Amph "If It's Halloween, It Must Be Saw.": The Saw Saga

Discussion in 'Community' started by DarkPrince, Aug 14, 2006.

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  1. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    As this is a forum for discussion of opinions on art, I feel it should be fine to voice my opinion... I do not think these films are art. I think they are the farthest thing from it. They're schlock. Furthermore, they are disgusting and disturbing.

    Now you might say, "well they're supposed to be, they show sick people!" No. It's true that ultimately these films are about disgusting people who get pleasure out of watching disgusting torture of others. But those people aren't the bad guy characters. They're the audience.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  2. StarDude Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2001
    star 5

    Have you seen the movies? Because your post seems a little close-minded. Saw II, for example, has some literary influence. The plot expands on the first, but it's similar to And Then There Were None.

    As for whether the films are art or not, I don't think they're trying to be high art. But if you define art in the most literal sense--a way of duplicating an emotion--then I think a case can be made for the Saw movies.

    But they're certainly more than just torture movies. And I think it's ignorant to assume its audience are nothing but sadists and sychophants. I myself am starting to become a bit of a horror junkie.
  3. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    So you're becoming a horror junkie for the literary references? Sure.

    The "literary" aspects are put in there to make it seem like there's some point to it. The truth is that these films are made to titillate, to give people an adrenaline rush. I haven't seen these films in particular, but I've seen ones that start to border on this same genre. And while in most cases I'll watch a film to give it a try, I don't want to have that stuff in my mind or contribute to an industry that profits off it.


    -sj loves kevin spacey
  4. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I would agree that they're not art: but they are pop culture.
  5. wild_karrde Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 7
    Are you the chick that was on Fox News blasting Mass Effect for being interactive porn without ever having played the game? Because you remind me of her ....

    Seriously, how can you judge a movie (or four) without ever having seen it? You opinions are based on movie trailers and hearing/reading what other people have said. Rent them, watch them, and then form an opinion. Until you have actually seen the movies, your opinions are invalid.


    The Saw movies are, in a word, brilliant. Especially the first one, which had a plot twist that to this day still amazes me in how well it was pulled off. The gore and violence of this series isn't the main point, the story is. The blood & guts are just used for shock factor and to get your attention, and then they keep you glued to the seat with a great story. And trying to compare it to movies of the same genre is an insult to Saw, especially if you are referring to movie like Hostel which have zero plot and are just out for the gore factor.
  6. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    QFT. Saw doesn't even belong in the "torture porn" league. It is so much better than that. The first Saw is a masterpiece of the horror genre, and it will become a classic (in that genre). The series itself is rather strong, with part two being the worst. But I will give all the sequels credit: They asnwer the questions left by the previous films, but they also pose some of their own. Each film isn't just a carbon copy of the other, each expands on the central mythology of the show: How did John Kramer turn into a sick twisted serial killer?

    On that note: I'm not buying the fact that Kramer is the only morally good person in this series. I think in the end, we'll see that Kramer is no better than the people he is trying to change.
  7. Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2000
    star 8
    I've only seen the first two but they are certainly not one and a half hour movies of non-stop torture and gore (the first film, especially). The way I always describe Saw is that it's a mix of Cube and Se7en. Like w_k said, there actually is a story with some nasty parts thrown in here and there, which can also be said about Cube and Se7en. And yeah, the first film really is all about the ending, even if it ultimately doesn't make a whole lot of sense....it was just like, "Wow." :p

    But do I enjoy watching the nasty parts? Not really. There's still parts in the first two movies that are still hard to watch for me. I mean, I don't think I would ever watch the Hostel films.
  8. Spiderfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2004
    star 6
    The expansion of the mythology is the key reason I remain with the series. I am not a fan of horror films or torture porn, but was attracted to Saw for its stylistic approach and the psychological approach to the killer. This isn't your daddy's horror film where its enough that the killer is simply insane. There is a methodology behind all the traps and a series of events that brings the "killer" to this point. Thats the fun of Saw...not watching people become horribly dismembered but understanding why someone would go that far.

    I am also a fan of the simplicity of the first one. For the most part it takes place almost entirely in a single room with flashbacks and other scenes used to add context and back story. But its this brilliant little exploration of the horrible lives these people lead as they slowly unravel the hell they have been cast into by an unknown monster who uses his brilliance for his own twisted schemes. And it takes you on a wild ride of twists and without relying on the same old tired cliches of the big breasted blond bimbo running up the stairs from the masked killer.

    I am not a huge fan of the sequels but have taken the time to watch each of them if for no other reason then find out what's next, to have the unanswered questions revealed and discover a whole new series of twists and terrible secrets.
  9. wild_karrde Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 7
    Also keep in mind that it's not all sweet and innocent teen girls that he tortures. It's usually people who are either outright evil (rapists & child molesters) to people who are on the fast track to an early death anyway (druggies, etc). And he never outright kills them, he always gives them a way out. The question is whether or not they will take it.
  10. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    What about the guy that Amanda had to cut the key out of? He was never given a chance. What about the police officer that got his head blown off by a shotgun in the first film? The Jigsaw killer outright murdered these people.

