The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

Quick synopsis: Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren help a man suspected of murder who claims he was possessed by demons.

It would be unfair of me not to preface this with the knowledge that I am not happy with the very existence of this film. Fine, you can do schlocky horror films about demon possessions, but this is based on a real event. And not just “these people claimed their house was haunted, here’s what happened”. It’s a murder. Someone died, there are people in that town who remember that event. The victim probably still has living relatives so to trivialise the murder seems super sketchy. It’s presenting as fact the notion that the murderer was possessed by demons. I’ve had similar issues with these films in the past. They uncritically present the “yup, what this family said was definitely true” side without exploring whether they were in fact bullshitting or not. Fun fact, when someone called the Warrens out on their BS, they responded the problem with the skeptics is “they don’t base anything on God”. That’s their default position, so it’s already coming from a place of bias.

So, what about the film itself? This is technically only the third, but there has been numerous spin-offs too so it’s more like the 8th. I have seen all except the last Annabelle film, and I can barely remember anything from them except for bits and pieces from the second one (probably because I reviewed it). I remember enough to say that these films have no idea about escalation, every single case is presented as “the most deadly they have ever seen”. This has happened a lot now and I’m starting to get bored of it. There doesn’t seem to be an endgame, it’s all the same thing again and again.

This film itself? It’s not great. As I’ve said, I can’t remember too much of the previous ones, but this has been the worst of the main series by a long way. Part of it is the directing, this is the first of the main three not directed by James Wan (who was probably busy with Malignant), so it’s lacking the one thing you can normally depend on for this franchise: a slick style that glosses over a lot of the cracks the series has.

Without Wan’s directing to distract you, the flaws are more apparent. It’s just not an engaging story. It’s muddled with no clear idea of what the focus is. It’s also weirdly frustrating at parts. Shying away from things you actually want to see. The murderers lawyer points out that claiming demonic possession as a defence is a stupid idea, the Warrens tell her “come to our house for dinner and we’ll show you the evidence, we’ll prove it to you that demonic possession is real and dangerous”. It then cuts to the courtroom. So we don’t see what convinced her. What a fucking cop out.

There’s another moment which was a little odd. The film has a doctor utter the words “Yes it was a heart attack, and not a mild one I’m afraid”. Something about that line seems weird and I can’t put my finger on it. It just feels like it’s downplaying it somewhat, a really weird sentence that sounds wrong somehow.

There’s a moment where they go straight from “we need to find him, he’s in danger” to Blondie. I was going to criticise the use of Blondie as the segue as it was an incredibly bad use of it and ruined a tense line. But the director makes up for it by using it for a REALLY good jump scare, bringing the music WAY down until the character is approached and bringing it up again. Masterful and shows what the director can do. But then they use it in another scare and just slow it down, and it’s not as effective. There are some good directing ideas here, but not enough to sustain it to the end.

And lets talk about the ending. They convince the court of the possession so the guy only gets manslaughter. Everybody cheers. We then get text telling us what happened and it’s like “Yaaay this person who definitely killed someone got released after serving only 5 years, and didn’t receive any medical help.” This is supposed to be a happy ending. Knowing that a killer is now living a happy life is not a happy ending to me. Especially since the “he was possessed by demons” robs him of taking any responsibility for it.

The Final Word: Day 2 (Final Destination 2)

Yup, after doing Final Destination, we’re now doing Final Destination 2. Because we’re crazy and weird like that. This sequel was released 3 years after the original, which looking back on it was probably one of the last horror films to have a plane explode which wasn’t deemed “ooo, too soon” for a long time. In that three years the original had gained quite a cult following so a sequel was not so much hoped for but expected at this point. The franchise is lucky to be honest, as it has no definable villain except the general concept of death, so really it can go on indefinitely. It’s not like Nightmare On Elm Street where they have to defeat Freddy, and then think of a way to bring him back the next film (with varying degrees of believability). This is the only film in the franchise with a returning main character, so the ties to the original are incredibly obvious. Speaking of things which are incredibly obvious, let’s start my jokes.

