Writing about Movies, TV, Comics & Toys. Critically and creatively.

Monday, November 1, 2010

On how to end a series poorly, or a few words on Saw 7

It doesn't matter if you like it or not, the Saw film series is the most succesful horror franchise in history, and I love the series to death. Since I was in high school its been a tradition for me every October to go see the new Saw movie, to see the evolution of Jigsaw's plans, the stories of his victims, and the well thought out death traps. I love it now, loved it then, and will love it for the rest of my life. I consider myself a self proclaimed Saw scholar, I know A LOT about the series.

So when I heard that Saw 7 was the last in the series I was sad and excited at the same time. Sad because something that I loved was coming to an end, and excited because I love the flicks and knew there had to be something that they had been saving for the last entry in the series.

Be warned, spoilers for Saw 7 will be below, read no further if you don't want to know what happens.

I liked the first ten minutes of Saw 7, it answered a question that fans have been wondering about for six movies (what happened to Dr. Gordon after he sawed off his foot and left the bathroom in the first movie), and the first trap in Saw 7 was pretty good.

What followed sounds like a great story, Jigsaw survivor support group, a fake survivor is kidnapped and placed in a game, Hoffman runs around like a badass killing everyone, and only one of them is interesting.

The story about the cops looking for Hoffman is boring, and I don't care about them or if they die because I don't know who they are and because they're terrible actors.

I don't care if the fake survivor lives or dies because he was an atrociously terrible person.

The jigsaw survivors didn't do much of anything, of all the familiar faces in the group only two speak and one speaks that hasn't been in the other movies and her trap is summarized in 5 seconds. I would have loved to have seen more elaboration on this.

The best part of the flick was Costas Mandylor running around killing everyone, he's great in my opinion and an even better villain than jigsaw in the series as a whole.

Here are my two major complaints for the movie though.

Number 1
All of the traps/games in the film are under the precedent like most of the traps in the later entries in the series in that most of the people in traps/games can't save themselves, they're at the mercy of someone else and their life depends on them. This is a fundamental flaw in Jigsaw's plans from the first film in that the traps should be focused on one or a group of people that can all get out of the trap by them self and don't need someone else to save them.

As I think about this as I write it it makes sense that this would happen since Jigsaw has ceased to design and execute the traps, it's all Hoffman or Amanda, so I guess this complaint isn't well suited since it makes quite a bit of sense.

Number 2
It is shown at the end of Saw 7 that after Dr. Gordon cauterized his self amputated wound that Jigsaw exited the bathroom, saw him, and saved him. As in the scene he wakes up the passed out Doctor and congratulates him, calling him his best work to date or something like that.

This doesn't make sense. In the original film, Dr. Gordon is charged with killing his cellmate Adam before 6 on the clock, or his wife and daughter would die and Jigsaw would leave him in the bathroom to rot. Dr. Gordon didn't kill adam, and he certainly didn't do it before 6 on the clock.

Why would Jigsaw be proud of the man that didn't follow the rules in his game? Is it because Gordon had the cojones to cut off his own foot in an effort to reach his family? This is a likely explanation but Jigsaw strikes me as an all or nothing kind of guy who in my opinion probably would have left Dr. Gordon in that hallway to die, not save him and get his help and advice on traps and future victims (which is what they say happened, as Dr. Gordon's help is tied back to victims in Saw 2, 3 and 4).

Though the explanation the writers offered us doesn't make sense the grand scheme of the Saw mythos, I still liked the ending. That was a very chilling set of shots showing Dr. Gordon looking at his own rotten foot in the bathroom, the expression on his face was PERFECT for the circumstance. When Gordon left Hoffman locked in the bathroom with no saw and no flashlight, that was a fitting ending to bring the whole series full circle to start in that bathroom and end in it too. But like some people have said if Eric Matthew could get out of the bathroom at the beginning of Saw 3 with no saw, so can Hoffman; though Hoffman has no flashlight, I still think he is smart enough and bad ass enough to do it somehow.

It's a fitting ending, the bad guy can't get away in a story, and with this series the bad guy is definitely not going anywhere now.

I should write a book about the Saw series, would you read it?

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