Saturday, October 27, 2012
The Saw Saga (2004-2010)
I've spent the last couple of days watching every Saw-movie again. Why? Just because I could and I kinda liked them. So here's my comments after each one, written directly after I saw each one of them.
Saw, now a classic in the horror genre, and also a thriller that holds up very well. It feels fresh and unique, even after six sequels and countless rip-off's. Leigh Whannell's script (after a story by him and James Wan) plays a perfect game of thriller ping-pong, keeping the mystery intact to the very end. I remember how the twist made me jump, and I still think it's a good one - even if it feels less logical the more I analyze it. Interesting is also how cheap it looks. It's first now I can see clearly how everything is shot in one house, inside, with quick production design and not always thought-through direction. But still damn good.
I find SawII quite intriguing. Maybe it was just luck that this sequel wasn't based on an original Saw-script? There's something that differs the one from the first, something more than just a bigger cast. Can't put my finger on it. Anyway, that's what makes it a good sequel, more unexpected. It's a bit more tricky to keep every character alive and interesting, but it's not badly written here. The twist is actually a damn fine twist, one of the best ones in the series. Still not as magical and unique than the first.
Saw III was the first one I saw in the theatre and boy, this is a lot nastier than the first two - they're both quite lame regarding the graphic violence. But here! I turned away my head a couple of times, including a lot of the skull-surgery scene. The first time I saw it felt like the best sequel, but that feeling has diminished a little bit. It's still a very exciting thriller, with a neat twist and a couple of fun surprises. I also thing the acting in this one is the best so far. This is also the sequel when things start to get confusing, and I still have four movies left! Sigh...
When you see every part of this series at least one year apart it's easy to mix them with each other. I always thought that Saw IV was the weakest one, the big letdown, but I must have confused it with the next one - maybe. This is actually not a bad film. It has better pacing - and is shorter - than the Saw III and kinda hangs together better. It still leaves one big question hanging at the end and I'm not even sure they will bother to answer it. It's also nice how it hangs together with the last part very carefully, and it wouldn't surprise me if they where shot back-to-back. The twist is fine, but not the best. Alright. Let see what the next one has to offer!
But what the... I've always lived in that illusion was the worst one! But nooo, it's actually a nice companion piece to the part before, both more or less a deconstruction of the male ego. Part V have now - I need to say - the best cast of them all. The ensemble victims are all excellent, which is needed to keep the interest up. The weakest spot is, as usual, Costas Mandylor, who seem quite detached to his character. He's okay, but not fantastic. And yeah, this part has the simplest - but worst - final trap! Nasty as hell!
I totally forgot, but Saw VI is the absolute weakest. Mostly because it's more visible that the writers have run out of ideas and the flashbacks and earlier unknown links between characters and scenes just doesn't work to the same degree as earlier. I like most of the acting and there's some fine ideas, but it doesn't hold together. The best thing with it is that it's very anti-capitalistic, and keeps that message all through. Alright one left...
Saw 3D is different in several way. First of all it's a lot more polished and brighter in style than the rest, the blood and often the gore effects is red (almost pink sometimes, which makes me think of almost every movie made in the seventies) and cartoonish. It also, like Hellraiser: Hellworld, Jason Goes To Hell and New Nightmare, acknowledges the crime as something commerical, something that can be made money from. It takes one step out from the traditional storyline and shows a little bit more around everything. I personally think Saw 3D is a fun movie, one of the better ones and a lot better than the first. And it's also very nice to see THAT character back in the... game.
That's all, ffffolks.