A couple days ago, I was listening to Sincast: the official Cinema Sins podcast. They like to talk about movies (duh), and on this particular occasion, they were talking upcoming attractions for fall 2017. There weren’t a lot of surprises, but there were a couple that made me stop and think for a moment.
The one that got me thinking in particular, though, was Jigsaw. Jigsaw: AKA, Saw 8. In fact, I’ll be referring to it as Saw 8 from this point onward, because that’s what it fucking is.
Frankly, the core concept of a Saw 8 is… I want to say blasphemous, but that might be a little strong. For sure, I distinctly remember Saw 7 was supposed to be the last one.
I’ve told my jokes that Saw 7 had several names throughout its run. It started out as Saw 7, eventually ended up as Saw 3D, then when it hit DVD and bluray, it became Saw: The Final Chapter. And I jokingly referred to it as Saw: No Seriously, This Time it’s the Last One. Except as of this posting, NO IT FUCKING ISN’T!
I sound like an angry-ass hater , but I’m actually going to confess it right now. I love the Saw movies. There, I said it. I’m not proud of it (especially after Saw 5 came along), but I’m not ashamed of it.
Saw 1 came out in a time when I was in fucking love with the horror genre. Freddy Kruger was my hero. Pumpkinhead was a fucking masterpiece. Rob Zombie’s The House of 1000 Corpses was mindblowing. And the very first Saw movie grabbed my undivided attention right out the gate.
Here and now, after seeing it more times than I can count, I have to be that guy who nitpicks everything. Yeah, that big twist at the end where Jigsaw was in the room all along as that dead guy in the center of the room was cool the first time I saw it, but when you stop and think about it, there were a lot of X-factors in that equation that could’ve easily gone wrong. How did he know how long he’d be unconscious? How did he know Gordon was going to cut through his own leg? How did he know Zep was going to blow it? There were a lot of things that guy had no way of knowing were going to pan out the way they did. The fact it all worked out the way it did is probably nothing short of a miracle, really.
But the first time I saw that movie, and saw that twist, my mind was blown. I was way too easy to impress when I was eighteen. Or maybe I’d take ANY escape from the shitty reality I’d found myself in from 2004-2005, but that’s a rant for another day.
Saw 2… Wasn’t AS good, but it kept me entertained.
Saw 3 was a great ending to what was looking like a trilogy at the time. i’d even go as far as to say that out of the three Saw movies at the time, 1 and 3 were in a tie for the best. It’s very rare when the third in ANY trilogy lives up to the hype. Really, if anything, the SECOND movie gets that kind of acclaim, and the THIRD is the one that isn’t remembered as fondly.
I think a lot of that comes from the fact that it really didn’t feel like a lot was at stake in the second movie. The first movie introduced us to the Jigsaw murders, the third was basically going to be Jigsaw’s epic final hurrah before shuffling off to the land of the dead… The second movie, at absolute worst, almost felt unnecessary . I mean yeah, Amanda got revealed to be the apprentice, but you could’ve revealed that in the movie we got for Saw 3 in my mind.
But that’s a pretty minor complaint. To me, even the second movie was worth collecting.
Then Saw 4 came out. And that was where the series began to decline.
Saw 4… It wasn’t great, but it could’ve been worse. Honestly, the idea of Jigsaw grooming someone to be the next Jigsaw Killer from beyond the grave was a neat idea, but I vaguely remember it not living up to expectations.
Saw 5 was where my faith in the franchise faultered with gusto. Hell, I’m still about 80% positive there were continuity errors in the flashbacks. And Saw is a franchise that prided itself on continuity. It’d been doing a pretty good job of maintaining continuity up until 5 for sure.
Saw 6… Fuck Saw 6. I’ve long since changed my tune about Obamacare (my libertarian days are over), but this was where the Saw franchise got preachy. And I don’t mean the usual Jigsaw “most people are so ungrateful to be alive” preachy, because that’s been a staple of the franchise since the first movie. I mean preachy as in “let’s suck Obama’s dick and praise his super awesome healthcare plan that’s totally one-hundred percent flawless!”. Which, for the record, it isn’t. Yeah, I know I said I’ve since changed my tune, but even as a supporter of Obamacare, it’s got some holes we need to duct tape up. But that’s a rant for another day. And for a smarter person to make, frankly.
Also, Saw 6 introduced the concept of “head-to-head” Jigsaw games. The core concept of a head-to-head Jigsaw game defeats the entire purpose of the Jigsaw games! These games are supposed to teach you that life is worth living, even if you have to sacrifice a part of your body you value the most in order to stay alive. I get that the copycat Jigsaw from Saw 4 onward is SUPPOSED to be missing the point… I think. I was never clear on if that was the case, or if the writers were just coming up with this concept because they ran out of ideas for team play and single player games.
In any case, Saw 6 was the movie that stopped making these movies something I looked forward to, and made them into something I dreaded. By the time Saw: The Final Chapter came out, I was renting these movies out of obligation. Believe me, I’ve sat through some embarrassing fucking movies in the glorious name of fandom. And Saw: The Final Chapter, was one of them.
Thankfully, it wasn’t as preachy as 6, but NOW the problem is the exact OPPOSITE of what 6’s was. Instead of cramming a message down your throat, now they’re just trying everything in their power to justify making you pay twice as much for a ticket and watching this trainwreck with stupid fucking glasses on. God I’m glad the 3D fad is more or less dead again.
I suppose the plot twist at the end of Saw 7, where in it’s revealed that the TRUE next-gen Jigsaw Killer was Gordon all this time… I guess that was cool. Although by the time it got to that plot twist, I was so fed up with this fucking movie, a unicorn could’ve stampeded onto the screen and farted a rainbow in my face, and I’d take it if it meant the movie would be fucking over with.
The Saw franchise has been dead for seven years. And frankly, after those last couple movies, it needed to die. Jigsaw had a good run, and we still see parodies of Saw today. Truly, the legacy lives on.
Unfortunately, Saw 8 is on its way to theaters now. And I have no idea how to feel about it.
On one hand, I could go into my usual “death to Generation: Nostalgia!” rant, but I already did that once, and this fucking rant is already starting to get long-winded as it is.
On the other hand, I’ve heard this isn’t going to be a remake. It’s going to be a legit sequel to a film franchise we haven’t heard from since 2010. The concept of a copycat Jigsaw is FAR from original… Yet at the same time, I’m curious enough to see where they go with this.
Maybe this is another moment where I go in with nostalgia-colored goggles on. Maybe this is an old habit refusing to die. “Ooh, new Saw movie! I know the last couple sucked, but maybe this time will be different!” Knowing full well that no it fucking won’t be different, and I’m a fucking idiot for believing otherwise.
That being said, I’m probably going to see it. Maybe I’ll find someone dumb enough to go see it in the theater with me, or maybe I’ll just check it out on Netflix. Either way, dumb a move as it is, I’m still probably going to see it.
What can I say? The Saw franchise is near and dear to me. I still remember the good times. In fact, in a weird way, the Saw franchise was what convinced me to keep going in my darkest time. Yeah, you’re repeating twelth grade, watching all your normal friends live their lives and getting girlfriends/boyfriends and going to college while you’re stuck in high school for another year playing fucking make-believe with other people who are probably MORE broken than you are, but hey, at least you don’t have a reverse beartrap wired into your skull, right?
I don’t know. It’s 3:00 in the morning, I’m too pumped up from something I’ll share later when it becomes available, and I’m just musing. I’ve noticed I get all kinds of hits when I talk about movies on here… Or maybe that has more to do with bitching people out for liking Tommy Wiseau ironically? Ugh, whatever. I’m going to try going to bed again.