her head was hooked into her upper and lower jaw, and when activated, she would have only sixty seconds to unlock it.. If she failed, it would rip her jaw apart, killing her instantly. If she wanted the key to remove the trap, she would need to get a key..which was kept in the stomach of Amanda’s drug dealer, Donnie Greco, who was lying across the room. When Amanda moved, to remove her restraints, she accidentally activated the timer on the trap. With no other options available, Amanda took a scalpel next to him and willingly cut through his stomach, in order to retrieve the key and freed herself from the trap with a singular second to spare. In the end, Billy rides out on a tricycle, and congratulates her on her survival.


THE NEEDLE PIT SAW II:

Easily one of the more cringe worthy SAW situations: This trap involved a pit found in the middle of a room filled with used syringes. a locked door in the room contained an antidote and was set on a four minute timer; if the timer ran out of time, the door would remain locked forever. The idea was that the victim would have to jump into the pit of needles to find a key to unlock the door. The key was attached to a glow stick hidden among the syringes. [needle in a haystack] The trap was intended for Xavier, [even the tape mentioned him by name] but instead he tossed Amanda into it as he refused to do it. After Amanda found the key, she passed it to Xavier. However, just when Xavier was about to open the door, he dropped the key, ultimately locking the door.


THE ICE MAIDEN – SAW III:

Danica Scott was found chained by her arms in a walk-in freezer, where she was stripped completely naked and had her body sprayed with ice water from twelve different hoses, each of which were linked along two vertical poles on both sides of her. Jeff was forced to decide whether to assist her or let her freeze to death in the freezer room, since Danica was the only witness to the accident which killed Jeff‘s son. [since she fled the scene of the accident and refused to testify against the man responsible] After Danica begged for her life and apologized to Jeff, she was able to convince him to try to save her although it seemed it was very unlikely at first. Jeff‘s task was to find and get the key that would unlock Danica‘s chains, as well as the door which would lead to the next room so the two of them could escape the Freezer Room. The key was found hanging on a chain behind a wall of frozen pipes, just barely out of Jeff‘s reach and the only way he was able to retrieve the key was by leaning enough on the pipes with his face to press against the pipes, causing the flesh off his cheek to stick to it. Grabbing the key, Jeff pulled back, tearing away the flesh from his cheek; but by the time Jeff had obtained the key to free her, Danica had frozen solid, becoming completely frozen in ice.


THE KNIFE CHAIR – SAW IV:

A drug addict named Cecil was placed in what was revealed to be Jigsaw‘s first created trap. He woke up with his arms bound to the armrests of a wooden chair, with blades stabbing upwards, right into his forearms. There was also a panel at the same level as Cecil‘s face which was connected to the arm restraints. Pushing forward would therefore, release the restraints and free him. Jigsaw, who stood by watching, applied a huge apparatus to the chair, consisting of eight blades surrounding Cecil‘s head. Jigsaw then instructed Cecil what to do, telling him that if he was to release himself from the chair, he had to force his face through the blades to push the panel, matching his “internal ugliness” by slashing his face. Cecil, after sitting and screaming for help, finally began pushing his face through the knives while Jigsaw watched. however, before Cecil could complete the test, the wooden chair broke. Standing up with the restraints still dug into his arms, Cecil threatened John, and lunged at him. when Jigsaw swiftly side-stepped, Cecil fell into a pile of hanging razor wire where Jigsaw watched, and left him to die.


TEN PINTS OF SACRIFICE – SAW V:

Brit and Mallick entered the final room of the film – making it their final trap. There were five saws inside five compartments, each with a hole large enough to insert a victim’s arm. The victims were told that they were to insert their hands into the saw-holes [if that makes sense] and sacrifice enough blood to fill a single ten-pint jaw connected to each of the five compartments, which would, in turn, open the door to their freedom and save them from the mounted nail bombs [which were scattered around the room]. The two eventually realized that the original five “test subjects” could have survived each test, had the team cooperated instead of working towards their own individual interests. Since they were stuck in this situation, Brit and Mallick went ahead and inserted their hands into two of the saw-holes, eventually losing half their bodies’ amount of blood [rather than the initial two per victim], resulting in their forearms being sawed directly in half, ending with both passed out from the blood loss.


DON’T BREATHE – SAW VI:

William and the company’s janitor, Hank, wake up in a [fair sized] device, with a breathing mask on each of their faces. Not understanding, they are told that every time one of them takes a breath, the device on them will close in on their stomach. William tells Hank to hold his breath but considering Hank is a smoker, he keeps taking breaths until ultimately, he loses and the clamps close in all the way, which ends with popping his insides almost instantly; allowing William to escape the trap.


SPEAK NO EVIL – SAW THE FINAL CHAPTER:

when Bobby enters one of the rooms, he finds his publicist Nina: restrained in a reclined chair, wearing a straight-jacket with her chin angled towards the ceiling. we see four metal rods attached to a metal machine which is surrounding her, pointed towards her clearly opened neck and with string hanging out of her mouth. Bobby is instructed that he must pull out a key that is attached to a fishing hook which is resting in her stomach, through her mouth within a sixty seconds in order to unlock her bindings or the rods would slowly penetrate her throat. It’s not as simple as that though, because when ever either of them make a noise reaching a certain decibel level, the noise detector beside them would cause the spikes to advance forward, moving them closer, [and closer] threatening Nina more so. Bobby makes numerous attempts to pull the fishing hook out through her mouth, but is forced to stop and quiet her each time she screams. [I mean, damn; I’d just admit defeat at this rate] By the end of it, Bobby actually gets the flesh covered key, but unfortunately, Nina is killed because Bobby was unable to reach the lock in time.


remember which movie this trap came from? sound off below!

So that marks seven traps for seven SAW films, obviously there are a fuck-ton more traps I could have chosen, but I feel that each of the following fits the atmosphere of each film. Do you agree with my choices? What are your top 07 SAW traps? let me know in a comment or two! also, find me on Facebook! thanks for sticking with me through this super long post and as always,

THANKS FOR READING.