Someday Jigsaw will put me in a death trap for not appreciating his movies enough.

November 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm (movies) (, , , )

Saw V came out last month. I haven’t seen it and I don’t want to. Actually, this post is on why I dislike the franchise.


I do have to compliment them for managing to convey the plot so cleverly in this poster, though.

I do have to compliment them for managing to convey the plot so cleverly in this poster, though.

Major spoilers for the first movie and minor ones for the second ahead.



I’ve seen the first two movies, and was highly disappointed. The first one had a good setting; some cool traps, and was clearly done by someone who actually gave a crap, which is more than I can say for most American horror movies that have come out this decade. But it was slow and uneventful [making it boring] and though the big twist at the end would have been nice, it was ruined by the big glaring flaws in it. How would someone pretend to be dead for so long in a room with two other people who have a full view of him? Why didn’t he cramp and move involuntarily? Why didn’t he cough or sneeze if he was there with his face in the dust for hours? Why didn’t they notice his breathing? And for crying out loud, why would someone subject themselves to lying awake and face down in the exact same position for six hours and staying completely still the entire time? Can you imagine how freaking uncomfortable that would be?

Anyway, it was obvious in the second one that the creators had noticed the popularity of the traps from the first, because now there were a lot more of them. Only they weren’t as good anyway, with the exception of the Arm Box bit. The movie overall felt more generic and Hollywood-ized than the first one had, the setting wasn’t nearly as good, and the twist wasn’t as good. So it’s a big step down from a mediocre movie.

The Arm Box trapping Emmanuelle Vaugier. At least shes not the worlds baldest werewolf like that one time on Supernatural.
The Arm Box trapping Emmanuelle Vaugier. At least she’s not the world’s baldest werewolf like that one time on Supernatural.

I’ve heard reviews and read plot descriptions of the rest, and from what it sounds like, they’re an amped up mix of some elements from the first movies – traps, gore, mindscrew, moralizing, rinse and repeat. The reviews are getting worse and worse, the mindscrews are getting more contrived.

My final complaint is on that whole “Jigsaw technically doesn’t murder his victims, he makes them kill themselves” deal. That’s total bullshit because it only applies some of the time. Out of the two movies I’ve seen, there’s already a bunch of examples. If Amanda hadn’t gotten the key and unlocked the head trap, it would have ripped her head open. Not because of anything she’d done. Because Jigsaw had put it on her head and set it to a timer. Jigsaw would have murdered her. The guy who had the screws going towards his head would have been murdered, but if I remember correctly the cops got him out. The guy who had to dig a key out of his eye, Jigsaw murdered him with the nail helmet. The girl who succumbed to the nerve gas was murdered. If the other folk in the house hadn’t found other ways to die, they would have been murdered from the gas too.


Yet everybody still keeps saying he doesn’t kill them. If the writers really wanted this to be an intelligent social commentary with lots of blood, guts and death traps, they would have bothered to be consistent with their overarching, anvilicious symbolism, rather than chuck it out the window whenever they feel like it and then ram “Jigsaw doesn’t kill,” down my throat some more via clumsy exposition and hope I was too distracted by the blood, guts and death traps to notice. Shit, the first movie wasn’t so bad, but even then, the playing at being a smart, socially conscious message movie was pretentious and cheap, and the spotty application of the all-important metaphor revealed it as such.


It really irritates me that this is so popular. I mean, sure, people can enjoy it if they want, but now when someone thinks of horror, they’ll often think of this, and then snub the genre when they might enjoy something a less torture pornish. And I think stuff like this, which depends a lot on gore, can sometimes make folk dismiss all gory movies, whether they’re using it as a crutch or not.


Anyway, Rotton Tomatoes’ critics and plenty of other movie or horror buffs share this opinion on the franchise, so it looks to me like it’s a lot more loved amongst regular audiences than anybody else, which is usually not a good sign. But Your Mileage May Vary, so let me know what you think of the franchise, and why.



  1. Seriously Rad said,

    I think the franchise is rad, simply because of Donnie Wahlberg… hahahahaa. Honestly, I was never into the series at first and I don’t think I’m excited about the 5th one either, BUT, I do find myself renting one of the movies if there’s nothing at Blockbuster. Whichis why I’ve seen all 4 of the movies so far. gahh!

  2. amc1087 said,

    I have seen all five of the movies. I really liked 1-3 and watched 4 & 5 out of curiosity. Parts of four confused me and five put me to sleep. Jigsaw is dead and all the cops are dead, except for the crooked one in five, so I pray that this is the end.

  3. Chainsawman said,

    Very interesting though, though this wouldn’t stop me from watching it for the gory joy of of watching people die in some truely ridiculous deathtraps.

    Love Andrew 🙂

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