So it wasn’t until recently that I started watching horror movies frequently again. When I was a youngin I would spend just about every Friday night at home watching horror movies and not being able to sleep. Into my teens I would rent just about anything I could get my hands on, the weirder sounding the better. Then a little movie called “Scream” came out in 1996 and satirized the films I grew up loving. Sure it was great for the horror genre and it was sort of funny to see them play off of all the standard slasher stereotypes. But to a kid who grew up loving everything about those stereotypes I felt a little betrayed by the same guy who gave me Freddy Krueger. Not to mention all the other cookie cut ter movies “Scream” helped spawn. So I stopped watching horror movies for the most part and picked up drinking beer. All was well and dandy until I stumbled upon this site and started watching horror films again. Sure I still watched every “Friday the 13th” and Nightmare on Elm Street” that came out, but for the most part I ignored the genre. “The Strangers” was probably the first main stream horror film I watched in twelve years and I thought it was great. Based on that I thought I should probably go back and check out what some would say is the most famous film franchise to come out during my time away from Horror. So this past weekend I sat down to watch “Saw”.
I’ve heard a lot about “Saw” and its sequels and most of it has been good. The negative things I’ve heard mostly came with the phrase “Well the first one was pretty good”. So I figured I would at least be in for a decent movie and it will go down hill from there when I started watching the sequels. About ten minutes into the movie my wife turned to me and said “They really made five other movies about this?” We were in for a bumpy night.
I’m going to assume most of the readers of this site have seen at least the first “Saw” film so I’m not going to go into the details of the story but I’ll give it a quick overview. Pretty much you open with a couple of guys chained in a room with a guy who appears to have just blown his brains out in the middle of the room and they have to figure out how to get out. They find two tapes in their pockets and when they listen to them a mystery man tells one guy, who is actually Wesley from “The Princes Bride”, that if he wants to see his wife and kid again he better get to killing the other guy Adam, who is in the room with him. Oh and for shits and giggles you’re also going to have to saw your foot off to get to the gun. Adam’s tape just gives him a recipe for a delightful vegan quiche. Ok that part might be a lie. The rest is back story about how the two got there and how they’re paths have crossed. Danny Glover, Dina Meyer and Shawnee Smith all come along for the ride. For the sake of this post I’m just going to call Cary Elwes, Wesley, his “The Princes Bride” name because I think it will be a lot more enjoyable for all of us.
What surprised me most about this film is how many actors were involved that I actually though could act. That is until they stepped on the set of this film. It was like the script for this film came along with a big bottle of over-act juice. By the time the hour and a half was over I was wishing I could break into the room and shoot both Mr. Princess Bride and his cell mate myself. Danny Glover who brought the thunder in “Lethal Weapon” and “Predator 2” came off more as a nut job then a cop who’s too upset to be on the force after his partner is killed. At one point they show him in a room with news clippings all over the place and he’s talking to himself. It was more laughable then anything.
I also don’t like a movie that makes me question my own sanity. They threw in random plot points that I still can’t seem to figure out. At one point Wesley’s wife is on the phone with him and she tells him not to believe anything Adam says. But for the life of me I can’t figure out how she even knows Adam. Oh and for some reason Wesley slowly gets zombie makeup throughout the film. I assume it has something to do with the dust in the room they are in but by the end when he is about to cut his foot off he looks like an extra from “Flight of the Living Dead”. Adam somehow avoids this zombie transfer despite him being in the same room.
The movie wasn’t all bad though, it did have a couple solid moments for me. For one I luckily didn’t know the big twist at the end despite hearing so much about this film and it actually got me. The moment when Wesley finally takes the saw and cuts his own foot off is pretty bad ass also. And there is a great head bashing with a toilet cover which is always fun at parties. That just about covers it for high points.
Really this movie just left me disappointed. I was pretty excited to sit down and watch this because there had always been so much hype around it. I might be stretching it a bit here but I felt like the whole trapped in a room thing was done a lot better in “The Cell”. And that movie had J-Lo. I just couldn’t get over the bad acting and plot holes here. On top of that from all I had heard I expected a lot more out of the “puzzles” if you can call them that. Unfortunately part 2 has already shipped from my Netflix queue so it looks like I’m going to be watching all five. Wish me luck!