  • We start off with a recap of the events of the first film, done via news broadcast. I don’t mind that, it’s a clever way to do it, and it’s better than just playing flashbacks.
  • It’s talking about how everyone died soon after the events of the plane crash (well, it took over six months to get two of them, so stretching the definition of soon, also it wasn’t a crash, it was an explosion), speaking of the event as the starting incident in people realising “oh wait, death has a plan”. Now, spoilers, a future movie in the franchise (but I won’t tell you which one) is a prequel to the first one, and ends with the main characters on the plane from the first movie. A really good twist, but why is that situation never mentioned until that film? Nobody speaks about how “these people died in the plane crash also JUST avoided death in a tragic incident a few months before”. THAT should have been the main incident, not the plane crash. In a large event like that, newspapers would have picked up on that, surely?
  • “so I’m surrounded by death?” yeah I feel like that when I go outside at the moment too, you ain’t special.
  • “when Alex took the other survivors off that plane, it screwed up deaths plan”. But deaths plan was already screwed up by having two people on the plane who shouldn’t have been alive in the first place. So who would have died in their place? Damn, that future prequel opens up A LOT of questions.
  • “there were so many weird random things about the way they died, it just didn’t make sense”. Okay, WE know that as an audience, does the world know that? As far as they’re concerned all that happened was: a suicide, a bus accident, a house fire etc. Okay, some of them were creepy, but some were set up to look relatively mundane.
  • Oh, this is all taking place on a TV screen in a room of someone who is asleep and conveniently wakes up just at the correct moment to hear plot-relevant points.
  • “dad, it’s Daytona, not Somalia” Well done movie, you just lost the lucrative Somalia audience.
  • So what song starts off this horror movie? If you said “euro-pop dance” you were correct. Great song though
  • Main character in this is Kimberly, heading on a trip with her friends Shaina, Dano, and Frankie. Dano and Frankie are the kind of guys who call women “honey’s”, so you already hope they die.
  • The car radio plays news about a memorial to the plane crash, then Highway To Hell, the characters find this a bit of a creepy coincidence because they know they’re in a horror movie. Seriously, most of the “creepy” set ups in this franchise only work because the characters know they’re in a horror movie. If you turned on the radio and heard “Highway To Hell” on a road trip, would you find that creepy or symbolic? Nope, just strange.
  • Anyway, they change it, and get the exact same band as they listened to when they started the trip (another great song), I’d find that creepier than AC/DC to be honest.
  • A guy who looks like he’s called “Brad” or another similar dude-bro name drives past them and creepily stares at them, for no other reason than this film needs to make us aware of him for later.
  • She gets a phone call from her dad telling her the car is leaking transmission fluid. She has a car phone, and has driven to pick up two dick-havers, and only NOW is he phoning her? Damn that’s cold.
  • Biker boobs. This series gets much more tit-orientated as it goes on, so beware of that.
  • We’re introduced to the rest of the cast by watching them driving. We get nothing about their personalities or names, but we know they can drive.
  • Cop is driving with coffee near his lap, because the NY police budget doesn’t extend to cupholders. The obvious happens and he spills the coffee.
  • A logging truck chain breaks, forcing a big log (lol) to fall off and bounce through the cop guys window. Reports that Trump called the wood an “Antifa BLM agent” have been made up by me, but are still probably accurate. Great kill though, still lingers with me whenever I’m behind a logging truck.
  • He dead. Which causes a guy on a motorbike to fall off and smash into a piece of wood, before getting crushed by his own bike.
  • A car containing a stoner dick flips over and lands safely. Yay. Before getting hit by a truck. Boo.
  • Cars flip and go boom. I’m really underselling it, this is probably my favourite disaster in the franchise. It looks incredible and I think part of that is because of how much of it is practical. The logs were fake as they didn’t bounce properly, and they used it for things like removing wires and putting an actors face on a dummy. It looks so great, and compared to how fake they look in some (especially the fourth one, spoilers)
  • Someone gets stuck in a car and burns to death in a horrific death, he literally screams as he’s burned alive, its awful and great.
  • Everybody dies.
  • But they don’t. Because Kimberly pulls over. The log truck drives past and we get enough time for Kimberly to say “that’s the truck that’s going to kill everyone, why won’t you listen to me?” before the crash happens. Ignore the fact that the deaths actually took place about 5 minutes later, and much MUCH further down the road, because we can still see the crash from their viewpoint, the timing of these have always been wrong. But still, everyone survives, right? Wrong! Only Kimberly gets out the car, the rest stay in there until they get hit by a truck which didn’t stop for some reason. Also, she parked the car on an on-ramp and blocks it so nobody can gets past. Yet the car was hit by the truck in the middle of the freeway. How did it move there?
  • “I knew something bad was going to happen”, yeah I have that too. It’s called high level anxiety.
  • “it’s like that 180 flight that happened one year ago today”. I’m sorry, are we saying death observes anniversaries?
  • “you must have read about that kid who had a dream about the plane blowing up?” no, but I read about the kid before that who had a dream about another accident and saved people from that, who then died on that plane crash. Seriously, one of the films being a prequel REALLY fucks up this franchise.
  • “A month goes by, everything seems cool”, because nothing is cooler than dead people.
  • “death was stalking them”, well he got one of them in the shower, bit creepy.
  • “did mum ever have any weird feelings about anything?” Well she always had a funny turn when Joan Jett was on TV, but i think that was mainly the leather.
  • “Did she have any premonitions?” are you asking if she was a witch? Because you’re the one who died in a fire but not really.
  • We’re now at the house of blonde douche. A guy called Evan who won the lottery yet still lives in a shitty flat. He used his winnings to buy new computer etc. Which is stupid, if he spent it on house THEN got laptop he’d have less to carry. Also, him winning the lottery has NO effect on the plot except he has voice messages from people trying to hook up with him.
  • A fire starts as he’s got his hand stuck in garbage disposal. Something which wouldn’t have happened if HE MOVED OUT.
  • He tries to escape but all the windows slam shut and seem to lock because magic death powers. The magic death powers aren’t enough to stop him breaking the window and climbing out though.
  • His fire-escape ladder gets stuck and his flat explodes (something which seemingly affects nobody else in the block of flats somehow).
  • He hits the floor then slips on some spaghetti (not joking), the ladder THEN slides down nearly impaling him in the eye but stopping at the last moment. He then lies completely still until it does fall down and kill him. His death would have been stopped if he just rolled to the side like a regular person. It’s not a satisfying death because of how stupid it is. The make-up looks great though.
  • The cop is investigating the plane crashes and looks up reports of the deaths, where we get the worst picture/caption ever.
Tod in bathtub. Caption "a nice shot before the coroner
  • Seriously that is such a staged picture, he’s obviously posing. And who put that caption there? That’s not me, that’s in the film. What the hell?
  • We then find out how Alex died, he got hit by a falling brick. Obviously all the media attention never got him a helmet.
  • “a semi comes” I normally can’t do that until I get a full one.
  • Everyone is watching the news about the crash when a report comes up about the death of Evan. Now, none of the characters ever interacted with Evan, he was specifically shown as not being interviewed at the same time as everyone else, he was watching through a two way mirror. So why are they creeped out by this? They don’t know he nearly died. They would just see it as another death.
  • We see Tim, a 15 year old who survived the crash alongside his mum, and who is weirdly written. He’s 15, yet his mum comes into his room and kisses him goodnight like he’s 5.
  • Kimberly does more research into Flight 180, because what this film needed was more people sitting at computers.
  • I don’t know why she’s worried though, she’s got the Infinity Gems in her damn lamp.
  • See, she’s basically Thanos.
  • Kimberly then goes to the mental institution where Clear is, the next day. Not as though there’s an emergency or anything, take your time.
  • “at the request of the patient you will relinquish [stuff here], pocket knives, poisons”. What kind of place is this that they have to specifically request “no poison”?
  • Wooo Clear is back. In a room designed to keep her safe with lots of pictures on the wall and a TV. She’s risking a tv explosion or multiple paper cuts.
  • “all my friends are dead”, but you mentioned in the previous film that you didn’t know any of them that well, so not as though you were besties. At most it’s “my acquaintances are dead”
  • “don’t worry, once death gets the others it will come back for you” oh okay, that’s reassuring.
  • Kimberly see’s a reflection of pigeons flying and panics thinking they’re near her, despite not feeling them, not being able to see them outside of the reflection, or not hearing them (and it was a lot of pigeons) she still asks “did you see them?” to someone who had his back to the window.
  • Tim goes to the dentist, where pigeons (oh no!) fly into the window and nearly break it. Also a fish tank leaks into an electrical circuit, but we know that won’t do anything as we’ve already established pigeons will cause death.
  • Somehow nobody notices the electric sparks from the plug socket, or the water on the floor (despite a character nearly slipping on it).
  • A fish-mobile above the dentists chair (perfectly normal in a dentist that works on people over the age of 5) breaks and a fish falls into Tim’s mouth, he looks he will nearly die but the dental assistant comes and saves him. Not quite sure that room would be left unattended but movie gonna movie.
  • He survives and comes out the building, no complains about almost dying and runs into a flock of pigeons to scare them, again, he’s 15, not 5. This triggers a crane operator to drop a sheet of glass on him killing him.
  • A brutal death, but another one in which adequate health and safety regulations would have stopped. The crane shouldn’t have been holding a load like that in a public area in case it accidentally goes off. (and trust me, I know something about accidentally letting a large load go).
  • Wooo it’s Bludworth again being creepy and disturbing, seemingly walking out of fire. Clear argues with him saying “death’s design is flawed and can be beaten”, which begs the question if she thinks that then why was she hiding away? Nothing has changed on her end to change her mind.
  • Also, Bludworth uses pliers to pull out a nipple piercing from a body. Bit gross, but could be grosser.
  • Essentially new life can cause deaths plan to be cancelled. So basically if you nearly die, fuck everybody you can in the hope of starting new life. Of course this might mean you now die of an STD.
  • Kimberly gets another vision, this time of a van crashing into a lake. She says she can see it happening and could almost taste the water, but the vision wasn’t from her point of view. Which brings me up to another point: how does she know in which order the deaths were supposed to happen in the crash? We saw them all, but she would have a very limited POV, if she saw them from the same places we were that would have effected how realistic she thought they were, and at some point she would have noticed “oh wait, I seem to be watching things from the angle of someone floating 2 inches in front of a strangers car”. The death in the first film was in a confined space and had an ignition source so Alex could trace it like that. But in this? What would she have actually seen in the vision? She might not have even seen the log fall off.
  • Drug guy who’s name I can’t be bothered finding out goes into a lift with a dodgy door, putting his dog-shit shoe in someone’s face, because he’s a dick.
  • The group is all together, and one of them is nearly killed by a falling canoe indoors.
  • They find out Nora (Tim’s mum, who has had almost zero characterisation) is next to die, and will probably involve a hookhand. Sadly not Candyman, but a random old white guy with prosthetic limbs. Her hair gets caught in one of them which leads to her head being trapped in the lift doors (why she couldn’t stay in the lift and untangle them is a mystery to me). What follows is a brutal death where she’s begging not to die. Unsuccessfully as she gets decapitated, her head ending up in the lift, her body on the outside.
  • Now we get the weirdly brilliant part of this story; we find out how all these people nearly died earlier on, but were saved by incidents in the first film. Eugene was a teacher who had to replace Ms. Lewton after she died in the first film. His replacement was stabbed. I question that one because if she died in the plane explosion, wouldn’t she still need to have been replaced? And at pretty much the same time too. So either way she would have had a replacement. And there’s no reason to suspect it wouldn’t have been him, that’s on death, not him.
  • The cop nearly died from the train decapitation. He was supposed to go investigate it but someone else did instead, who then died in a shootout. A shootout, at a car crash site. Probably a train employee stopping the police asking questions about why the fuck didn’t the train stop after hitting a car.
  • A woman with lego hair avoided going to a hotel with a gas leak because the bus she was on was the one that ran someone over in first film. I mean, she could have just caught the next bus and still made it.
  • Druggy dickhead survived a theatre fire because he was busy staring at the sign falling down at the end of the first film. He was on LSD so he would have been too distracted by the bright lights anyway.
  • Kimberly survived death because she was busy watching a news report on Tod’s death so she didn’t go outside to meet her mum, who got shot outside waiting for her. “how can you strangle yourself in a bathtub?” Well I often choke a chicken in there.
  • Also, is this film saying that the car crash deaths were caused by people surviving deaths related to flight 180? Because that’s like 26 people who nearly died but didn’t because of the effects of the plane explosion. All of them. All of them were death tying up loose ends. Bullshit.
  • Another car crash. Injures almost everybody in the car. Eugene is severely injured and taken to hospital. Lego hair is stuck in the vehicle, pinned down by another log.
  • A small child (well, teen) is almost hit by a van and is saved by stoner dickhead. Now, he dies later in the film after a bbq explodes and it turns out he was supposed to die at this moment. But how? Like what was the original plan? The accident here wouldn’t have happened if the original car crash was survived, and that wouldn’t have happened if the plane explosion wasn’t survived. How many damn loose ends is there in this film?
  • Lego hair dies when her airbag deploys, forcing her head against a pipe which goes through her head. Great make-up effects here and a shocking death. This causes her to drop her cigarette, which ignites a trail of gas, causing an explosion which causes wire fencing to be shot over to stoner dick, trifurcating him in a great death, albeit one that is just a bit stupid if you think about it.
  • Kimberly has another vision about being choked by a nurse, I’ve often had dreams about that happening to me. *wistful sigh*
  • Kimberly, Cop, and Clear rush to the hospital. They are somehow very far behind Eugene who is not only there but has been checked in and hooked up to machines in the 4 minutes headstart he had.
  • Fire happens, and Kimberly realises that she needs to crash a van into a river, die, and come back to life. Oh yeah, Claire have died in an explosion. Very boring deaths, especially considering how important a character Clear was in these movies.
  • She dies, but comes back to life, this resets deaths plan. I think. See, the kid I mentioned earlier dies. So obviously not everybody is safe. So is it just Kimberly that is safe? Or is the cop safe too because it was the same accident? I don’t know! And neither does the film. Good death though.
  • I never do this but the ending credits to this are not great. I don’t know if it’s the transfer to DVD or not but they’re incredibly jerky, every few seconds they go weird. And they’re REALLY blurry. Weird.

