GBHorror2017: Tom And Taylor Marathon The SAW Films: Our Impressions
Welcome back to another GBHorror2017 post, today we have a pretty big one. Sort of to celebrate the release of the latest entry in the Saw franchise (titled “Jigsaw”), me and our good friend Taylor have done a behind the scenes marathon of all the Saw movies. It took us some time, considering there were seven movies to watch, but we managed to come out strong! So this will be a little different than most impressions posts, I will be analyzing every single film on its own merit, and I will be bringing up both my own impressions as well as Taylor’s. This will be a long one, so let there be no time to waste, on with the post!
*Be wary of spoilers!!!*
Our Impression: When the two of us got into watching this franchise for the first time, we both highly expected extreme depictions of blood, gore and viscera. After all, it is what the series is famously known for, that and the sadistic traps the protagonists take part in. But to our surprise, the very first movie is ultimately tamed, at least compared to sequel films. The time jumps in this one are not so complicated from the start and the build up to the reveal at the end is simple but works. I would imagine if we saw this back when it very first came out, the reveal of who the killer was at the end would have been far more of an impact, at least to me. Taylor certainly enjoyed the reveal more than me. In general the first movie is both the most tame, and therefore the most watchable for a broader audience. There is still some crazy intense moments, including one at the end involving a saw and a foot, but they are not constant or even thrown in your face. Overall, we both enjoyed this one for what it was and we especially like how simple it is for a beginning film, especially considering how messed up the series will get very quickly afterwards.
Our Impression: The first sequel in the series certainly kicks it up a notch, if only a notch. The main area of traps and puzzles goes from a single room to now an entire house, and the traps themselves range from deadly to disturbing. This is also where we start to see both the stupidity and the characteristics dilemma among the trapped individuals who have to play the games, although they are still not as stupid or as annoying as we were expecting them to be (they will be in later sequels though). The gore is still not as gory or messy yet, still being similar to the first film even if there is technically more of it. We were also shocked to see these first connections that are made to the previous film, these connections become more clever and more confusing as the series goes on but with just the first two films we truly enjoyed it. There is even a major reveal that is quite fun to see unfold to our main “hero” character.
Our Impression: Now the jump from the second to the third film is probably the most insane jump in the series. The gore and blood goes from kind of messy to the messiest. The traps themselves become more complicated for the character of this film to handle and the dual story being told here works out tremendously in the end. When it comes to the stupidity of the protagonist having to go through the traps and murder, he does not really do anything that incredibly stupid until near the end, and even then this stupid decision the character makes leads to a satisfying conclusion (I can’t believe I said satisfying about a moment that should be devastating to watch). Now this leads to the thought that perhaps this was were they originally meant to conclude the series, if they even intended to conclude the franchise this early at all. It certainly could have worked if they did, but again there are many things that are left open for future sequels to close, things you wouldn’t think would be left open in the first place.
Our Impression: The beginning of this film strongly indicates that this next entry will be even more gory and bloody than the third film, but in actuality it is about the same. But that first scene of seeing a particular character get dissected and cut open is really messed up and hard to watch. This film has yet another main protagonist who ends up doing something completely dumb, instead this time it is a new kind of dumb. Without completely spoiling it, the idea of the traps in this one is that they can be resolved on their own if you learn to have patience. And again without spoiling it the protagonist is set up to be known to rush into action without thinking, which I guess kind of spoils what ends up happening. There is also another major reveal by the end of this film that is similar to a reveal in the second film, which further helps to make the character of Jigsaw seem even smarter than we thought, even if we don’t entirely understand his main goals all the time. At this point in the series, our heads start to hurt.
Our Impression: At this point in the series, the last four films have seemed pretty okay with the idiot levels of characters, sure there were stupid decisions made by the trapped characters but they were sort of reasonable. They were reasonable in the sense that anyone who cannot think clearly under such stress and fear would most likely do, whether rational or not. But this fifth film truly introduces just how painfully dumb these characters can truly get! Even the final demise of one of the main characters, one who was smart enough to figure out the majority of mysteries set within this entry, ended up getting killed for not listening to the most obvious directions. But I guess most of the fun could also come from seeing these dummies get what they deserve after screwing up in a very unjustified way. As for the mysteries and reveals, as well as the time jumps, they continue to impress and further confuse. There was also an enjoyed moment from both me and Taylor when an object, which was seen within a flashback of the fourth film, made its way back into this fifth film in an unexpected role.
Our Impression: I would argue that film is the most forgetful of the franchise as a whole, mainly because I personally found the story of the main trap Protagonist to be quite boring. I cannot say the same for Taylor, who found the reveal of the character’s connection to other trapped individuals to be shocking. The only real memorable moment is the conclusion with the main “Jigsaw” character, where this is yet another confusing yet insane reveal about this character’s purpose. We found it to be both surprising as well as all for nothing, considering how it unfolds just before the credits. Also, Taylor pointed out a very odd background prop involving a dart board and many darts which have very badly missed their target, this is probably one of the most hilarious background props we’ve seen in any film!
Our Impressions: Again, up to this point there hasn’t really been an absurdly horrible film in the franchise, there certainly better ones over others but there wasn’t quite a film yet that was a legitimate pile of garbage. But Saw VII (or Saw 3D: The Final Chapter) is definitely that long awaited trash fire. This film not only holds what could be considered the most basic saw story line involving the killer’s goals, but it also introduces an incredibly distasteful character to be trapped into “the game”. And for whatever strange reason the blood in many scenes of this film is pink and unrealistic, I’m not sure if this was an attempt to sensor the film or to make it stand out in 3D when the film was in theaters but it is incredibly jarring and displeasing. Taylor really hated the pink blood, to the point where he was no longer invested in the intense murder sequences, and I don’t blame him. There is supposedly versions of the film where the blood is recolored as red, but the fact tat there was pink blood at all is just wrong. The only silver lining to the film is the reveal of the return of a main character, way back from the first film, and seeing his importance to the overall plans of Jigsaw. Unfortunately these reveals are only at the very beginning and very end of the movie, meaning the rest is painful and sad to watch. So both me and Taylor can say without a doubt that this is the worst one in the series.
Thanks for reading through this pretty long post about mine and Taylor’s impressions of the Saw franchise, we hope it was a fun read. Once again, check back tomorrow for another fun Halloween post!