The SAW Franchise certainly made it's money... but is it something I enjoyed?
From 2004 to 2010, the SAW Franchise held a strangle hold on late October with 7 films that had a combined gross of over $870 Million dollars, with the stimated cost of each film being a total of about $65 Million... so to say the films made serious 'bank' is of course an understatement. And I'm all for people making money. And I understand the series has its fan-base, and they are excited for 'Saw: Legacy'
The thing is... I don't consider SAW to be a horror franchise, because for me, it is a constant example and reminder of the low standards I had when it comes to movie. With the exception of the first film, which is more of a psychological thriller that I do consider a classic, the remaining films rely on shock kills, and over the top antics, that have basically earned SAW the nickname of torture porn, relying on shock, and basically a 'can we top this' hot shoting attitude. Problem is, at some point you can't top yourself and you have to actually rely on a story, and doing things in a traditional manner, which would lead you alienating your audience.
And I know what people are going to say, that the slash-flicks of the 80s were that too... to which I say, no they weren't it. Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, yes they had over the top deaths, but there was an actual story being told, and there was effort put into making you want to at least like the characters and hoped they survived. SAW basically went the other way, making the characters so cookie-cutter that when they got whacked, you didn't care, in fact viewers laugh and cheer, a clear first sign indicator that they weren't going for the film itself, it was for the spectral of a simulated death.
And don't think I'm against 'bad people' getting what's coming to them, the thing is, in any decent story, these 'horrible' folks have some redeeming qualities... in SAW, again with the exception of the first film, the characters were just bodies for the next 'torture endued death'. Hell the scariest film I've ever scene would be John Carpenter's The Thing, where the story built the tension, making you wonder who can be trusted and who is the creature, and when a character ended up dying, it served a purpose to further enhance the horror. In SAW, there is none of that.
Now if you enjoy the SAW Franchise, awesome, I'm happy for you, but you won't see me in line to see the new film when it hits theaters in 2017. ..