The Saw franchise celebrates 10 years of blood ‘n’ guts and money


Ten years ago today the first Saw movie was released, marking Hollywood’s entry into the so-called “torture porn” sweepstakes.

And what a windfall it’s been! The original Saw of 2004 has so far grossed (good word) over $100 million on its $1.2 million-dollar budget. Its success led Saw‘s makers to release one sequel every year until 2010, when Saw 3D added a couple more dimensions of gore.

I wasn’t that crazy about the first Saw. I thought Cary Elwes’ performance was bloody awful; he just ruined it for me. I much preferred the more kinetic Saw II, which I feel is the best of the bunch.

Yes, it’s true. I’ve seen and reviewed all seven Saw films. And it’s not that I revel in the physical suffering of others–I mean, I’m a dedicated horror fan, not Jian Ghomeshi–but somebody at the Georgia Straight had to do it.

And seeing them all was worth it just to be able to write “Saw VI is the sixth Saw I’ve seen”.

So here’s my reviews. You can find a few of the Saw films currently streaming on Netflix Canada–or you could just watch some really good ones instead.

Saw (2004) “The filmmakers should have put more effort into searching for a decent lead actor and less into depicting torturous ways for people to die.”

Saw II (2005) “The result is a grimy and relentless portrayal of high-tension cruelty that’s excruciating to watch but as riveting as a nail gun to the nut sack.”

Saw III (2006) “It’s a common medical practice, yet the sight of a person’s skull being sawed open to reveal the brain beneath is still an unbeatable salvo in the gross-out horror wars.”

Saw IV (2007) “‘It’s not over,’ intones the raspy voice of Jigsaw, threatening mayhem from the grave, but discriminating horror fans will wish it was.”

Saw V (2008) “Whoever’s responsible for creating these disgustingly grungy chambers of death deserves an Oscar for scuzziness.”

Saw VI (2009) “Saw VI is the sixth Saw I’ve seen, and maybe the sickest.”

Saw 3D (2010) “If Saw 3D is the last entry in the franchise, its makers are going out with a bang—as in an explosion of human suffering and flying body parts.”


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