Friday, November 12, 2010

Saw 3D: More Gore. More Sadism. More Of The Same.

I'm at a point in my life that when I see a horror film containing gore merely for shock value or to gross out the movie goer,this is the type of film that does not entertain me. Now before anyone thinks of me as the kind of person who favors G rated Disney films and "chick flicks", let me just say that I am a fan of George Romero's 'Night of The Living Dead' series. I also liked horror films such as 'Re-Animator', 'Don't Open The Window'(British title:'The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue') and 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' to name a few.

However, the horror films of today strive to out do one another when it comes to brutality and sadism. Forget the concept of mood or atmosphere; the horror film maker of the new millennium wants to sicken and disgust the audience to the point to where they almost throw up their popcorn. Sadly enough, some of today's movie goers would probably consider vomiting up their concession snack during the movie(and expensive snacks at that) as "audience participation".

Which brings me to 'Saw 3D', the sixth installment in the Saw franchise. This film is so relentlessly bloody, so over the top in it's savagery that there were a couple of times I was sorely tempted to leave the theatre. My reason for staying was purely a financial one; I payed $12.00 bucks to see it and I wanted to get my money's worth, no matter how repellent I found this movie to be. What I wanted is to be scared.What I got instead is an exercise in sadism and dismemberment. This,alas,is today's horror movie.

The plot revolves around a survivor of Jigsaw, Bobby Dagen, who has written a book about his experiences. Dagen has created a support group of fellow survivors, but he has a secret: Dagen was never a victim of the dreaded Jigsaw. He capitalizes on the real victims ordeal in order to advance his career as a successful self-help guru. Meanwhile, an ex-detective named Hoffman is kidnapping and torturing victims for his own reasons using Jigsaw's time tested methods.

As in the previous six 'Saw' outings, the plot has more twists and turns than a mountain road,but by now the film seems to be convoluted just for the sake of  being convoluted. I know, I know; the series is supposed to be like a jigsaw puzzle, but by now the plot lines are bordering on the ridiculous, the incredulous and this is a blatant insult to the audience's intelligence.

You can almost sense the filmmakers desperation, because for this sequel the use of 3d is employed as blood, entrails and body parts are splattered in the direction of the viewer in an unflinching manner. Yes, this is thought of by today's hip purveyor's of horror films as entertainment. Perhaps for some but not for me. I want,no demand, outdated elements in a horror film such as suspense and atmosphere. Let my imagination create the horror and the dread that a talented filmmaker can allow me to do. Don't just shove sadism, cruelty and gallons of gore down my throat and expect me to find it frightening.

The dumbest scene in the film is when Hoffman goes to the jail where Saw's wife is being held, intent on killing her(you'd have to have seen 'Saw IV to know the reason why. I didn't). He single handedly murders everyone who gets in his way before offing her. I was amazed,if that's the proper word to use,that the police station was so sparsely populated that Hoffman could achieve this act with relative ease. Once again the filmmakers tried to insult the audiences intelligence. I myself could not believe how moronic this scene was and once again almost left the theatre. But I stayed. You could say I was a glutton for punishment.

But I can honestly say, without reservation, that I won't be seeing anymore 'Saw' sequels. This series no longer appeals to me and I don't wish to witness endless scenes of unrelenting carnage while being told by the filmmakers that this is what horror movie fans like myself want to see. The problem with the 'Saw' franchise is that by now it has become rather long in the tooth, bereft of fresh ideas. Let's hope they and Lions Gate get the hint and pull the plug on this tired, thread bare series before the next installment ends up playing to mostly empty theatres.

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