Saturday, October 07, 2006


When I was about 13 years old, one of my friends was having a sleep-over party, so the bunch of us went for a walk real late at night. We thought, “We’ll just go out at 1:00 in the morning, get some food at the 7-11, and on the way back, we’ll go on the train tracks back to Chris’s house. And right about that time, the train should be coming. It’ll be awesome!” Ah, youth; the one time when you can be stupid and it’s okay because everyone expects it. We should have known it would be a bad idea. Having seen Saw, I can say the same thing. I should have known it was a bad idea.

I won’t sugarcoat it; Saw was a terrible movie. It didn’t teach me anything about myself or the world around me, it decreased my faith in humanity a little, and it made me feel like committing suicide when it was over, because the world was just too horrible a place for me to exist in it. It contained in it no essentially good characters, the acting ranged from laughable to downright insulting, and it was very obviously the work of an amateur writer and a hack of a director. To sum up: terrible.

It wasn’t just that the particulars were done sloppily or that the movie as a whole was clumsy and unconvincing. All that is true, but the real sin of Saw is something much deeper. Its philosophy on life, and presumably that of the director and writer, is one of utter despair, ugliness, and reckless hate. The fact that people actually think this way, as evidenced by this movie, makes me wish for the end of the world. No movie should make me wish that.

The stereotypically “happy” family in the movie is painted in an extremely negative light, and their pleas for the killer not to kill them are viewed as a joke for the amusement of the movie-watchers, as if the director is expecting us to be as sadistic and fetid as he is. There is no one we can root for, no one we can get behind, and the movie doesn’t even try to force anyone into that role. It doesn’t even make an effort to make this a story we can feel engaged in. The two main characters are despicable people, the detectives investigating the killer are both vapid and alien, and the killer himself comes across as being the hero of the story. What’s wrong with this picture?

I will also say that the means and mechanics of murder are the most inventive I have ever seen. Don’t get me wrong, that’s NOT a good thing. The things the killer forces his victims to do in this movie are unimaginable, or at least they were before this movie came out. I think they should have stayed that way. The fact that someone actually thought of the things in this movie brings the human race down a few notches. If ever there was a doubt that we had within us the capacity for evil, this movie crushes it with great discrimination. I would say that anyone who thinks that mankind is intrinsically good should see this movie, but I wouldn’t wish that on them or anyone. Saw is bad in both the mechanics of movie-making and philosophy of life. Avoid it at all costs, including its sequel, and the third part of the trilogy soon to come out. And if you meet a person who loved this movie, run.

Iconic lines:

22 Rating: -19

Particle Man


jbod said...

Oh don't be so silly! There is absolutely nothing wrong with these writers expressing the inner workings of their sick, twisted and disturbed minds! (note my sarcasm) Another such delightful piece of work would be Hostel although I'd say Saw sounded far worse. I only maded it halfway through Hostel which already was way too much to watch. And I agree, it's really depressing that there are people out there who think like that... and glorify it by turning their disturbing ideas into a movie. Sick.

Wicked Little Critta said...

I'll make sure that when I think someone would make a good new friend, I'll ask them whether or not they liked Saw first.

jbod said...

Good idea. And if they say yes run far, far away and don't look back. Wait - no. If they say yes give them the number to the nearest psychiatric facility and then run far, far away and don't look back.