    It just what I said in my earlier post, we have been led to beleive that Kramer is the only morally straight person in this series. He is passing down his judgement on whether people are wasting their lives or not. But in the end, I think we will see that he is no better than the people he is killing.
  11. wild_karrde Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 7
    The cop, granted, was murder. The guy Amanda killed though, we have no idea what his back story was. He could have been a Charles Manson wannabe for all we know.
  12. StarDude Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2001
    star 5
    Nonetheless, by the end of the fourth installment, it's pretty obvious that Jigsaw is something of an anti-hero.
  13. Spiderfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2004
    star 6
    Well we don't really know anything about him, like why he was there. Given the character of Jigsaw it seems odd that there would simply be a person there to be killed. I would like to think that there was a side to his story we never get to know.

    Was that Jigsaw though?? I got the feeling that it was Zep. My memory of certain details is hazy though.
  14. IamSpartacus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2001
    star 2
    Not at all. For the record, I think that was ridiculous as it was taking one small, tiny element in a game that spans dozens of hours.

    That's not the case with Saw and torture. No matter what your personal reasons are for liking it, the major selling point of Saw to the public, as its advertisers have clearly understood, is the torture. I know what the premise is and I find it to be a rip off of Se7en for one thing. But furthermore, the fact that, unlike Se7en, it actually shows the things Jigsaw does to people completely negates its point.

    The reason Se7en is able to bring up issues of vigilante murder and eye-for-an-eye craziness while retaining its credibility is that it doesn't show what John Doe does. The aftermath, sure, but even then Fincher knows when to pull back and not show things (ie. only implying, not showing what happened to the 'lust' victim). In this way, the film ensures the viewers aren't getting off watching the acts of torture, because they're not show.

    When Saw shows them, it puts the viewer in the position of the villain. The only way I can see that this has any merit is in the fact that it shows that indeed many people are that sick that they would get pleasure out of such things. You don't need to see the gory details to know that this is the entirety Saw's content. This is not at all a "Mass Effect" situation. No, I haven't seen them, but actually most of what I've heard of them have been from people who enjoy the movies. From their description of what they thought were the "horrible" moments they nonetheless found so thrilling, I think I can get a pretty good idea of what draws people to these films.

    So no, I don't buy that anyone watches these purely for the story. If you want that kind of story in an intelligent, tasteful, and truly horrifying (not horrifying in a way that appeals) manner, watch Se7en. Then we can have a discussion of the moral acts of the character. But when the viewers are the bad guys and don't know it, just like Jigsaw, how can you really have a discussion about that?

    EDIT: p.s. I heard it widely acknowledged that the acting was terrible, which is yet another reason I have no desire to see it.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  15. Darth Dark Helmet Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 6
    So no, I don't buy that anyone watches these purely for the story.

    My brother recently convinced my dad to watch the first two Saw movies, he did and enjoyed them. His thoughts basically were that if you looked past some of the gore, there was decent story going on, and in the 2nd one especially, a good mystery story.

    When Saw shows them, it puts the viewer in the position of the villain
    Never felt in the position of the villain, I've always felt for the victim. Part of the reason Hostel 2 didn't work for me was that I didn't give a crap about any of the leads. The Saw movies (at least 1-3) have always done a decent job of developing the characters at least to the point where I feel some empathy for the victims. A sense of horror at what they're going through.

    From their description of what they thought were the "horrible" moments they nonetheless found so thrilling, I think I can get a pretty good idea of what draws people to these films.

    That's been the case for a lot horror movies. Jason, Freddy and Leatherface chasing their victims and killing them. Its horrible, but that's also the thrill of the movies. The suspense, the edge of your seat viewing. In those movies as well, we always see the kill, and often in graphic detail. Hell, in Psycho, probably the most thrilling moment of the movie is when the cross dressing psychopath stabs a woman to death in the shower, another death we see, in, what for the time period, was pretty graphic detail. Doesn't mean we were supposed to identify with Norman Bates.

  16. Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2000
    star 8
    So basically, Rachel, you don't like any horror movies and the people who enjoy them are sick and twisted, correct? And why would I not be sick and twisted for enjoying a movie like Kill Bill? I'm sorry but I think you're really generalizing here.
  17. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    I don't watch Saw for the violence. I didn't see the first one because of the violence, I saw it sounded like a good original story. I was blown away by the twist ending (which is the best of the series). They are in no means mindless gore (the second one comes the closest though, due to its terrible story). The third film had the worst gore, but it was balanced by a good story. The fourth film went back to the original's roots: less gore, better story, better twist.

