I was at the movie theater last week and during the previews, I was not surprised to see that another Saw sequel is due out just in time for Halloween. Every year, a new sequel to the Saw movie series comes out around Halloween time and millions are made off people who go to see it. Rumor has it that the Saw movie series will reach at least nine movies - which means that there are five more to go after this Halloween. I personally enjoy going to the movies and, so far, I have seen Saw I, Saw II and Saw III at the movie theater. This year, however, I think that I am going to try to put my foot down. The Saw movie series really needs to be put to rest and here are some of the reasons why.

1. The Storyline of the Saw Movies is Sick
I am not going to drop any spoilers here, but if you have seen any of the Saw movies, then you already know that the storyline of the Saw movies is pretty sick. The whole entire idea that the Saw movies have been based on is completely disgusting. Of course, there are sicker movies which have been released, such as the Hostel movies. All in all, however, anyone will probably agree that the storyline of the Saw movies is just plain morbid.

2. Each Saw Sequel Just Keeps Getting Sicker
I was able to stomach the first Saw movie, although there is no doubt that it had its "moments." Saw II was a little bit grosser than the first movie, but there was only one or two parts that really freaked me out. However, there were long periods of time during Saw III when I was just completely mortified by the disgusting actions. Although I have never personally vomited because of a movie, I can honestly say that I came pretty close when I watched Saw III.

In my previous look at the Saw phenomenon - covering the first three films - I mentioned a personal fascination with film series' that go long, and the evolution that begins to occur within. I mused about some of the possibilities of how the Saw series might progress, possibly through introducing more humor (which may be welcome considering how deadly serious the series had been), or perhaps introducing a note of meta-commentary as a way of examining the omnipresence of the series as a whole.
While the first point certainly never revealed itself - the only humor ever present is the sheer disbelief at the complexity of some of the murder devices - there is a touch of the second point in the series' 6th installment, which introduces a few "ripped from the headlines" elements regarding insurance companies and housing loan scams that were particularly topical at the time the film was made.

One element of the series that had already started to develop in the first three films, and certainly continued throughout the next three, was the progression of Jigsaw/John Kramer as a sort of sympathetic anti-hero. While his methods are obviously brutal, since the death of character in Saw III the films have begun filling in his back-story and revealing the demented, but concrete, method behind his madness.
This softening - if you can call it that - is obviously intentional, and shows a recognition that Kramer (and Tobin Bell's continually terrific performance) are what the fans come to see. It also reflects a similar evolution to that which occurred in the Friday the 13th series, where many of the victims were introduced as despicable and unlikeable characters, so the crowd would get more satisfaction from their eventual gory deaths.
Slasher films, somewhat incongruously, are often very puritanical, with excessive sexuality and drug use being punished by death. The crimes of the victims in the Saw series tend to be a little more complicated, but the idea has begun to be the same - while we develop an emotional connection, we're always at a distance thanks to their eventually revealed despicable behavior.
However, the common criticism involving the near comical levels of complexity regarding the death devices in the series has been replaced with the disbelief at the sheer level of back-story that has been able to be filled in. While the creators have been smart to - even peripherally - keep Jigsaw at the forefront of the films, it seems that there would have to be limits to what audiences would accept as elements that can be continually filled in. The web of events being weaved remains interesting, and I respect the filmmakers for taking small details from previous films and tying them into the greater picture, but by the end of this second trilogy of films it seems we've nearly reached the limit of this sort of retroactive

I will admit that the details of the individual films tend to run together in Saw IV, V and VI, as the muddle of flashbacks and "shock" reveals begin to take their toll. It also seems that we've passed the point of no return regarding the level of violence in these films - as the comparative restraint of the first two films has given way to an expectation of bloodshed that actually serves to reduce much of the film's suspense. If there's a device that is meant to mutilate someone, the filmmakers will inevitably be showing you the evisceration in grand detail - at least in some capacity. Anyone who has watched up to this point already realizes that nobody escapes unscathed, which is just how the audiences seem to like it.

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