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 Four: Saw IV)

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Budget: $10million

Box Office: $139.3million

  • Fine. Let’s do this.
  • We open with an overly-long autopsy of Jigsaw. I’m going to give this film the benefit of the doubt and say this was done so we know for certain Jigsaw is dead so the audience doesn’t expect him to come back to life. No excuse for it to be quite this long though. And in quite so much detail. It’s odd, they’re playing it like it’s a scene from a horror movie. They’ve got the spooky scary music, dark lighting, and intense close-ups of body parts. But it’s not meant to be scary, it can’t be. How can it be?
  • We get the in-story reason for this now. They find a tape in his stomach. The one that he was shown to have covered in wax in the last one and eaten. They show that scene again in case you couldn’t remember it. This series has a weird approach to how it treats the audience’s memory. It replays A LOT of stuff from previous films, but also has so much where if you weren’t taking notes in previous films you wouldn’t remember who certain people were or why they matter.
  • I’m not lying about this being overly long by the way, it was five minutes long.Five minutes of someone just being cut open.
  • The tape is played, is pretty much what you expect. “my work will go on” etc.
  • Two people wake up in a room, one with his eyes gouged out, one with his mouth sewn shut. They’re chained to a machine that is gradually pulling them closer to a machine that will kill them. Who are these people? Does it even actually matter this point? Does anybody care?
  • Fight scene, and I have to say this isn’t really a fair fight, the guy with his mouth sewn shut is at zero disadvantage, you don’t need your mouth to fight really, whereas the guy with his eyes gouged out is fucked, not literally.
  • The guy with mouth sewn shut wins the fight and gets the key from the back of the other persons head. Because of course he wins. Don’t worry, you won’t see the guy from this scene again for like an hour, by that point you’d have forgotten who he was.
  • The police find Kerry from the last movie. Again, not much reason for this to be in this movie and not the last one. I actually want to see what this series would be like if it was edited into one long chronological story.
  • The police assume Jigsaw has a new accomplice.
  • There’s a book about Jigsaw, titled “John Krama aka Jigsaw. Is he the murderer the police say he his”. That’s not a typo on my end by the way, it genuinely says “he his”. Also, why would lead with his real name, then the fake? Also also, that book got published really damn quickly.
  • Daniel Rigg (who I think has been in previous Saw movies) seems to be the lead of this one. A cop who feels guilty for not being able to save people, particularly Eric Matthews (donnie whalberg from the 2nd one, who is still listed as missing). This film series has to be commended for that though; it’s done the film series equivalent of promoting from within. Most of the main characters for each film have been introduced in previous ones. It’s a great way of doing things and shows forward planning, rewards loyalty, and makes it feel less like a film and more like an actual world that exists.
  • He’s kidnapped, as a lot of people are in these films. Yeah, he’s definitely the lead. As condescending as this sounds it’s great to see a black lead in a horror movie. Especially one where his being black isn’t his main character trait. He’s not the black lead from Saw, he’s just the lead from Saw.
  • Oh, Donnie wahlberg is still alive it turns out. Barely, he’s being kept alive as the test for Daniel, who has 90 minutes to save both him and Detective Hoffman (who was in, erm, the 3rd one I think, I don’t know at this point).
  • His first test: he finds a woman in a pig mask tied to a chair, her hair tied to a machine that slowly pulls her head back. The tape tells him to let her die as it’s not his job to save her. From what I can tell her crime was being a prostitute. That does not seem worthy of death and torture. Or she might have been a pimp. Yeah that’s pretty bad.
  • He can’t find a knife to cut her hair loose so decides to deal with the problem in the most American way possible; he shoots the machine.
  • He gets the combination and saves her, but not before she gets nearly scalped and looses a lot of blood. What would have happened if her hair was fake and mainly made of extensions?
  • She grabs a knife and tries to stab him. In her defence, he was a black man with a gun, in his own house. The police have shot people for similar reason.
  • Oh that’s how she knew where to get the knife from, her tape said she had to kill him as he was going to arrest her for prostitution, so the only way for her to escape jail was to kill a cop. Obviously.
  • Wait, for him to have listened to that tape, she would have had to rewind it after listening to it?
  • Back to Donnie, who is chained to a ceiling suspended above an ice block. We flash back to the third one where he was knocked out by Amanda, because otherwise how else would we remember who he is? And we’re shown him being kept alive through tiny portions of food and an awful disgusting room. If he was on benefits the British government would describe that as “luxury”
  • Daniel goes to a disgusting motel run by an overweight guy in a white vest who owns a dog. He’s almost definitely a pervert/rapist/paedophile.
  • When he gets to the room there’s the picture of the motel owner and instructions to go to his room and do something whilst disguised with a pig mask. He’s still wearing the exact same clothes though and didn’t get the mask until he was in the motel room. So if there’s cameras all over the place as the tape said, then that would be noticed.
