Friday, October 02, 2009


When I saw the first "Saw" movie a few years ago, I was pretty damn impressed.

Not only was it a genuinely scary and suspenseful horror movie, it was also a mystery that I didn't manage to figure out in the first fifteen seconds.

I'm not trying to brag here, but a large part of my degree was narrative structure and theory. This means watching movies for me is a lot like watching a magic show when you know how the tricks are done. However, in the first movie, I identified the minor character that was going to become a major part of the story in the third act, spotted the clues that pointed to him being the bad guy...but also realised this was an obvious red herring, so worked out it was the other minor character...because he'd done nothing in the story, didn't have a defined role, but the writer had gone to great pains to make sure we'd notice and remember him.

Then, something amazing happened. It turned out the writer had studied a lot of movies, knew exactly how to fool an audience, but had done something special:

Imagine watching a magic trick being performed when you know the secret behind it. You're watching the magician palming little sponge balls, expertly pretending to put them under those little plastic cups while using classic misdirection so the audience will expect them to end up under cup one. You, however, because you know how the trick is done, know the ball is really going to end up under cup three.

He turns over cup one, the ball isn't there, causing the audience to gasp and you to smirk. He turns over cup three...and it's not there either.

It turns out the magician wasn't just faking moves. He was faking faking moves as well.

Basically, and I don't use this term often, the first Saw movie was a work of borderline genius.

Which really pisses me off the Hollywood has done it's usual thing by completely missing the point of the movie and running it into the fucking ground.

You see, Saw was a perfect stand alone movie. It tied up all the loose ends and didn't lend itself easily to a sequel. Then Hollywood saw all the money the original made and instead of deciding it did well because it was a really good story, they decided the reason it did so well was because a lot of people die in elaborate and gruesome ways.

This is like seeing The Beatles in the 60's and deciding that their massive success isn't down to the once-in-a-generation musical genius of Lennon and McCartney, but because people their hairstyles, or because Ringo has a big nose.

What followed Saw was a series of 'torture porn' movies with boring stories and obvious cliched twists that even a retarded chimp can see coming from a mile away.

The reason I'm writing this is because I can understand, if not condone, a bad sequel made purely to cash in on the success of the first movie. I can even understand a third.

I just saw an Ad on TV for Saw 6. Six. That's one great movie and five shitty sequels.

There's just no such thing as an original movie anymore. I mean, why be creative and make something new when you can just churn out another crappy sequel?

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