“Saw Six is the sixth Saw I’ve seen”: my original reviews of every Saw movie, 2004-2010

By Steve Newton As most in-the-know horror-movie freaks are no doubt aware, the latest entry in the Saw franchise, Jigsaw, opens this Friday (October 27). Not one to miss out on the latest Hollywood torture-porn epic, I'm going. As the designated horror reviewer for Vancouver weekly the Georgia Straight since the early '80s, it was … Continue reading “Saw Six is the sixth Saw I’ve seen”: my original reviews of every Saw movie, 2004-2010

The Conjuring 2 is so long it hurts

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 10, 2016 By Steve Newton My biggest beef with The Conjuring 2 isn't that it's an overbaked and predictable possessed-kid-in-a-haunted-house flick. Or that it's one of those "based on a true story" projects that you just know is all fiction. The worst thing about it by far is its running time. Why … Continue reading The Conjuring 2 is so long it hurts

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

Horror review: The Conjuring

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 18, 2013 Aiming to impress horror freaks, the poster for The Conjuring boasts “from the director of Saw and Insidious”, which was a much wiser choice than “from the writers of The Reaping”. But the fact remains that the team of director James Wan and scripters Chad and Carey Hayes comes up short with this demonic-possession … Continue reading Horror review: The Conjuring

Horror review: Die

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 2, 2011 By Steve Newton Name a horror film with three letters in its title that’s about a group of strangers who are kidnapped, held prisoner, and forced by a calmly voiced psychopath to play twisted games that decide whether their fellow captives live or die a slow, torturous death. … Continue reading Horror review: Die

Horror review: The Collector

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 28, 2009 Now here’s a twisted little gem just in time for Halloween nightmare-making. The Collector—no relation to the same-named ’60s thriller in which weirdo Terence Stamp kidnaped hottie Samantha Eggar—should make the backers of the Saw and Hostel franchises think twice, because it takes the rotting corpse of torture-porn out of the abandoned warehouse … Continue reading Horror review: The Collector

Horror review: Saw VI

Saw VI is the sixth Saw I’ve seen, and maybe the sickest. In the opening scene, a man and a woman are held captive with devices strapped to their heads that can screw bolts into their skulls. They’re told that only one of them will live, the survivor being the person who dumps the most … Continue reading Horror review: Saw VI

Horror review: Untraceable

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 30, 2008 It was only a matter of time before the lamentable movie subgenre known as torture-porn stopped being the sole property of the horror scene and grew into a marketable angle for the mainstream thriller. Untraceable boasts a respected director (Gregory Hoblit of Fracture and Primal Fear), and a … Continue reading Horror review: Untraceable

Horror review: Captivity

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 18, 2007 As the distributor of the Hostel and Saw franchises, Vancouver-based Lionsgate Films has a virtual stranglehold on today's gruesome and sadistic horror flicks. But now that Lionsgate has seen how much money it can make with so-called torture porn, it's gotten greedy; case in point being Captivity is … Continue reading Horror review: Captivity

Horror review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre–The Beginning

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 12, 2006 WX-1130 is a great place to get traffic updates (“every 10 minutes on the ones”), but the local AM station should skip movie criticism. One Friday rush hour, I was tuned in to keep tabs on the time when the morning team decided it should compare a couple … Continue reading Horror review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre–The Beginning

Horror review: The Descent

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 10, 2006A few weeks ago, we went camping at a lake near Powell River, and by camping I mean sleeping in a camper. I chose to crash at the very back of the rig, against the wall in the little bunk above the truck cab. Maybe it was the mixture … Continue reading Horror review: The Descent

Horror review: Saw

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 4, 2004 Ten years or so ago, I was covering the local shoot of the trashy teen-from-hell flick The Crush for American horror mag Fangoria. It starred then-newcomer Alicia Silverstone as a hot-to-trot underaged babe willing to kill for the affections of a mild-mannered journalist, played by Carey Elwes. At the time, Silverstone … Continue reading Horror review: Saw