  • Yup he’s a rapist. We’re shown video evidence, he recorded it. I mean, I don’t care what happens to this guy, he’s a serial rapist who tried to deny it until the final moment.
  • He’s made to climb into a bed and tie himself up. Then gouge his own eyes out. He succeeds until the final part, and his limbs get torn away. Ah well.
  • Flashback to the time Daniel beat up a guy for abusing his wife and kids. Most the victims are kind of assholes so there is a cathartic quality to the deaths.
  • More flashbacks, this time to when Jigsaw was alive and his wife (oh yeah, she’s been in this movie, but her scenes have been really dull) worked at a health clinic and got robbed by a drug addict who caused her to miscarriage, causing him to become Jigsaw. Nice touch, kind of unnecessary.
  • Daniel now goes to a school where he finds the guy abused his wife and kids. They were being held together with spikes running through both them. To survive she has to pull the spikes out, she’ll live but he will die. This is weird as it’s a test for her. She seems to be being punished for being abused. We don’t need Jigsaw punishing women for being in abusive relationships, the police and courts already do this. He decides to let her save herself by giving her the key and setting off the fire alarm so that people are alerted. I don’t get what Daniel’s lesson in that was.
  • Crime scene technician there seems to be the worst ever and accidentally sets off a harpoon that kills another person at the scene. That’s not Jigsaw that did that, that’s not applying health and safety rules.
  • The cops (one of who i’ve already forgot her name) go into a room where the puppet is. They play the tape round it’s neck, obviously (seriously, why do none of the people in these movies remove the tape from the room and play it somewhere safe where more people can help solve it). The puppet explodes in her face giving her a shrapnel facial. I really wish the make-up team did a better job here, she looks fine just with stuff in her face. It’s not particularly devastating to see.
  • Just realised Donnie and Hoffman trap is being overseen by the guy who had his mouth sewn shut at the start. I haven’t mentioned that much but only because there’s not much happening there. I think Hoffman can die but not sure how. This film has WAY too much going on yet also somehow manages to have nothing happen for a lot of it.
  • Flashback to what was possibly Jigsaws first test. He kidnapped the guy who killed his unborn child and nailed him to a chair.
  • Jigsaw puts a torture device on his head, a series of knives where the drug guy has to push his head into them to unlock it. Jigsaw refers to it as a “tool”, which sounds silly, but that’s how Americans refer to guns.
  • The trap doesn’t work, mainly because the chair breaks. The guy decides that whilst he’s been heavily mutilated and lost a lot of blood, it would be a good idea to attempt to kill the guy who put him there. Jigsaw just moves out the way, causing the guy to fall into barbed wire.
  • Daniel, and another cop (Peter Strahm) end up in the same building the third one took place in. We get more flashbacks to that movie.
  • Wait, this isn’t a flashback, the entire film is. It’s taking place alongside the third one. Clever idea, but not cleverly done enough.
  • Daniel bursts through the door before he should, despite them not being any real warnings against this this is seen as a cardinal sin, it releases ice blocks which finally kill Donnie. He does this after shooting the mouth-sew guy. He shoots him again as he was reaching for his own tape recorder. Weird, a black cop shooting a white guy for reaching for something innocent. That never happens the other way around.
  • The tape tells him that “your impatience killed Donnie, if you did nothing he would have been saved. You failed”. That just seems unfair as he didn’t know what he was supposed to do. He was penalised for rules which weren’t really stated. I mean, he was told “don’t rush through a door, ever!” but that was by a cop, a long long time ago as part of a different moment.
  • And now we find that Hoffman is the real accomplice. Oh no, not Hoffman, he was so……he existed.
  • Hoffman locks Strahm in a room and I’ve gone past caring tbh. I don’t care about any of these people. There are too many twists and character turns that make zero sense and add nothing. It’s like watching late 90’s wrestling, just without the actors later killing their wife and child due to brain damage.
  • Oh, that’s the end? So to sum up the ending; one cop is locked in a room, one has been shot, one has had something blow up in their face but is still alive, one has become evil. Does that sound like the end of a movie? Or the end of a second act? NONE of these films stand on their own. I can only imagine how fucking pissed I’d have been if I saw these at cinema, having to wait a year to find out if a character died, but not really caring either way.
  • Wait, I forgot to say. Jeff died too.

Okay this film makes many many mistakes. The big one is it focuses too much on Jigsaw and his teachings. He’s an interesting character but he’s now dead and his disciples are ignoring his teachings, so as a character he is completely irrelevant to the narrative going forward. Yes, it improves the narrative of the previous movies. But Saw IV is not Saw II (despite containing a lot of the same fucking scenes), Saw IV is Saw IV, and as such it needs to focus on the characters in THIS movie instead of developing ones we know have no future development. It’s a huge logical storytelling flaw.