Look no further, I’ve got it all mapped out for you….in blood. When Saw 1 first came out it was hailed as a brilliant new revolution for horror films. Why? The script had a raw and unexpected twist that fooled even the most die hard horror fans. Now, I realize some of you will say that you knew exactly what was going on! It’s quite possible you did, but if you deny that this film made waves in the world of horror, you would be lying.
Think of a killer who rehabilitates his victims. Not only that, add in unique twists that all of his victims have in common. Next sprinkle in some crazy never-before-seen contraptions or “tests” that the killer crafts. Then add in a crazy Jigsaw puppet who rides on a tricycle and tells you what your task is going to be as you sit chained, stapled, nailed, clamped to a death contraption. He is going to give you a choice…and the films become famous for Jigsaw saying “Make Your Choice”.
Jigsaw is a puppet used by the real killer, and you don’t find out who the killer is for a while. Eventually you learn what his motives are, how he picks his victims, who knows about him, what his personal life is, and why he has chosen a life of rehabilitating others. No doubt it sprouts from some severe mental thrush of his own. What’s really great about this series is you begin to UNDERSTAND this killer and in some occasions- respect what he’s doing.
Now get this, most of his “Make Your Choice” tests are smart, deceptive and cunning. They play upon a person’s negative first instincts versus a better choice that ultimately saves them from 100% death. I’m not saying they walk away unscathed if they pass a test- that just wouldn’t be entertaining now would it? How bad do you want to live?
What’s the best contraption I have seen? I have to say that MY favorite was in Saw 5- I liked the series of contraptions and rooms tied to their first decision with all original victims. I think that’s where Saw 5 hit a stride because it did it better than say for example Saw 2. The last room where you had to stick your arm in and give blood from a table saw into a beaker- (the amount required was just above a death wish for the human body)…was one of the worst and most poignant in my opinion. What was your favorite? The needle bath was a close second! hah
Let’s go through these films briefly and I will give you my mini review on each. Maybe then you can decide which one to rent.
Saw 1 2004:
You’ll recognize some of this cast: Talk about a big change for “Wesley” in the Princess Bride! Along Came a Spider’s Monica Potter also stars!
This is a MUST see. You are introduced to the whole theory behind the killings, the people caught in the traps and how the game works.
The IMDB summary is very confusing to someone who hasn’t seen the film so I’ll do my best here: Two guys wake up in a disgusting bathroom tied and chained to the bathtub and a pole. They have no clue how they got there. Suddenly, the clues are presented, and these men must make a choice that can end up killing them or their family. If you want to just simply escape, you have to chop a limb off. What you don’t realize is there is a HUGE ending here that will shock the hell out of you.
Saw 2: 2005
Saw 2 presents the killer’s lair (and he eventually is revealed head on) where a cop is being held hostage trying to pry his way out of a death contraption. At the same time there is a house of horrors where strangers with common ties, and common crimes, are being tested one room at a time. Jigsaw is at it again! This time with more gore so you as a viewer are satisfied with the sequel! We can see the house on video from inside the lair… turns out the killer is sick with cancer. We learn that the series is always going to have this killer (or a minion of his) but a whole new set of people and reasons for rehabilitation. At the same time, cops will die and need to be replenished so you may not see all of the same cast moving forward!
Jeff is an anguished man, who grieves and misses his young son that was killed by a driver in a car accident. He has become obsessed for revenge against the man and reckless with his wife and daughter. When Dr. Lynn Denlon, who has troubles with her marriage, is abducted by the deranged Jigsaw’s apprentice Amanda, she is brought to a gruesome warehouse to keep John Kramer alive in spite of having a terminal brain tumor. Amanda puts a necklace gadget full of explosives around Dr. Lynn’s neck connected to John Kramer’s life support system, and tells her that if he dies the device will explode. Meanwhile, Jeff is submitted to a sick game of forgiveness with surprising dark consequences.
This film does a good job bringing on the gore but most people would say the plot was so- so. If you need to skip one, I think you can skip this one. Just read the full synopsis on IMDB to understand what happens to John Kramer aka Jigsaw.
3/5- Decent Plot, Decent Gore- Good to learn about Kramer (Jigsaw’s next steps)
Saw 4 2007
|Tobin Bell||…||Jigsaw / John|
|Scott Patterson||…||Agent Strahm|
|Athena Karkanis||…||Agent Perez|
|Donnie Wahlberg||…||Eric Matthews|
Jigsaw and his protege are dead but guess what? Jigsaw is still planning killings despite his death. I LOVED THIS FILM! During the autopsy of John Kramer, the coroner finds a tape inside his stomach and calls Detective Hoffman. Some people do not like this film at all but here is a great review on IMDB “Here’s where the line’s drawn between Saw IV and it’s predecessors. With the deaths of two main characters in Saw III, you can’t possibly think of how Saw IV could really be close to a decent film. Instead of a basic storyline of traps, unlucky individuals who don’t appreciate their lives, and suspenseful jump scenes, Saw IV delivers a completely different premise: it’s darker, edgier, scarier, more complex, more intricately designed, and more controversial than its predecessors. In some ways, the most horrifying thing about the film is instead of watching people being tested on screen–YOU, as a viewer, are tested–challenged to see what Jigsaw sees, feel what Jigsaw feels…judge how Jigsaw judges. The traps aren’t there to entertain, or to make you recoil in disgust…they’re there to make you THINK.”
3/5- Great Opening- Not as much gore, more audience intellectual involvement.
Saw 5: 2008
|Tobin Bell||…||Jigsaw / John|
|Costas Mandylor||…||Mark Hoffman|
|Scott Patterson||…||Agent Strahm|
There is a new apprentice and this film plays a “Who is it?” amongst the characters- (the cop characters that remain). Jigsaw’s instructions have somehow floated through to the 5th installment but they do a good job at relieving that a bit with this new apprentice and via flashback scenes. We see some great new traps and rehabilitation scenes. If you watched this film and had no idea about the others in the series you would be freaked out and a bit lost. Some say this was the best film since Saw 2 and others say that it doesn’t beat Saw 3. I think each viewer is different when it comes to this. Personally, I liked it..and I thought the traps were just as good and fulfilling! If you are a true SAW fan, this film is worthy of a watch.
4/5- More Gore!! New Apprentice!! Some Great Scenes.