Thursday, November 02, 2006


To be truly great, a horror movie has to be moral, or have a morality to it. Now this morality doesn't have to be conventional, you don't even have to agree with it, but it needs to be there. Now this doesn't mean a horror movie can't be enjoyable without a morality. Or that just because a horror movie has morality means it's great. But to be great a horror movie has to have a morality, it has to be well demonstrated, and the movie has to stay true to it.

That's one of the reasons why I've always thought the Saw movies were so great, and why I'm a little disappointed with the newest incarnation. But before I get to that let me discuss the morality of the Saw movies, and why I think it makes the Saw movies great.

You see not only is the morality very clear and well demonstrated, and not only do the first two movies stay true to it; but it's ideally suited to the age we live in. In a nutshell the morality of the Saw movies is that people should be glad that they're alive, and take full advantage of the oppurtunities that being alive presents to them.

And let's face it, that's the most common sin in this age of abundance. At least in America it's not about wasting things anymore, it's about wasting your life itself. How many people do you hear on a daily basis whining about a 'lack of fulfillment' or an 'emptiness' in thier lives. It's everywhere you go. It's become a part of the culture. The victim age is the way I think of it at times. Instead of actully doing something with thier lives, they go for the cheap depth. The easy meaning. After all, why do something with your life when you can just call yourself a victim of society's indifference or some such crap and pretend be worthy of respect because of you're 'suffering'.

I don't know about you, but there's times when I just want to scream at these people "EITHER DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT OR SHUT-UP". And that's kind of what Jigsaw does. He puts them in a situation where they actually have to deal with a real problem, instead of all the make-believe crap. All the problems they create for themselve to keep from dealing with life.

Now remember before when I said a horror movie can be enjoyable, but not great, without the morality? Well that's kind of what Saw III is. It has the neat contraptions, the mental puzzles, and of course the requisite gore. I think what'll happen to a fan of the first two will go in, enjoy the movie, but after it's over they'll feel vaguely disappointed.

And if they aren't quite as introspective as yours truly (which is basically a nice way of saying I have a near psychotic need to analyze my every passing mood), they may have a hard time putting a finger on the problem. And the problem was simple, they almost completely abandoned the morality of the first two movies.

There was some lip service to it, but in this one it was primarily about 'forgiveness'. There's a man who is 'wasting his life' (thats the lip service), because of his obsession with getting vengeance on the drunk driver who killed his son. So the trials he's put through are about him learning to 'forgive' the people responsible.

Now you can certainly give a good arguement about forgiveness as being a good basis for morality (I don't agree, but it could be done), but who the hell can beleive Jigsaw as an champion for forgiveness? It doesn't fit the rest of the series at all. Jigsaw's a man who first tried to frame, and then tortured a man (Saw I), for not being sensitive enough in treating him when he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Where's the forgiveness there? I suppose you could say the plot fits, but the theme doesn't.

I still enjoyed it, and I don't regret the time or money spent, but I'm still dissappointed.

Now here, here and here, are some other opinions.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A brief introduction

I consider myself more of a reviewer than a critic.A critic's job is to more or less find something wrong (it's implied by the very name), that's not how I am. I'm a bit of a movie-slut, when I go to a movie I want it to be good. That doesn't mean if I see something wrong I won't point it out, I will. It's just that I won't go looking for it.

In a day or so I'll be posting my first review. Saw III.