Saw franchise arrives this weekend after a seven-year dormant period for the franchise, hoping to rekindle your interest in torture tourism. Saw ’s effectiveness as a fable is in the eye of the beholder, but it gets points for trying.
A woman having her scalp slowly ripped off just shouldn’t exist in the same movie as a rape dungeon if you want to maintain some modicum of dignity — especially when the story is about morality and justice. It just starts to feel like cheap tricks. The main game in the torture barn drags, with long gaps between rounds of punishment. However, the kills and mutilations look fantastic , and it’s nice to know that after all these years and all these deaths, watching someone melt from the inside out after being injected with hydrofluoric acid can still be shocking.It’s also got a pretty good sense of humor sometimes, which is a nice new feature. Saw still has the power to shock, but it’s also a little less self-serious. The seventh sequel is not an unwelcome entry, but it does hang around the low-middle of the pack. There’s heartwarming cooperation and redemption, but also vicious backstabbing, and it makes for the best murder-house dynamic in the franchise. Amanda is now fully part of the story as his lieutenant, working to become his successor after his terminal cancer finally claims him. How many tasks can a few serial killers possibly take on?
The answer is, more than you could possibly imagine. But instead of being a soulless bastard, he’s actually pretty likable, making selfless decisions within the death maze to try to save others at a physical cost to himself. But it’s the main game that makes this one most enjoyable, and the topical plot is a nice switch-up for the narrative. But it’s also the only “torture” franchise that aims to embed a morality tale into its core. The elaborate devices constructed to inflict pain were innovative at the time. The scenes in the parking garage and the dark apartment, lit only by camera flashes, remain chilling. Saw holds a deserving place in horror-film history.
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