So yeah, that’s day two over. Tomorrow is Final Destination 3, because of course it is.

The Curse Of La Llorona (2019)

The Conjuring universe is weird. It started off very good with the first movie, then it started spinning off into Annabelle (3 of them now), The Nun, and now this. There have been 7 completed films released in the franchise, with 3 more planned for the future. It’s time to admit, I don’t get it. I don’t get the massive success of them considering the average nature of them. I wouldn’t mind if they were different and they each had their own identity and distinct flavour, but so many of them are the same movie repeated again and again, maybe that’s what horror is now but I’m not a fan. A lot of scares are repeated too, I get the feeling if you watched these all in quick succession you’d struggle to tell the difference between a lot of them. Saw a chart that said horror movies can be categorised in 6 sub-genres: gore/disturbing, psychological, killer, monster, zombie, paranormal. So far, all of these films have been in the last category. I’m not asking them to suddenly do The Thing but I just want something different from what they’ve already released (really close to each other as well so you don’t even get time to forget the similarities).

So, onto this particular film. As you can probably guess I wasn’t too impressed, mainly because I found it really dull. Plus, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve already seen a lot of the scares before. I had an issue with the casting too. It’s a very Hispanic movie, set in Hispanic lore and traditions which are integral to the plot. Most of the cast are Hispanic, with one exception, the lead. She was played by Linda Cardellini, who you may know from Scooby-Doo.


Yeah, much Hispanic.

I know, whitewashing happens, but it’s not usually this noticeable. The film isn’t even good enough to distract you from this. La Llorona is a real tale, it’s a genuine thing people believe and it’s a terrifying concept. So for it to be reduced to a cookie-cutter generic “thing goes woooo” is disappointing. Much like a lot of these films the “powers” are indecisive. There are moments where she’s in a perfect position to kill someone and then just doesn’t, despite that being her goal. There’s a point where the ghost is in a room alone with a child that she wants to kill, so she washes her hair. She does later hold her head under the water, so it ended with her doing the attempted kill, but it should have happened earlier and the only reason it didn’t was that the film-makers wanted a disturbing image. And it is a disturbing image, but it breaks the story.

Like I said, the legend of La Llorona is a fascinating one about a woman wandering the earth looking for her children so she can get into heaven. She kidnaps children and then drowns them. In the film this translates to her locking doors and doing that sudden “creepy forward movement” that these films love, then cut to black. This doesn’t always happen near rivers, which would have made it a more effective film. Actually a much more effective use of the legend is if the entire film was set in a campsite etc, somewhere near a river. As it is the film turns into a generic haunted house film for the closing section. It should have been set near a river for the entire film and used that. Would have allowed you to stick to the story, have more natural looking deaths, have an ensemble cast of children that you could slowly kill off (as opposed to killing two at the start, and that’s pretty much it), and would allow you to get better images (a mother watching La Llorona approach her child whilst she’s on the opposite side of the river unable to help would be an arresting image). This film has no differences from the other films in the franchise, and I cannot overstate how much of a wasted opportunity that is.

So in summary, not just a bad film, but a very disappointing one too.

IT: Chapter 2 (2019)

Is this the best horror movie of the year? Well it’s definitely better than Ma and Escape Room, and scarier than Happy Death Day 2 U and Child’s Play. The only one that can really match it is Us, which I loved. I think this Us is better, but only marginally. It’s not so much what this film is lacking which brings it down, it’s what it contains; far too much. This film is far, far too long. It’s almost 3 hours long and doesn’t need to be. There’s a lot of padding, a lot of repeating what we already know, and a lot of things that don’t go anywhere. Not just scenes, there are entire sub-plots which aren’t really necessary. Yes, it was good to see Henry Bowers as a psychopathic adult, but it barely adds anything to the plot and if you cut it out it wouldn’t really affect the plot. He may have been important in the book, but they’ve changed over things, and he was so ineffectual that I don’t think anybody would have really missed him. The opening is also a waste of time, if I’m being honest. It’s about two gay characters being attacked by a homophobic gang, ending in one of the two being thrown off a bridge where his partner witnessed him being attacked by Pennywise. It looks like the gang of homophobic assholes are going to be a big fixture in this film, like Bowers was in the first film, but they never appear again. Also not appearing again; the surviving character. He witnesses his partner being eaten by Pennywise, and is never seen again in the film. He could have been an important part, an outsider in the Losers club.

