Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saw. B-

Okay, I admit, until yesterday I had never seen a Saw movie. With the arrival of Saw 3D, the supposedly final chapter in the series, I was only reminded further of how big and profitable the producers consider this series to be. But it wasn't always like that. The original wasn't a studio idea, but a creation from the mind of Asian filmmaker James Wan. The first Saw looks like a low-budget horror film, but with a vivid imagination and a pretty smart premise, it's actually pretty good. Though it doesn't develop with the freshness of the actual premise, the movie should still be applauded for offering Halloween entertainment that doesn't just rely lazy scares. It's about a killer who doesn't actually kill his victims, but rather puts them in situations that give them a choice to die, or do something terrible to live. So, as one of the characters wisely points out, he's not actually guilty of murder. In Saw there's a pretty dense plot that's full of surprises, but unfortunately no characters that we care about. In Seven, which was a similar type film, there were the two detectives who made you care about watching the gruesome story unfold. Here there's just the victims and and a cop who becomes so obsessed he's practically insane. But it's a horror movie, so we don't really have to care, just so long as we're entertained. And here we certainly are. I don't know if I'll see any more of the Saw movies just because I know the sequels will be lame. But like the most famous horror franchises (Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street), the first one is always the best, and the rest are pretty much irrelevant. I guess the Saw franchise is like that, too.

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