Heralded as the most successful horror franchise of all time the Saw series has run from 2004 right up to 2010. It has taken the twisted tale of Jigsaw and his tortuous trials and terrifying traps through seven sinister and sick films, spawning a new generation of horror movies, computer games and a theme park ride. Most importantly it has brought in big box office revenues while still remaining true to the original ideas laid out in the first instalment.
For the first time all seven Saw movies are being released on glorious Blu-Ray in Saw The Complete Collection. This is a must have box set offering up hours of stunning special features, commentaries from directors, writers, producers and cast, video diaries, music videos, deleted scenes and much more.
The box set also includes both the 2D and 3D versions of Saw: The Final Chapter so if your lucky and rich enough to own a 3D TV you can enjoy the eye popping action exactly how it was meant to be seen. Added to that all the menacing malicious masterpieces have been given the Blu-Ray transfers they deserve meaning you can now see all the hardcore horror in HD.
We thought it was high time to take a look back through the entire Saw series at each instalment and give you our opinions on the franchise that has kept us frightened and enthralled since it started so long ago. We want to play a game, do you?
With a dead body ‘resting’ between them, two men (Leigh Whannell and Carey Elwes) wake up in the secure lair of a serial killer who’s been nicknamed “Jigsaw” by the police because of his unusual calling card. Given six hours, a hacksaw, and a bullet, the two men try to figure out a way to freedom. Hot on the ‘Jigsaw’s trail is Detective David Tapp (Danny Glover), an equally insane cop who was once the victim of the Jigsaw’s evil scheme.
Love Horror Says – Jerky editing; dark, grimy film sets; torture; blood; guts – all elements that are commonplace nowadays. But Saw was one of the first that was willing to take the idea of torment a few steps further, inspiring others (Hostel et al) to do the same. Since Hellraiser first took our hand and led our imaginations into a new, darker place, it seems that nothing in horror is taboo anymore. Saw is the perfect example of this. It tests your psychological limits and the strength of your stomach in an unrelenting way.
Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), the master of mind games, returns to toy with a new set of victims, once again chosen for their perceived lack of respect for life. His traps are crueller and even more mind bending than before. And this time the policeman (Donnie Wahlberg) on the case has more than his professional integrity at stake…
Love Horror Says – After you thought you saw it all in Saw this sequel took the idea to the next level developing the story and throwing in new elements while still keeping the feel and fear from the first part. Saw II showed that the series had legs all be it bloody battered severed legs cut off with a hacksaw.
Jigsaw has disappeared. Now aided by his new apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the puppet-master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police has once again eluded capture and vanished. While city detectives scramble to locate him, Dr. Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) is unaware that she is about to become the latest pawn on his vicious chessboard. One night, after finishing a shift at her hospital, Lynn is kidnapped by the deranged Amanda and taken to an abandoned warehouse where she meets Jigsaw, aka: John Kramer (Tobin Bell), who’s now bedridden and on the verge of death.
Love Horror Says – A brilliant exploration of revenge and anger Saw III plunges its central character into a moral dilemma every audience can understand as he is faced with the people he holds responsible for his sons death all trapped in Jigsaws cruel contraptions.
Now, upon the news of Detective Kerry’s murder, two seasoned FBI profilers, Agent Strahm and Agent Perez, arrive in the terrified community to assist the veteran Detective Hoffman in sifting through Jigsaw’s latest grizzly remains and piecing together the puzzle. However, when SWAT Commander Rigg is abducted and thrust into a game, the last officer untouched by Jigsaw has but ninety minutes to overcome a series of demented traps and save an old friend or face the deadly consequences…
Love Horror Says – Saw fans will not be disappointed with the gore. As usual, there are lots of nasty devices and torturous scenes to wince at. Thankfully, the fist-clenching tension remains! The strength of the Saw films have been their continuity, and again, this film won’t disappoint. Painstaking attention to detail means that random events in the past films end up being relevant in the present, and as long as your memory is good enough to remember that far back – it’s pretty impressive.
Saw V concerns itself with detailing who will carry on with his bloody work. The film opens with a man strapped to a table above a pendulum. As the sharp blade begins swinging over his stomach, he has only a minute to stop it by inserting his hands into a device that will crush them.
Love Horror Says – I’m a fan of Saw. I’m a bit messed up, so watching films like this always makes me feel comfortable, like I’m not the only one. But with every episode that I begin, I can’t help but fear the worst – that I will not be shocked, intrigued, surprised and satisfied. Up until Saw 4, these criteria were thankfully met. Which is surprising as the last was bordering on over-complicated… I felt no connection with anyone, didn’t care about the main cop, didn’t care about the most recent ‘game’ players and even though the devices were horrible as you would expect, even they seemed to lack the imagination of their predecessors.
The deathly traps and cunning plotting return for this sixth entry in the hugely popular Saw film series. The editor for all of the previous films, Kevin Greutert, makes his directorial debut with this picture, once again written by ‘Feast’ writers, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. With Special Agent Stahm (Scott Patterson) dead, the sinister Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) has emerged to carry on Jigsaw’s murderous work.
Love Horror Says – Saw 6, is better than the past couple and is a good film in its own right. Problem is, you can’t really enjoy it in its own right – you need to watch the other 5 to understand it fully. Irrespective of that, it’s still horrible, grotesque, disturbing and compulsive viewing. Just what every Saw fan would want from a sequel.
Saw 3D: The Final Chapter
The most twisted, gruesome and successful horror franchise in the world comes to a close in Saw: The Final Chapter. A deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy as a group of Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) survivors gather to seek the support of self-help guru, and fellow survivor, Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery). Soon though, the survivors really must help themselves as Dagen’s dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror…
Love Horror Says – A brilliant plot, Saw 7 still manages to carry on the story while offering up something fresh and new. Sadly the same can’t be said for the 3D which is a big disappointment and not utilised as imaginatively as it could have and has been in other 3D horrors. With over 25 gallons of fake blood used in the film, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter will keep fans of the franchise happy with some great and gory traps. An over the top ending to a brutally brilliant horror sage.
Click on the film titles for full reviews and read our Interview with Jigsaw himself Tobin Bell right Here.