It depresses me slightly to see that this is what the modern genre of horror has become, low budget and yearly produced pieces of ultra violent trash. But had blogging been around during the mid-80’s I am sure the same would have been said about the endless Halloween/Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th sequels. The only difference being that these are considerably less violent and tame when compared to current film standards. If you have not guessed already I am talking about the inevitable ‘If it’s Halloween it must be Saw!’ paradox, this year of course with an eye piercing/migraine inducing 3D gimmick. We all knew it was going to come full circle eventually.
Now while I have my own reservations about the level of violence in film, I personally do not think Saw is really a horror to be utterly honest. Yes it does contain horror elements but it is first and foremost a thriller, or for those who would disagree, an airport novel that you buy to pass the time on the plain, with enough elements to keep you hooked, so to speak. It is designed to be something that holds your interest, it is utter trash and it is a soap opera with added violence, nothing more.
Being the glutton for punishment that I am with bad films, I continued to revisit this series but I stopped after part 5 when my senses came to me. But why would I continue to watch something so bad, so trashy and unredeemable, within the more reserved public tastes? Because like the airport novel that rest on the cheap book shelf with its flashy cover, it is an unfortunate constant. If you look across the shelf there are just a slew of sequels and imitations .Unfortunately horror is now made for the masses and seems to have lost its appeal with me recently. That is to say the more modern horror has because what is being served to us in our filmic diets is a platter of remakes, more overly violent dispatches and shamefully flashing editing. Which is particularly the case with this series of films, it is also evident from the various horror publications that circulate both Britain and the US. These being ‘Gorezone’ and ‘Fangoria’ which only seem to revel in the overly elaborate gore effects, that while impressive, still leave a numbing taste in the mouth of any hardened horror aficionado.
There is also little that is rewarding from this series other then moments of trashy entertainment (others might not see it that way) and unfortunately substandard story telling as all the original twists have long since been revealed. This brings me to the first entry in the series which as thrillers go is certainly still an enjoyable film. Tautly paced while keeping you guessing and ultimately interested in what happens to the characters. It is regretful that when the second was eventually made a released the following year (under the helm of director Darren Lynn Boussen) that it quickly descended into overblown and outlandish violence. While with each subsequent instalment trying to ‘out gross’ the previous entry, both in terms of money and sadistic acts, it seems that this once simplistic series has become a convoluted soap opera. Just with lashings of violence added to the already awful dialogue and cheap looking sets which are obviously interconnected.
So with the release of ‘Saw 3D’ (aka Saw 7) just days away and it being the supposedly last in the series, what can horror fans expect to see as the next new wave of horror. Personally here’s hoping that something comes along that truly shakes the foundations and is as influential as some of the horror greats which have proceeded before them. Here is a little word of advice for a good horror (which I know will be agreed on) atmosphere is what is needed. Abandon the trashy flash cuts and respect that the audience has an attention span longer then a water based animal. Then hopefully horror will get back on track.