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SAW: LEGACY [VIII] Plot Details Revealed?

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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]

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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!

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THANKS FOR READING.

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SAW-TOBER PART 06: SAW VI [2009]

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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]

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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.

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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!

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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 03: SAW III [2006]

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Welcome back to SAW-TOBER – the series when I review each and every film in the SAW franchise, in order, and share my thoughts! Today’s edition? SAW III! Was it good? Well, it was certainly better than it’s predecessors, but it still wasn’t “great” by any means.. Remember how SAW II ended on a cliff hanger? [I didn’t mention that yesterday? whoops. It does. Moving on..] This sequel opens up where the second left off – and the first began – we see Detective Matthews chained up in the infamous bathroom with a handsaw and a choice. In a move that could be considered dumb and smart, Matthews cleverly “solves” his problem by breaking his own foot and thus the title screen flashes. The story leaves Matthews in favor of several horrible deaths that aren’t necessary to the plot, until at least 30 minutes into the film. In short, Jigsaw is now on his death bed and apprentice Amanda, remember her?, kidnaps a brain surgeon and forces her to keep Jigsaw alive to watch his latest game. The script then begins to have problems explaining the differences between Jigsaw’s struggle to survive, his latest victim’s progress through a new “game” and [of course] flashbacks; which are there as an attempt to fill in the plot holes of the last two movies.

Let’s stop right there for a minute. The SAW franchise has already become based on creative devices/traps of death and less about the originality of the first film. Because of this, SAW III loses sight of what made the first SAW good: the simplicity of chaining two people in a room with only a handsaw and the tension; created from wondering if they will, in fact, cut through their own legs for “a greater good.” Originally, Jigsaw’s lesson-driven murders were a nice side to the hyperviolence; but as the SAW series continues, the traps become more and more extreme. While they’re visually appealing to a horror fan, it’s the fact that it’s taking away the point of why John does what he does best.. Sorry, had to get that off my chest – let’s continue, shall we?

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SAW III follows Lynn‘s – the brain surgeon – “game” which consists of her trying to keep John alive through a harrowing brain surgery. If she doesn’t, the explosive collar that Amanda has locked around her neck – which is connected to his heart-rate monitor – will go off, causing her to [literally] lose her head. Meanwhile, we also have Jeff, the subject of Jigsaw‘s final test, who has to participate in a series of grotesque challenges in the dark reaches of the killer’s torture-chamber “facility.” But Why? What did Jeff do? Well, according to Jigsaw, it’s in order to give Jeff the opportunity to either get back at or forgive a series of individuals who were involved in his young son’s accidental death [he was hit by a car] years earlier. Because Jigsaw is dying, Amanda oversees Jeff‘s misfortunes on a TV screen.

What I did like about this sequel is that Jigsaw puts a lot of emphasis on forgiveness. Just like he did in the first two movies, he seems to claim that the reason he tortures people and makes them face death is to teach them how to “live again.” He insists that he wants them to forgive those who have wronged them [including himself] in order to regain their joy for living.What he seems to forget, is to mention that most – if not all – these “subjects” die trying. Thanks, Jigsaw. In one of the “challenges”, we see a judge who sacrifices his own life to try to save the life of a stranger. Before he dies though, we hear him instruct Jeff, “Vengeance never solves anything. It only makes the pain greater.” We also see – whether it’s because she desires to do so or she’s afraid for her own life – Lynn is willing to do everything possible to give the medical attention to Jigsaw that he so badly needs. These brief [but important] scenes hint to the fact that the two are wanting to forgive – even if it is difficult.

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In summation, SAW III continues the tradition of nearly every horror sequel in the genre: it attempts to further their [decent] storytelling by increasing the body count; and like any true horror sequel, it – once again – leaves an opening for another follow up featuring a villain who just won’t die.. even though he does die at the end of this film. As the television previews say loud and proud: “If it’s Halloween, it has to be Saw” and coming from a fan of the series as a whole – that doesn’t mean you should keep making them.

Now I turn to You – the reader. Are You a fan of the SAW III? Or should it have ended after the first movie? 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 REVISIT AND REVIEW ANOTHER SEQUEL IN THIS FRANCHISE: SAW IV. I ACTUALLY ENJOYED SOME ASPECTS OF THIS ONE!

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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.

 

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?

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!

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God I’ve missed you, Billy

THANKS FOR READING.

Deja Vu? Lionsgate OFFICIALLY begins Development on SAW VIII

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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.

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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!

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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.