Despite the excessive runtime, there are a lot of things that are underutilised, one of which is Pennywise himself. There is also a problem with consistency, you’re not quite sure whether things are real or illusions, so you don’t know whether things have consequences, and it’s arguable about whether the film itself even knows. It also features possibly one of the most embarassing scenes in 2019 horror when a really tense moment suddenly has a really out-of-place use of the song “Angel Of The Morning” in a way that I think was supposed to be comedic, but it didn’t really work at all as it was the coda of a really intense section.

Arguably, I think this film would have been better as a trilogy. The first one as the younger characters, the second one as the older, and the third switching between the two (or switch the third and second one). There’s too much story to tell so you can’t do it all in this period of time. For this to have worked they would have needed to make all 3 at the same time, which would be fine. It also would have cut down on the flashbacks in this movie, which threaten to overrule the story. It’s hard for a lot of the flashback scenes to work that effectively because they lack tension. The reason for this is because we know the characters survive as we’ve seen the older versions of them, so we know that no matter what, nothing too bad will happen.

Despite that, despite ALL that, I did really enjoy this film. When it was creepy it was incredibly unsettling, and when it was funny it was very funny (with two notable exceptions). The performances are also great, McAvoy continues to be one of the best performers in every movie he’s in, all the cast from the first movie continue to be great too. The real MVP though; Bill Hader. I didn’t know he had this performance in him, he nails every aspect of the character. His jokes, his guilt, and his insecurity are played perfectly by him.

It does also feature a semi-distracting Stephen King cameo though. Although that cameo does consist of him telling a character who is clearly based on him “I like your books but your endings suck”, which made me laugh. So yeah, definitely go see this, preferably at the cinema for the best experience.

See-Saw Day Eight (Jigsaw)

Director: The Spierig Brothers

Budget: $10million

Box Office: $103million

  • And here we are. The final one. Described by the company as a “return to form” which is their way of admitting the last few were shit.
  • Open on a really weird shot of a police light taken through a rolled-up set of those spikes police put down to stop cars. Unique shot and I kind of dig it.
  • A guy has a bomb in his hand which will go off unless a detective Halloran is there.
  • Halloran turns up, the guy ends up getting shot in the stomach and kill shim, which starts off a new game. We know this because the character says “the game is starting”. Why are people who are dying in films so unhelpful and vague?
  • People wake up with buckets on their head chained to a wall. Chains pull them towards a spinning blade. The game here is; if they cut themselves on the blade, no matter how little, the blade will stop. They all do it except for one guy who is passed out, but I’m sure he’ll never be referenced again.
  • “i hope for our sake this is a game, because games can be won”. Tell that to Battletoads on the SNES.
  • A woman jogs under a bridge, turns around and realises there’s a body hanging from the bridge.
  • “Think it’s Kramer?” “hope not, he’s been dead for 10 years”. Two things: I know Jigsaws real name was John Kramer. But you can’t say Kramer and not expect me to think of this:


  • Secondly: what’s the timeline for these movies? Because it’s been about 10 years since the film where Jigsaw died was released, but I thought all the other films happened pretty soon after that one?
  • Logan, the morgue guy knows the guy investigating it, who tells him “sorry about Christine”. So this guys wife is dead? That will definitely come back later.
  • Wait, Logan was attacked by the Taliban in Fallujah? That’s racist. Oh you need me to explain? Ok, here goes: Fallujah is in Iraq, the Taliban don’t operate there, they operate in Afghanistan. This would be like saying a gang from California are operating in South Dakota.
  • Well whoever the new Jigsaw is, he has finally upgraded to digital, leaving an SD card in the body this time.
  • The people with the chains round their neck all have to admit their sins. The chains have stopped being attached to the wall and are now attached to the ceiling. I wonder how this will end up.
  • This is aimed at a specific person, someone who stole a purse from someone who then died because the purse contained medication which led to the person dying. There’s three needles in the room, one has an antidote to poison, one has saline solution, and one has acid, one needs to be injected into her or they all die by strangulation from the chains rising up the ceiling. What would have happened if she died in the first room? This game would be unwinnable.
  • All three end up injected in her neck, so she dies from the acid, but at least she’s not poisoned.
  • Ryan, (for some reason I thought he was called Mitch, and Mitch was called Ryan) tried to go through a door labelled “no exit”. This ends badly and his feet go through the floor, ending up entangled in razor wire that starts tightening.
  • The other two (Mitch and Anna) go into a silo, the door locks, and grain starts filling the silo. This on its own I would like, it’s slow, methodical, but unique. But then it kind of ruins it by dropping blades down into them as well. Yes, that’s more gruesome, but it’s not unique to me. For them to escape, Ryan has to pull a handle, severing his own leg.
  • The woman doing the autopsies (Eleanor) turns out to be a massive fan of Jigsaw. I thought this would go somewhere but nah.
  • Now we find out why Mitch is there, he sold someone a motorbike with faulty brakes which led to them dying. The tape there is specifically for him, so again I have to ask; what would have happened if he died in the first room? Or in the silo? This film only works because the characters act in the way they need to for the script to develop. If any of the characters do anything else other than what the script tells them to, this plan would fall apart. I mean, what if Mitch got his leg chopped off and died?
  • The kid who died on the bike; Jigsaws nephew. He ends up being lowered into a thing I can’t really describe; it’s like a spiral blade that gets thinner towards the end. He needs to reach through the middle of it as it’s spinning and stop the brake.
  • “Stop it, I don’t wanna die” I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all.
  • He dies. But Bohemian Rhapsody is a great song.
  • Okay now Eleanor being a fan is making sense. The cops are suspecting her and Logan are murdering people.
  • Logan said that Halloran is framing him. He proves this by taking the bullet out of the guy who got shot earlier, saying the bullet is one that only Halloran uses. To me, this means it’s definitely not Halloran. As this film series doesn’t plant clues like that, it doesn’t like doing things which are simple. It likes the twist ending which means you can’t trust anything you see, which means you have a real trust issue as you assume no “clues” are actually worthwhile. That’s the issue with these, they try so hard to be intricate and clever they end up being kind of stupid.
  • Jigsaw unveils himself (not like that) in front of Anna. Thereby proving that this film (or at least the main test section) takes place in the past, because we know he’s DEFINITELY dead and a twin brother hasn’t even been hinted at.
  • More proof “what are you doing John?”, Anna says, not “Holy fuck it’s a zombie”.
  • We now find out why Ryan is being tested. He was being a drunken dickhead, which caused his friends car to crash, killing three people.
  • Anna saying “I didn’t do anything, you know me” which is a stupid thing to say. She knows what she did, so the fact he knows her means he knows what she did. It turns out Anna’s husband didn’t suffocate their baby by rolling onto it. Instead she suffocated it with a pillow to stop it crying. He got arrested, went mad, and committed suicide.
  • The final trap; a shotgun which John describes as their “key to freedom”. Anna grabs it and tries to shoot Ryan, but it fires backwards and kills her. And turns out Jigsaw meant it literally, there were keys to their chains in the gun, which are now ruined due to the gunshot.
  • Halloran and Logan have woken up with laser cutters around their necks, buttons on the desk in front of them start up the lasers and they have to confess. Halloran presses the one on Logans side, setting Logan’s trap off, because he’s a dick. Logan confesses he was the one who messed up Jigsaws diagnosis which mean his cancer wasn’t diagnosed in time. Logan “dies”. Halloran now, he admits he’s locked innocent people away and taken bribes so guilty people stay safe. Halloran notices the roof above him was destroyed by lasers, but the one above Logan wasn’t. Surprise surprise Logan rises and turns out to have been faking it. Who isn’t surprised?
  • Turns out Logan was the first guy, the one who passed out in the first room. The barn game took place 10 years ago. Halloran is responsible for Logan’s wife dying. He put people in identical tests this year to recreate the one from 10 years ago (and we didn’t see this one, because why would we want to see new things when we can see old things?)
  • This “explaining the film we just saw” (hah, “saw”) thing has taken far far too long, and still doesn’t explain some characters motives.
  • Wait, that’s it? Okay that’s odd. It has made zero references to the previous films really. On the plus side that means it stands alone. On the downside it means you’re kind of punished for watching the previous ones as it was a waste of time as none of it meant anything. Dr. Gordon isn’t mentioned despite being a very important character apparently. None of the cops come back. This film series has a toxic relationship with continuity. It’s either burying it underground or fucking it.

