Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
on 11 November 2008
Claustrophobic, disturbing and uncomfortable these words adequately describe Saw. As a terminal cancer patient John "Jigsaw" Kramer subjects people who he sees as unappreciative of life, of dubious morality or to just teach a lesson; to tests in the form of a deadly game. Torturous devices are attached to their body and "Billy" the puppet gives instructions of how to get out of their situation. From drug addicts, to photographers and even a rapist are subjected to these macabre devices
Saw does induce questions of morality, especially the scene in Saw IV involving the proprietor of a hotel who is exposed as a rapist who videotapes his exploits. Does this man deserve to live or does he deserve a punishment that is as depraved as his act? The choice of himself gouging his eyes out in order to live, thus taking away his prime ability to gain pleasure from his acts or having his limbs severed when time runs out is a prime example of Jigsaw as a moral force in all the films.
These life or death choices are frequently extremely uncomfortable and psychologically does induce the thoughts that one could never perform the act needed to save oneself.
Saw II incorporates the theme of danger of revenge intertwined with the same dubious morality of the framing of people by Detective Matthews. Should the other prisoners in the house find out that his son is amongst them, what would happen? Although he is to be led out by former addict Amanda who is now Jigsaws apprentice.
The Saw films are convoluted and at times a little difficult to follow, as each film reveals more about Jigsaw and his life before his cancer diagnosis. It sheds light on the many factors that led him to become disillusioned with life and society and does build up empathy for him. But Friday the 13th this is not, and each sequel adds to the original, and at all times remains fresh with the sense of a continuous nightmare.
Although the amount of planning needed for each scheme seems to be rather implausible for one man to orchestrate, that is in some way answered with the revelation of jigsaw having more accomplices, why Amanda is such is clear, although at the end of Saw IV with a second person thrown in the mix, it does raise questions, however if the four films to date answered all remaining questions at the start of each new one, then it will follow that Saw V will tie this up.
It is horrific, intriguing, and beautifully put together. If you can get passed the gore, of which there is an abundance then the Saw films are as good as any top rate psychological thriller (Seven anyone?) but they also the greatest horror franchise of the last ten years at least and without a doubt the best written. Saw compels the audience to watch the next instalment, more than any other series of horror movies. For continued quality throughout sequels only Romeros "Dead" movies supass Saw.