Saw is fucking stupid. And I’m just going to assume that all of the sequels are equally fucking stupid. (Probably not as stupid as the Saw roller coaster, though.) Personally, I have not seen them. I recognize that it’s a dangerous and foolish critical position to claim knowledge of something you don’t have knowledge of, so I’m not doing that. Not exactly. But I am putting my faith in the logic that a franchise that’s well known to be a lazy cash-grabber has put all of its “best” eggs into the first basket, which I have seen, I saw those eggs, and the rest of the baskets are filled with lesser eggs, and that even if I don’t see those eggs, I can still smell them, and they smell awful. And its “best” eggs were also terrible. (Hold on, my phone is ringing. Oh look, it’s Metaphor University, asking me to be the DEAN.) After watching the first Saw, I said to myself “well that is enough of that garbage,” and if I hadn’t had to return the DVD to Netflix, I would have broken it over my knee, David Edelstein-style. Because fuck that noise. I don’t need those images in my head, and I certainly don’t need those images in my head when they’re in service to an intellectually bankrupt premise. Again, I can’t speak to the sequels, but the original movie certainly prided itself on having a philosophical backdrop on which to structure its horror puzzles (a psychopath with a violent hatred for those who take life for granted, teaching them a lesson about this precious gift).
I’m not saying that you can’t like torture porn. You can like torture porn. Go ahead. What do I care? As far as I’m concerned, you should marry torture porn, and have miserable little nightmare babies. But the idea that there’s anything going on here besides watching people get mutilated and massacred (and why DO you like to watch people get mutilated and massacred?) is a lie. And I don’t like lies!
This clip from the upcoming Saw VI (Saw VI!) basically encapsulates everything that is wrong with the entire franchise:
UGH. They’re all “evil” health insurance policy account managers? BEAR TRAPPED FROM THE HEADLINES.
“I think health care decisions should be made by doctors.”
This doesn’t even make any sense! It’s not teaching someone about the value of life by murdering them. And it’s also not teaching someone about the value of life by making them arbitrarily choose who should die via a game of Nightmare Mouse Trap. If you want to murder them, just murder them, stop WASTING MY TIME. And it is a cruel and nihilistic trick to try and give the audience a moral out by suggesting that everyone on this carousel (a carousel, COME ON, I am an ADULT) basically deserves to die because they were part of a broken bureaucratic health care system. There should be no moral out for the audience. People dying is people dying, and getting a visceral thrill out of watching people die is getting a visceral thrill out of watching people die. This is the same type of weak moral argument that a certain vampire bully has tried to use to make Inglourious Basterds somehow not just be three hours of watching people smash other people in the head with baseball bats. Nazis were cruel and sadistic and evil as a general rule, yes, and the Holocaust was a human horror on the scale of which our brains do not even have the potato-computer capacity to comprehend, but none of that has anything to do with a movie starring Eli Roth. And if it doesn’t work with Nazis, it certainly is not going to work with middle managers. Yuck.
Oh, these things make me so mad!
And what is with the budget on this thing? Don’t the Saw movies take in an obscene amount of money? How about giving something back to your fans. This thing has lower production values than Lindsay Lohan’s Labor Pains. This thing has lower production values than Leprechuan 4: In Space.
Oh, there will be ugh.
Have fun at dinner, the Saw franchise.