See-Saw Day Seven (Saw 3D)

Director: Kevin Greutert

Budget: $20million

Box Office: $136.1million

  • Oh boy, this film is also in 3D, that’s a sure sign of quality when it comes to horror films and is not at all a desperate attempt at dragging people to see it by promoting a gimmick.
  • This film was also known as “Saw: The Final Chapter”. Like almost every single film with that title, however, it’s not the last one.
  • We’re starting with flashbacks to the first one? Jesus HG Wells
  • Although the fact they’re doing this shows that the one-legged doctor is back. Let’s face it; they wouldn’t focus on that scene unless something important from it was coming back. It can’t be Jigsaw, we saw his autopsy, it can’t be Adam, we saw him die in the third one too, so that leaves only Dr. Gordon.
  • Yup, we see a one-legged person crawling.
  • And now I have Linkin Park in my head.
  • Ah man he looks rough, love the make-up they do on him, makes him look awful, in a good way.
  • Fun fact; this film was once shown accidentally at the cinema instead of Megamind.
  • Now onto a trap, two people are chained to a table with buzzsaws on it. In a shop window. How on earth did this get set up? And why have people only just noticed? I mean, we see people stop and stare, but we also see people who are walking away from it so obviously walked past it before the film started. Would it have been too much to ask for a curtain to be involved? Not exactly a complex problem.
  • All these people are standing there, none of them try to break down the glass.
  • Now a curtain comes down, a woman is tied to the ceiling, in basically her underwear.
  • Now the reason; she’s been cheating one on with the other, getting them to steal stuff for her. They have to either push the saw into the other one, or kill her.
  • She goads one to kill the other, then quickly switches her allegiance when the other person starts to look like they’re winning. This works as well as can be expected for her, they decide she dies, with the fakest fake stuff that’s ever looked fake. I mean, I get they can’t actually kill people for movies (damn human rights laws) but they can make it look better than this.
  • Gee this film sure likes its flashbacks, going back to the end of the last movie now, where Hoffman escaped his bear trap.
  • Jill is at the police station but will only speak to certain people, specifically Internal Affairs, who describe her as “crazier than a sack full of cats”, is that a thing people say?
  • “You’ve got to give before you receive in this house Jill” that sounds sexual.
  • Guy called Bobby Dagan is on television talking about how he survived a Jigsaw trap and published a self-book about it. He later turns out to have been bullshitting. He tells a story about how he had to dig two hooks into his pectoral muscles and use them hoist himself up. Weird that nobody asked to see the scars to prove that. Or asked the doctors who definitely would have treated him about his rehabilitation.
  • “I found a strength I didn’t know I had, I just pulled myself up, and yanked the hooks out of my chest” and then I totally had sex with a really hot cheerleader, she’s from Canada you don’t know her.
  • Jill has a nightmare that she gets killed by being run over by a train/spike. Weirdly her dreams are in 3rd person view.
  • Dream sequences are another surefire way that you’re doing a great job with a horror movie btw.
  • I mean, I’ll allow it for Nightmare On Elm Street.
  • Chester Bennington from Linkin Park wakes up in a car-based trap. And now I’m reminded of his death and I have a sad.
  • Okay, it turns out he’s a nazi skinhead, and Jigsaw abhors racism. So to sum up; Jigsaw hates: privatized healthcare, nazi’s infidelity, and extortionate money lenders. #JeSuisJigsaw
  • Quite a complicated trap, he’s glued to a car and in 30 seconds the car he’s in will drop down, crushing one of his friends, then drive off, tearing off the arms of someone else, and will end up crashing into someone on the other side.
  • Jigsaws message btw was played on an in-car tapedeck.
  • Luckily (not for him) the glue is a bit stronger than the glue I’m used to. Otherwise he’d have been lose before he even woke up.
  • “damn you Evan, you got us into this”. Typical Nazi’s, always blaming each other for their mistakes. It’s usually the Jews though.
  • Wow, some of the stuff in this looks REALLY fake. The skin peeling off his back looks plastic, the head being crushed is really hard to look at and NOT know it’s fake, you can OBVIOUSLY tell the person who got his limbs taken off is a mannequin. It’s like they just didn’t care, there’s no dedication to their craft in this and it means they end up looking laughable.
  • A Jigsaw survivors group. I like this as an idea, it makes it seem real. You know what I don’t like? The marketing for this film. The poster showed a statue of Jigsaw being made, suggesting a cult-like following for him or that a lot of people were starting to agree with his methods and make their own piss-poor versions of his traps. THAT would have been a great film, would be like Death Note mixed with The Dark Knight and would have been AMAZING!
  • This survivor was in a trap with her abusive husband. They were both left hanging above a series of blades and had to kick the other one down into them. Yes, it’s a lovely story about how an abusive husband got his just desserts, but what if he won? He’d have learned that violence is the answer to escape things and got more abusive towards people.
  • “this is my lovely wife Joyce”. I like when people say that as it seems like they’re about to follow it with “and this is my awful wife”.
  • Dr. Gordon is definitely still alive, he’s in the group being sarcastic to Bobby. “We appreciate being part of your promotional DVD”
  • “who’s the creepy guy with the cane? Anyone should be worried about?” Erm, surely you’d know him as being one of the main suspects?
  • The tape from the car crash still works, kinda. Enough to piece together what it says, and amazingly he rewound it back to the start of the message.
  • Bobby has been kidnapped and is now in a trap. He must be so happy that his story is finally true.
  • He’s in a cage that’s being dragged around a house, and the only reason this wouldn’t be a theme park ride in the future is if it already is one.
  • He finds his publicist, she’s tied to a chair, a fish hook is down her throat, with a key attached to the end of it. He has a minute to get it out or spikes will drive into her, killing her. The spikes will also advance if she makes a noise. So for spreading lies, she now has to stay silent. This is what the series should do, more poetic traps.
  • He gets the key out just in time but doesn’t manage to unlock the trap because he’s a character in a Saw movie so has no idea how keys work.
  • Flashback to Jigsaw meeting Bobby, because he takes this kind of thing personally.
  • The next room has his lawyer. Her eyes will be pierced unless he holds heavy weights up for a minute, but when he lifts them up blades stab into his sides. He doesn’t even lift, bro, and she dies, on her final second before escaping. Because he drops the weights and can’t be bothered to pick them up again. There were lockers etc in there, I’m sure he could have wedged one of them under.
  • His friend is in the next room. Blindfolded with a noose around his neck, above a hole in the floor with random planks of wood over it. Again, it’s a timed challenge, and again, he doesn’t move until the tape stops playing. Because that wouldn’t be fair play?
  • Bobby gets the key and tries to throw it to his blindfolded friend, this goes about as well as can be expected.
  • Flashback again, this time to a time that Hoffman saved the IA guys life, by getting a homeless guy to drop his weapon, and then shooting him in the back when he’s unarmed. Hoffman got reported for brutality and ended up getting promoted.
  • Next room; his wife is in another room and to get to her he has to unlock the door between them. The code for the door is etched on his teeth, FINALLY utilising the motif from the second or third poster. Only 4 or 5 films too late.
  • He manages it, although it’s a bit weird the numbers were etched on his roots, as that wouldn’t be possible without either removing the teeth or cutting through the gums.
  • Now he’s in the trap that he lied about being in. So he has to dig hooks into his pectoral muscles and hoist himself up. He could, of course, just put the hooks in his clothes. and the hooks are big enough for him to put his feet into so he could rest his feet on the dip in the hook. As it is he digs the hook into himself and is surprised to find that it’s actually quite painful.
  • IA guy finds Hoffmans lab, where it turns out he’s been watching them the whole time and has swapped himself for one of the bodies from the earlier test to get himself into the coronors office. And then a machine gun kills them all.
  • Hoffman walks around and massacres everyone at the morgue, as the SWAT team are gassed. Yeah, this is not a GREAT way to cover your mistakes as it now means you’re kind of a terrorist.
  • Hoffman finds Jill and shoots the guard protecting her. But it’s fine as the guard was actually an alien, I mean, the film doesn’t say he is, but his blood is almost pink so do you have another explanation?
  • Bobby nearly reaches the top and unhooks the trap, but his skin rips and he plummets to the floor.
  • As such his wife is locked into a kind of brazen bull device, which is engulfed with flames. Yeah, that’ll teach her not to……..believe her husband when he lies to her. Yet again this films kills people to teach others a lesson. It kills innocent people to teach guilty people the value of life.
  • Oh but it’s okay, he’s super sad about it.
  • Hoffman puts the bear trap on Jills face. And for the first time in this series it actually works. But because it’s this film, it looks fake as shit.
  • Seriously, it’s the same director as the last film, and the budget was twice as big this time. So why the sudden drop in blood quality?
  • Hoffman burns everything and leaves the building. Only to be apprehended by three people in pigs masks. One of which is Dr. Gordon, who after being annoyed that he was accused of being Jigsaw in the first movie, became Jigsaw after it. This reveal that he was in on it the entire time actually makes sense, it explains how all the delicate medical procedures were done. This series can’t be subtle about it though, and decides to show us him performing the surgeries. Because we can’t be trusted to come to any conclusion on our own.
  • That being said this film doesn’t explain who the other two people in pig masks are. It’s explained in the commentary that they were the two people from the trap at the start of this movie. But it’s never explained or even hinted at. So we’re left with the “who are they” unanswered, and the purpose of the first trap isn’t explained either. This film alternates between holding our hands too much, and tying us in a sack, expecting us to be able to swim when we hit the water. It’s incredibly frustrating.
  • So that’s it for now. Tomorrow will be Jigsaw, the least terrible of the sequels I think

