Written by: David Patrick
Oh yes, there will be blood.
Remember that chilling tagline from the 2005 horror sequel SAW II? The franchise, divided on whether a cult classic or torture porn, sat tall on the throne of Halloween flicks for seven consecutive years. But many avid moviegoers will recall how the last two films completely plunged off the cliff of narrative continuity in terms of ‘ethical traps.’
(yeah, believe it or not, the alleged serial killer John Kramer meant for good intent with his potentially murderous engineering)
Maybe I can only speak for myself. But Halloween 2010 let me down when SAW 3D, otherwise known as SAW VII or SAW: The Final Chapter (but is it ever really final, Freddy and Jason?), sacrificed the bulk of its narrative in exchange for so much needlessly graphic suffering that one struggled to keep both eyes open for most of the film.
It just wasn’t fun anymore.
It was gruesome and somewhat nauseating. However, the ending to the seventh installment felt simultaneously conclusive and open to me. I loved it. In fact, the last five or ten minutes of the film were probably the only redeeming pieces of the whole experience.
The writers and studios discussed a potential eighth SAW film for years. But I had presumed that one would never see the light of day again. Mostly due to downtrending reviews and box office returns. Then they discussed a higher budgeted reboot, implying a return to the humble beginnings of the franchise when they focused more on narrative rather than sadism. Now the series has proved that classic horror franchises never die and that given sufficient time those franchises will inevitably produce another installment, be it a reboot or a direct sequel.
But we know so little of this movie.
Is that because the studios want to preserve the scares and twists? Or maybe there is so little to this movie . . . I hope not.
Here is the official plot: Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for ten years.
Okay, so we get the gist of the SAW franchise. John Kramer, a.k.a. ‘Jigsaw,’ constructed an indefinite number of traps with two or three of his cohorts for arbitrarily chosen ‘victims’ to understand the value and meaning of life. Typically the victims are junkies, prostitutes, abusive or unforgiving spouses, or outright criminals. These victims struggle with their own self worth and finding purpose in the world.
Enter Jigsaw . . . and to the point, his traps.
The victims are compelled to ‘play a game,’ i.e. survive a trap that usually maims the victim, or die . . . torturously.
(yeah, that’s about it)
Consequently, the only distinguishable attributes to the films are the design of the traps, the specific victims, and the story or subplots that led those victims to their respective traps. The first five films built a strong story arc with various characters and developing subplots, whereas the last two wavered on shaky ground. So to bring this whole monologue back to my original question: Will SAW VIII be a huge flop?
Will this be a big win or GAME OVER?
Read about a young man who hunts down bloodthirsty night creatures in the first installment to the Legend of the Vampires epic fantasy series.
A Storm Gathers
The Vampires regroup in their subterranean halls. A grieving Queen obsesses over her love for an exiled werewolf. An ancient cult worships a crystal artifact to summon a mystical storm. A royal advisor seeks the help of a wizard once revered as a god. And just one young vampire slayer named Nero prepares to shield the city from the forces of darkness. Then something rips the sky in half...
"You will learn to love me again." Then she kissed the beast.