Reviews

HorrorFest 2010, Round 5 — Saw I & II

Halloween is less than a week away, and that means the unfortunate end to HorrorFest 2010. It feels like yesterday that October began and I was eagerly making my way to the video store for the first round of horror films. Sigh. Anyways, as well as Thirst, I rented Saw I & II; I saw the first one years ago but felt it necessary to refresh myself with the beginning of today’s now very successful franchise, with Saw 3D (VII) in theatres this Friday. 

Saw I — The first installation in the (nearly retired, I hope) franchise is surprisingly good. Not for those with an easily upset stomach, Saw features some truly twisted, creative, and unsettling torture scenes. What makes this film good is the intelligence and borderline poetic nature of the killer’s methods: he’s out to teach life lessons and employs a variety of devices to give his students a very painful tutorship. And let’s not forget the ending — the fact that Jigsaw is there the whole time is super creepy, and illustrates his patience and dedication to his project. One of the better American (and Australian) horror films in years.

Saw II — Ah, sequels. Aside from a few exceptions, sequels are rarely worthy of the successful project names they bank on. Saw II isn’t exactly a terrible sequel but it’s no Godfather II or Aliens. It manages to retain some of the intelligence from the first but also works a lot of cliches and bad characters into the mix. I remember seeing a list somewhere of Saw films put into order of quality. I can’t remember exactly how it went but I know that the chronology of releases wasn’t the key — I’m assuming this is one of the lesser entries.

Wednesday is a wink away, which means another — and final — trip to the video store. I’ve looked over a good number of “Best Horror Movies” lists and, unfortunately, there are a lot more classics on there than I had hoped. Not that I have anything against movies of the Golden Age, but I was really wanting to see more modern films. We’ll see how the playlist works out tomorrow. Until then be sure to keep a light on.

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