See-Saw Day Six (Saw VI)

Director: Kevin Greutert

Budget: $11million

Box Office: $68million

  • The sixth film in the series. Let’s see what new things this brings to the table.
  • Two people have woken up in a strange room with no idea how they got there. How new, fresh, inspired and never been done before in this series.
  • They’re money lenders, well, loan sharks to be more precise. They lend money then ask for extortionate amounts back. Kind of like Wonga did. Actually I doubt they’re worse than Wonga. That company was literally evil. They would quickly lend you money, but at an almost 6,000% yearly interest rate. Then when people couldn’t pay them back (which considering the nature of their business and their advertising being aimed at people who are out of work or in severe financial hardships, was pretty likely) they would phone them and say that them being in debt could lead to them being fired from their job. They would then send letters from fake law firms to them demanding payment. The (I repeat) FAKE law firm charges were then added onto the debt, increasing it even more. The company executives then would store their profits offshore so they didn’t have to pay tax. So, that company can go fuck themselves with a cactus wrapped in barbed wire. Anyway, back to the film. These two are now in competition; whichever one can cut the most flesh off themselves (in terms of weight, not size etc) gets to live. I have criticised this series a lot, but I do like this trap, mainly because of the poetic nature of it. They’re literally asked to pay their pound of flesh.
  • The fat guy shows his advantage by slicing his fat off his stomach, which considering the other person is a skinny woman, seems like cheating somewhat.
  • She realises this and chops her arm off, she wins, let’s celebrate, come on, give her a hand. Oops, this is awkward.
  • Was there any way to check they weren’t cheating by like throwing their shoe onto the scales instead?
  • We see the end of the last movie. Surprisingly Strahm DIDN’T survive being crushed into a small cube. I know, shocking right?
  • A guy in an office can’t make dinner. And the look the woman sitting opposite him gives definitely makes me think they’re fucking, and on the (presumably) wifes birthday.
  • Oh, it’s possible he’s just a dickhead. He runs a health insurance company which denied healthcare to someone with cancer, because AMERICA! The only country where you’ll get shot at a school, then bankrupted when they take the bullet out.
  • I realise that last comment might seem insensitive considering there was a school shooting today in America. To that I respond with this; if I waited to publish then on a day with no school shootings I might never get a chance. At the moment it seems the most likely way the American government will stop school shootings is by destroying all schools so they don’t have to pay for education.
  • Wow, there’s a group of people in this, their entire job is to find reasons to deny people health coverage. Imagine that being your job. You get money by ensuring sick people don’t get the treatment they need. You couldn’t pay me to do that job.
  • Hoffman is at the crime scene of the dead fat guy.
  • Oh it turns out Perez didn’t die. You know Perez, she was in it very briefly 2 movies ago and didn’t really do much.
  • Hoffman meets the one-armed girl and seems annoyed she doesn’t seem to have learned anything. She doesn’t even give him applause.
  • More Jigsaw. Because despite being dead for a long time, he’s still the most compelling character, and the writers know this.
  • The dickhole character from earlier (William) is walking around his office late at night where he shoots a suspicious character who turns out to be a security guard. He is so fucked, he will lose his job, possibly get executed and his name will be spat on for generations. There’s no coming back from this.
  • Oh wait, the security guard was black. At most he’ll get a $10 dollar fine.
  • You know what the best/worst part about that joke is? It will probably always be topical.
  • He gets kidnapped and wakes up to a Jigsaw tape (how many of these did he make?)
  • He’s locked up with the janitor from his work. Every time one of them breaths, a vice tightens around their chest. The janitor is a smoker so this is deeply unfair to him. Jigsaw openly admits he is punishing that guy because he smokes. That……..does not seem fair. That’s not equal to causing people to die. Like, at all.
  • Flashback to William meeting Jigsaw and openly admitting he developed a formula for deciding who to give healthcare coverage to so he could only give it to people who aren’t likely to need it. Because again….America.
  • The next test he has to kill one of his colleagues. This is kind of weird way to test him, by killing an innocent person. I mean, it is a kind of cool way of showing the choices he is actually making day to day with his business. But it’s punishing people who had nothing to do with it. His colleagues didn’t do anything to deserve this, they’re being killed to punish someone else.
  • We now see Hoffman putting the guy on the rack from the (I think) 4th movie. The fact I don’t know says a lot. These films have no individual identity. They all run together into one mess.
  • Oh wait, Amanda is still alive, it’s the 3rd movie this is from. So to summarise, now we have a scene featuring Jigsaw, Amanda, a guy whose name I can’t remember, and Hoffman, planning a trap for Jeff. So we have a scene with 5 people involved, only one of whom is still alive. How does this advance the narrative in any way? Seriously, at times it feels like these films are mainly comprised of deleted scenes from earlier films.
  • “Did you know that in the far east people pay their doctors when they’re healthy, and don’t pay when they’re ill?” That’s…….actually kind of a better system.
  • There’s the team from earlier; the ones whose job it was to deny sick people healthcare. They’re tied to a merry-go-round and one of them will be randomly killed until all of them are dead, and to “deselect” someone from being shot he has to put a spike through his own hand when the gun is aimed at them.
  • The cops (including perez) work out that Hoffman is actually the killer, so he kills her and the other two people in the room. He then burns the room down, because he really wants to be caught.
  • We find out that it was Hoffman who put the letter that freaked out Amanda at the end of the third movie. It turns out he knew that she was also responsible for Jigsaws wife miscarrying, and unless she killed Lynn then Hoffman would tell him. I’m so glad we have closure on that plot point from THREE MOVIES AGO.
  • William makes it to the last room. Where he’s met with the two people have who have been locked in the cage (Yeah i should have mentioned them earlier, a mother and her teenage child. They haven’t really done anything relevant yet so haven’t mentioned them). Turns out they’re the family of the guy who William denied health coverage to. They have a choice whether to forgive him, or inject him with acid. They chose the second option. Meaning we have lots of flashbacks of things we’ve already seen in the film which help explain the ending for those who are stupid to understand why it’s happened.
  • Oh, Hoffman has been put in a bear trap face-hugging device by Jigsaws wife. He escapes by breaking his own hands to escape being tied down, then jamming the trap in between two REALLY conveniently placed bars in the door. But he still has half his cheek torn out.
  • And that’s how this ends. Again, with not really any closure. If he died, that would be closure. If he got caught by police….closure. This all just feels like another chapter rather than a separate story. It’s admirable how they link together but none of them past the first one stand on their own merits.

