Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saw 5 & HSM3

I'm a big fan of the Saw movies. I think they are intelligent hybrids of mystery and horror. Anyone who dismisses them as torture porn isn't going into the genre with an open mind. My favorite in the series is Saw 2. VERY smart script with clever surprises. Saw 5 is much like Saw 4 in tone and structure and without surprise mystery endings. They are both good horror-mystery movies, but this latest, Saw 5, is probably the weakest of the series, which I remember saying about Saw 4. It's really a police drama, and it's obvious to me that the writers are watching too many TV dramas/mysteries. Still, I'm already looking forward to Saw 6, and hope somehow they are able to revive Jigsaw to get back in the "game" because he is the real strength of the series.

High School Musical 3, perhaps the flipside of Saw 5, is a positive, energetic, fun-spirited show that I look forward to seeing again with my wife tomorrow. She hasn't seen it yet. HSM3 is exactly what I like about Disney: no meanness, no sarcasm, no body humor, good clean fun. Plus musical numbers that energize. The musical #s are the greatest parts of this film. I haven't seen the first 2 of the series, since they were made for TV, but I'm going to have to check them out now. HMS3 dabbles in stereotypes, but not the way you expect. There's even a gay character who is neither made fun of nor provoked for his being different. A lovely film of tolerance and hope for the future.


Andrew T. Smith said...

I saw Saw V on Halloween this year having not seen any of the previous entries and can't say I was impressed. The script was pretty good and the traps and gore were wonderfully inventive and icky but I think the direction let it down. There was a flatness to everything that belied the fact that these are just cheap sets built in Toronto. Nothing felt 'lived' in, least of all the basements where the traps were set. I'd certainly be interested in seeing the first installment though.

A.S. said...

I haven't yet seen Saw V, but understand that it is directed by the production designer of Saw II-IV, who is also the person who designed the traps for those films. I think what's missing is Darren Bousman's little touches, such as the way one scene would bleed into another in II-IV, which he directed.

At the risk of plugging a forthcoming BearManor Media book (if not here, where?), you can learn all about the making of those three Saw films in The New Horror Handbook, which features a chapter about Bousman based on exclusive interviews. Of particular interest to Saw fans will be his comments about how Tobin Bell brought Jigsaw to life.

For more info:

Andrew T. Smith said...

I'll certainly give your book a try once I get some cash in the bank!