The first Saw movie is a marvel of low budget horror movie making. With a great premise in mind, newcomer James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell craft a tale of survival and horror set in a world where traps and games are the norm. This movie introduced a lot of ideas that would be expanded in the sequels and spawned the most successful horror movie franchise to date. It’s as much a thriller as it is a horror movie and it’s a much watch every October to get you in the Halloween Horror mood.
Saw 2 is the biggest mix bag of the series in my option. The film places a greater emphasis on jigsaw and his philosophies and Tobin Bell knocks it out of the park. The rest of the cast however is lackluster and stereotypical. The twist is great but Saw 2 also begins the trend of really choppy editing that becomes very hard to watch and annoying. I still recommend it cause like I said Tobin Bell’s Performance is the stuff of horror legends.
Saw 3 or as I like to think of it, The one where they jumped the shark. Saw 3 set the series up for a crash course. The entire premise is something that should have been kept for a final installment. The editing is just as bad if not worst and the storytelling purposefully leaves things out in order to create its twist and it makes it dumb not clever.
The fourth entry in the series tries to course correct the mistakes the third and ends up feeling like a very violent made for TV movie. Characters are introduced and made so unlikeable that you don’t care about their journey. Meanwhile this movie also takes the time splicing that was started in the last movie is dialed up to 11 making for a very muddled plot. The editing in this movie is so jarring that I can’t imagine anyone prone to seizures watching it. The worst of the series as far as entertainment value.
Saw 5 is a solid entry in the series that is more focused than the previous entry. The story this time around revolves around Hoffman and how he became one of Jigsaws disciples. The movie works as both a cop procedural and a trap showcase. The traps on display are gruesome and the twist at the end makes them just a little clever. Saw 5 shows the series on the rise.
Saw 6 is the series at its most balanced point. Smart creative traps that actually have a point and relate to the main character. The plot also gives everything a nice flow and every character feels like they have something to do in the movie. That being said this is probably the point where the studio started treating Saw like episodes of a yearly tv show.
Saw: The final chapter(2010)
Saw 3-D as it was originally titled is the finale of all the storylines and plot threads that have been established so far. It’s part fan service and coherent movie. It brings back familiar characters and finally lets us see the most popular saw trap in action. That being said the movie is weighed down by ending everything that all the new characters are boring an uninteresting. The movie also uses a lot of dates 3D gimmicks that bring you out of the experience. All in all the final chapter of the series puts a nice bow on the franchise but it’s is by no means it’s swan song.