See-Saw Day Five: Saw V

Director: David Hackl

Budget: $10.8million

Box Office: $113.8million

  • We open on lightning and rain. All that’s missing is demonic chanting and it would be cliche horror opening #151
  • A guy has woken up in near darkness. FINALLY, the director of one of these films realises we might actually want to see what’s going on and shines a spotlight on him.
  • Turns out the guy is called Seth, he killed somebody and escaped a full jail sentence. He’s chained down with a pendulum slowly making it’s way down. To escape he has to put his hands in blocks and crush them. He crushes his hands, driving his brain into an agonising pit and the pendulum rises. He still can’t get up, however, and the pendulum comes down, slicing his stomach open. So it’s going to be one of THOSE films, where Hoffman uses the motifs of Jigsaw without using the concept of game theory. So in other words; he’s just a random guy who tortures people. That’s what these films have become at this point, no longer about people testing their limits and us seeing it, it’s about torture and murder.
  • Yeah, he dies.
  • And now we flashback to the fourth movie. Specifically the part of the fourth movie that took place at the ending of the third one. So Strahm finds a hidden exit and escapes. Which is something I really wish I could do at this point. He finds a tape, because Jigsaw never went digital. He’s a purist in that way, a hipster.
  • He gets abducted by someone in a pig mask and placed in a trap. You know, just like almost every other character in this series.
  • The trap is this: his head is in a box that fills with water. And to escape….well he can’t, because this isn’t the first movie, aka the only one where that mattered.
  • He manages to escape still though, well he performs a tracheoctmy,trachoctomie, he makes a hole in his throat. This works.
  • Jigsaws wife is watching his video will. It turns out he’s left her something, a box. A box, which, despite belonging to a known serial killer, hasn’t been opened by police. Even if it was locked the police could still do it. I mean, security at airports tear the lock off your bag even if you’re not a serial killer.
  • A press conference announcing Jigsaw is dead and Hoffman caught him. They announce this in respect for those who have died, which somehow includes Danny Glover. I thought he lived for some reason.
  • How do people not know Hoffman is evil? Do they not listen to him when he speaks or see his face?
  • Hoffman goes back to his office, please as punch (with his punchable face) and finds a note saying “I know who you are”.
  • We flashback again to Perez getting her face blown off, the assumption being that it killed her. The last thing she said was “Detective Hoffman”, leading to Strahm believing that Hoffman is responsible (pretty accurately). Hoffman threatens him, which is definitely the actions of an innocent man.
  • Five people wake up in a room with a collar around their neck attached to massive razor blades. The five people are a mix of different genders and races, and an English guy.
  • This trap seems like all they need to do is do nothing for 15 minutes. Finally, my time to shine.
  • “I am fucking relaxed!” the guy screams.
  • They go to discuss their sins, but never actually do it. Shame.
  • An arsonist runs off, setting off the timer for the trap. What a dick.
  • Everyone starts to run off to get their keys. None of them thinks to also break the box next to theirs to get the other keys out too. Then everybody would relax. As it is, one of them dies, a blonde girl called……blonde girl. Who is there because……reasons.
  • So the guy in the first trap of this movie killed Hoffman’s sister. Which is probably why he died.
  • Strahm goes to the building where Seth died. Luckily the building is in the exact same state; even the hole in the window is still there. If that had been knocked down and replaced with luxury flats this wouldn’t be possible.
  • So the police who found Seth’s body knew who he was, and that he’d just got out of prison, and what for. And yet still didn’t know he was connected to Hoffman until he told them? These guys suck as detectives. I mean, wouldn’t they have known that his sister was murdered and the guy had just got out of prison? I mean, it was in the news and everything.
  • “I can see where the body was through this hole in the wall, this means Hoffman must have done it and made it look like Jigsaw!”. Or……Jigsaw did it because of his sense of justice, he’s killed people for similar reasons before. The only reason you know it’s Hoffman is because of the flashbacks, and you as a character don’t see those.
  • They go through their history, sadly they do it through speaking, not singing like in Chicago.
  • Oh, the English guy is an investigative journalist, that’s how he knows things.
  • The journalist beats the drug guy with a bat. But does it before they’ve got the key. Logically he should have waited until they got the key, and then hit them and stolen the key. If you’re going to be an asshole, do it right.
  • One of the women hits the English guy from behind, letting the drug addict take his key. See, this is why you should have waited. Also, what was her motivation? The drug guy is the one who set off the trap in the first room. Also, who would you rather have with you? Who would be more useful?
  • More flashbacks. This time to Jigsaw abducting Hoffman because he’s annoyed that he stole his gimmick. “they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, I tried using that as a defence in court for identity theft. Didn’t work.
  • See this is a compelling scene, where Jigsaw is convincing Hoffman to join him. Jigsaw is definitely the best character in these movies, which is why they keep using him long after he died. Really, killing him off was a terrible idea from a narrative standpoint as it kills the story and means you need to depend a lot on flashbacks to use your most valuable asset. But the trouble with using so many flashbacks is it’s hard to use them skillfully enough to advance the current narrative.
  • Back to the test subjects. We’re now down to three. Three really underdeveloped characters because the film has felt it more important to develop a character who died 2 films ago.
  • More flashbacks! This time to before the first movie, shows them abducting the guy who died in the barbed wire thing from the first film.
  • Now we have flashbacks to the second film, showing Hoffman dragging everybody into the house. I think about 50% of this story takes place via flashbacks
  • Back to the main trap people. Three of them in a room, they have to complete an electrical circuit to open the door. They decide to throw the junkie in a bathtub and connect all the electrical bits to him so he completes the circuit. One of them then decides “fuck that”, stabs the other woman in the back of the neck and uses her instead.
  • And now the two that are left FINALLY realise that if they stopped being selfish and actually helped each other they all would have survived. Every game was meant for 5 people. So this was essentially a team-building exercise?
  • They finally find what connects them. The junkie was paid to burn down an “abandoned” building which still had people inside. The woman at the start filed a bogus report, the city planner pushed through permits after being bribed, the journalist buried the story, and the other woman who was still alive set it all in motion.
  • Strahm has followed Hoffman somewhere and knocked him into a glass cabinet. Meanwhile another cop who hasn’t really done much finds the woman who was in the trap (the guy is dead due to blood loss), and suspects Strahm, putting out an APB on him.
  • The glass casket thingy hoffman is in falls backwards into a hole in the floor, as the rest of the room rises slowly, crushing Strahm. That has to be the only time I can recall a “slow crushing room” thing actually working in a film. Thing is, he really should have killed him another way. If he just shot him he could have said “I went to arrest him and he went to shoot me so I got him first”. How’s Hoffman gonna cover this up?