    Sure some people like the torture. Some people like to be scared. Some people like to be grossed out. That is why some people go to see these movies. But for most, I think it is for the continuation of the story.
  18. wild_karrde Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 7

    You are completely wrong. Saw doesn't put the viewer as Jigsaw, it puts you as the victim. Hell, Jigsaw doesn't even show up until the last 30 seconds of the first movie. Everything in the Saw series is shown from the point of view of the people in his traps. It's not an over-the-shoulder view of him tracking and killing his victims like Freddy or Jason or Michael Meyers. And I once again must re-iterate that you are showing that you know nothing about these movies until you see them, and your "arguements" are showing that you have no idea what they're about. I highly suggest you see them, not for the gore factor but from a purely analytical viewpoint just to observe and see what they are all about.
  19. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    I had to cover my eyes quite a bit while watching Saw III. I can assure you, Rachel, that not everyone watches these movies out of some desire for sadistic pleasure. I've watched the films for the same reason that I've watched other movies of the genre - for the suspense and for the mystery element. And as Jazzy pointed out, it's a lot more similar to movies like "Cube" than it is to "torture porn" or whatever. Sure, it's far from high art but I think it's foolish to condemn the movies without having ever seen them.
  20. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Bump.

    It's almost Halloween, and that means it's time for Saw.

    In preparation for Saw V I've gone and rented the first 3 movies (will probably rent the fourth soon afterwards) to refresh my memory on them since I've only seen them each once when they were in theaters, and I want to avoid the confusion I had with Saw IV in not remembering who certain characters from past installments were and what their story was.

    I was surprised to recognize not one but two actors who would later be known from Lost (the actor who plays "Ben" in particular). Overall, the movie holds up very well still- and my problems with the "first" ending didn't strike me as being as terrible as they did during my theatrical viewing (I recalled the zoom-chase car chase being much longer and annoying, in particular). Cary's acting around the time of the sawing also seemed more contained, and only really bad for about 30-40 seconds.

    The real, "second", ending, of course, is amazing. Is that music available on the soundtrack or elsewhere?

    I'll always wonder what it would have been like to have watched that ending for the first time having not known what Tobin Bell looks like from his TV work and thus knowing from the get-go that Jigsaw's voice didn't belong to "Ben".


    EDIT 1- Just finished Saw II and it's as solid as I remember it- it's twist ending is brilliant, though more in a technical, storytelling, kind of way. Every bit the superior sequel. The only thing that i find weird is, if Danny Glover and his partner found that warehouse in the first movie (as well as other police, likely, following the murder of the partner), how can Jigsaw be "hiding" there in the second movie?


    EDIT 2- And now I've finished Saw III. It's the weaker of the first three, as the forgiveness/vengeance guy's storyline isn't as integrated into th existing mythos at this point so it makes it feel tacked on a little.

    Initially it also seems like the film fell for the "we need more traps to top the last movie" syndrome, what with the arbitrary dispoal of the female detective (who is otherwise irrelevant to this movie's plotline despite some good setup regarding the aftermath of Saw II). However, as this builds up to Amanda's crueler nature, it eventually makes sense in context but is still initially offputting and takes some time to adjust to it not being percieved as a sequel flaw.

    That said, the material with Amanda and Jigsaw is really, really good. The lovely Shawnee Smith is great as Amanda, and all the flashbacks and expansion of the events of the first two movies really starts the trend of how intricuately woven the sequels start to become with each other.

    The DVD also has two deleted scenes- one is a fight scene between Amanda and the Doctor (it's weird seeing the footage all bright and clean before all the color correction effects after being so accustomed to seeing this universe shot like that) and another is a scene of Amanda and Adam (from the first movie) meeting (presumably as she's on her way to hide in his apartment so that she can bag him upon his return) which really adds an extra emotional context for when she kills him.

    I'm surprised they haven't yet expanded on the role of "Ben"- he's about the only major character (besides Cary's, for understandable reasons) who hasn't popped up again (unless I'm forgetting a cameo in IV?). Maybe Saw V will tackle that?

    Will have to try and rent IV this week.
  21. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    I'm entirely stoked for Saw V. Apparently we are going to find out what happened to the little girl at the end of Saw III, as well as how Hoffman became an apprentice of Jigsaw. As of now, Saw V is supposedly the second to last, with Saw VI being the final film. I hope this is true, as I want the story to actually end.
  22. StarDude Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2001
    star 5
    Going back to the heated debate from before....

    Yes, these movies are sold on their torture aspects, just as any horror movie is sold on the more grotesque aspects. It's visceral entertainment, and myself being a growing horror junky, I don't see how you can fault an audience that craves that. The horror/torture aspects are merely the broadstrokes in these movies. There are very Agatha Christie-esque plots going on underneath, and the story is always expanding. It's like a season of Lost, rather than the countless, cheap sequels to the Freddy and Jason franchises...even though it would appear that way on the outset to anyone who hasn't seen the films.

    And yes, I am eagerly awaiting Saw V.
  23. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    6 will be the last? I thought it was 8? Might be mixing it up with something else. While I agree there should be an end to the story...I was kinda hoping this franchise would outlast the prior annual/semi-annual horror characters of the past (Freddy/Jason/Myers), assuming, of course, that it could keep up the quality.

    If 6 is to be the last, I hope they can mend some bridges and get Cary to come back for a final cameo to bring it full circle.
  24. PadmeA_Panties Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2003
    star 4
    Mend bridges? What happaned? Details?
  25. halibut Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    Just watched Saw, and I didn't recognise any other Lost actors. Who was the other?
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