What The Film?! is a weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the plot holes Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by comedy writer Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.
If you know a film with major plot holes that you feel needs to be exposed, tell us! Email email@example.com with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.
This Week’s Movie: SAW
The SAW Franchise is an interesting one. It was the first horror movie in almost a decade to expand into a successful franchise and its six sequels were all released theatrically, rather than straight to video. The franchise started with a bang, with 2004’s almost Hitchcockian SAW. It consisted of two guys chained in a basement, that was the entire movie and it was scary, smart, and something mainstream audiences had never seen before. Beyond the first movie however, the franchise became similar to a slide covered in thumb tacks that leads into a septic tank, gradually getting worse and more painful till you realized you’ve waited through the entire franchise to be sitting in shit.
The very first SAW movie was just over an hour and a half of two men chained up in a gross bathroom that resembled something out of Fallout 3. The two men had to talk to each other and figure out why they were there, what connections they had to each other, and ultimately decide if they should cut their own foot off to get out of the chains.
Simple? Yes. Successful? Yes, the movie made about a hundred times more than what it was made for and Jigsaw has become a horror icon, up there with Jason, Pinhead, Freddy and Shocker. Scary? Yes! This movie is frequently overlooked by how abysmal the franchise became in its sequels, each being less creative and scary and becoming more violent. The franchise quickly went from an intimate situation and became an endurance test of gore and violence.
We discover later in the franchise that the serial killer Jigsaw had his health insurance provider refuse to cover an experimental cancer treatment. Knowing that he was going to die, he saw (I’ll be here all week folk! Yuk Yuk Yuk!) people “wasting” their lives and decided to “save” them. In order to do this, he would put them in life-or-death situations, testing their will, and ultimately appreciating their lives more, their lives now having meaning. Lets ignore the fact that the insurance provider, by allowing him to not get the treatment, gave him something to do with his life, giving it “meaning”, and helping him appreciate it more, the major issue with the franchise is this:
That’s a screen capture from 2005’s SAW II. In it, Jigsaw locks eight strangers in a house that is filled with a toxic gas and each person has to go through an elaborate test/torture to obtain an antidote. …Wow, he definitely upped the ante there. Each movie gets more and more ridiculous despite the fact having a guy cut his foot off to appreciate his life worked so well that he started helping Jigsaw himself after doing it, becoming an accomplice.
Jigsaw, you found a way to make someone appreciate life and then decided to just keep dicking around. No, you hit the nail on the head in the first movie, you don’t need to do different shit all the time. Still, Jigsaw spices it up each movie with something more and more over the top, each costing some elaborate and insane amount of money with traps in factories, warehouses, storefronts, garages, et cetera. Jigsaw isn’t a rich man, that’s why he couldn’t afford to stay alive, and yet this movie franchise tells us that he must own enough of this city that cops can’t just search what properties he owns to find people in traps because there’s too many buildings and not enough manpower. Am I over thinking this? That’s possible, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is absolutely no mind, crazy or not, who would have a logical progression from “Chain a guy in a basement” to “making a silo slowly fill with pig organs, drowning whoever is inside”. You know, for a dying person, Jigsaw has a lot of free time.