Hereditary (2018)

It’s been a few days since I watched this. I needed the cool-down period so that I could approach this with the sophistication and slick analytical nature which we are known for. So here goes: WHAT THE COCKING SHIT-FUCK WAS THAT?

I mean, I liked it, I think. I’m still not entirely sure to be honest. I thought it was very, very good, I’m just not sure if I ever want to see it again. It seems to have divided opinion, some people view it as a fantastic film that could lead the way for horror movies, whilst some people view it as a boring mess. Me? I see it as a boring mess, that could lead the way for horror movies.

There is a very good chance you’ll find the opening third incredibly tedious, and you will look at your watch/the person next to you/your own reflection in the shiny surface of something as you contemplate how you’re wasting your life. But like all films; once the small child gets decapitated, it really picks up. But only compared to what was going on before, compared to standard films it is still incredibly slow. Almost two-thirds of the film is basically foreplay, which is always a risky strategy as it means if you flub the actual orgasm then it’s just been a massive waste of everyone’s time. Luckily the cumshot here is really good. The closing section is just insane, in a brilliant way. I feel it could have been a better film if you cut a lot of the opening, but then that also could have hurt it. Part of the brilliance was the way everything was set up, there is SOOOOO much foreshadowing it’s actually genius. So many things you think are inconsequential (even the play being studied in class) actually turn out to be deeply important. After leaving the film you’ll suddenly remember a seemingly throwaway line, and how it actually foreshadowed something important, and you’ll think “fuck, that was brilliant”. And it is. The script is the work of someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. Same with the directing, scares are punctuated with audio cues. What normally happens in a lot of horror films is this: person is sitting in an empty room, suddenly there’s a loud piece of audio, and a face appears behind them. The way this does it; person sitting in an empty room, you suddenly notice there’s a face behind them, and you wonder how long it’s been there. This shows fantastic competence from a first-time director and is a brilliant idea. It forces you to feel you have to pay attention to every single moment. You can’t look away, not even for a second unless you want to risk missing. A lot of the times for films you can be a passive watcher, you’ll be watching the film but you won’t really be fully focused on it, you’ll be thinking of how hungry you are, whether England will win the world cup (Spoilers; yes! But not the football one, the cheese-rolling world cup), or whether that person sitting in front of you will ever SHUT UP and if he doesn’t stop talking you’re going to go down there and twat him with a crowbar. This, you’re very active, you can tell this even in the body language of the people who were watching it whilst I was there; everyone was leaning forward. It’s not just that that makes it seem the work of a seasoned director, the way they cut between scenes is unique, and brilliant, and is sure to lead to many poor directors attempting to imitate it and failing miserably.

This makes the very last scene even more frustrating. The film does a brilliant job throughout of teasing you with the truth, giving you glimpses of why what is happening is happening. Which makes it very puzzling that the final scene is someone explaining exactly what it was about, it would be like if you were watching The Thing and at the end John Carpenter appeared on screen and said “That guy on the left, he’s not human”. It treats the audience with so much respect for most of the film an then thinks we’re idiots who need it explained to us for the final section. I mean, I am an idiot, but still.

That being said, kudos to the film for having the sheer balls to kill what looked like the main character, and so brutally too, I like marketing works like that, when it deliberately deceives you, but not in a way that you feel cheated, but in a way that it means the story beats come as a complete surprise. It’s the way of saying “okay, now all bets are off” and it throws you off, I love it.

So should you see it? Maaaaaybe. There’s another film you should watch first: The Witch. If you hated that, you’d hate this too. But if you liked it, you’d like this too.

Truth Or Dare (2018)

The ending to this film is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen, and I once witnessed a guy fall over trying to kick a pigeon.

The ending to this film is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen, and I once witnessed a guy try to start a fight with a bus. Not the people on the bus, the bus itself.

The ending to this film is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen myself run this joke into the ground long after it stopped being funny

So yeah, I was not a fan of the ending. That’s the thing with horror, as a genre you really need to nail the ending otherwise it clouds the entire experience of the film. A lot of my hatred for both The Gallows and Unfriended is based around how poorly they executed the ending, both of them had great potential endings, but they then kept going. It’s hard to close a horror movie though, you need people to leave being scared, but you have to balance that with providing narrative closure, and usually, it’s the closure that suffers through the use of last-second jump scares and “the killer is still alive”, and if the ending doesn’t provide a satisfactory closure then it can feel like the entire film was a massive waste of time, like the entire thing was a prequel to a film that might not even happen. Side note: if you’re a fan of terrible movie endings, check out The Devil Inside, bad endings are one thing, but that film doesn’t even have an ending, it just stops and tells you to check out the website. So as you can tell, I’ve seen a lot of bad endings in films, especially horror, but rarely have I seen a film fuck up the closing stretch so badly. Part of me wants to spoil it so I can talk about it more, but part of me also thinks you need to see it so you can realise how badly they messed it up. The characters were mostly unlikeable to begin with, and the end of the film is basically them potentially causing the death of every single person on the planet, and it’s played off like this was the right and moral thing to do.

I mean, it wasn’t exactly the greatest film before that. As I said before, the characters were almost completely detestable and annoying, and because of the 15 rating their deaths aren’t even as satisfying as they could be. They’re not inventive enough either, the Final Destination series was great at the “seemingly co-incidental deaths” set pieces, that kind of approach would be great here as a way to kill people (people die if they refuse to do the dare, or if they lie). The first time we see this is pretty unique, a guy pulls out of his dare, and slips on a pool ball, breaking his neck. But even this shows a few problems which plague the rest of the film. For one thing, the person affected has a weird smile which I think is supposed to be creepy, but just looks like a weird snapchat filter. This makes it obvious they are not in control of their actions, which make it not as fun, it would be a lot more fun if they died as themselves due to the universe being set up that way just in case they failed, as it is it just means they get possessed and commit suicide, and nobody notices the physically impossible smile on their face and weird tone in their voice.

It’s not all bad though, it does have some neat ideas, albeit they don’t really do anything with those ideas. It occasionally seems like a satire about the notion of internet fame/infamy and the fine line between the two, but it’s so underdeveloped I’m not entirely sure it’s deliberate. One of the subplots about a homosexual character being scared to come out to his strict father also shows promise, but is never really realised. Imagine if when his truth was “come out to your father”, that even with the threat of death he still couldn’t do it? And then the father found out why he died and is forever haunted by his behaviour towards his son in the past. That would make it a lot more powerful, haunting and depressing.

One last thing, the performances. Oh my science, the performances. Horror has a (deserved) reputation for occasionally having (how can I put this diplomatically?), let’s say, less than stellar performances from actors, all really obvious fake screams and performances which somehow are a mix of overacting and underacting. And this film? The performances in this………are really fucking good. Hayden Szeto (from the incredibly underknown Edge Of Seventeen) is all kinds of great in this, giving his character the emotional depth and nuance that the script doesn’t. Lucy Hale plays her character like a slightly broken bird, and it works. Landon Liboiron deserves to be the smug asshole villain in a spy movie. There’s not really a weak link in the performances here, a magnificent ensemble cast who are giving it there all, it’s just a shame the script didn’t.