As usual, to usher in Halloween, horror films are aplenty in cinemas. Or maybe not. We were like getting almost 5 horror flims (mostly no-brainer ones) per month. Personally, I'm not a fan of horror/thriller movies because...no-instead of making me scared, it made my funny bones tickle. Yes, horror flims are like comedies to me. Most of them are no-brainers and sometimes the sound effects and unneccesary over-planned horror scenes has brought me much laughter. I only like horror/thriller films with a twist at the end such as M. Night Shyamalan's films-Sixth Sense (but not the recent 'The Village') and the recent one Saw. Oh well, maybe not quite recent as it was exactly a year ago as it was first shown Oct 2004.
Here's the synopsis for Saw (1):
When Adam is jolted back to consciousness after nearly drowning at the bottom of a decrepit bathtub, he awakes to find himself chained to a rusty pipe inside a dark torture chamber. There is someone else in the room. Dr. Lawrence Gordon has also just regained consciousness and is chained to the opposite side of the space.
Between them a man is lying in a pool of blood after apparently shooting himself in the head with the pistol in his hand. Adam and Dr. Gordon piece together the clues left behind by the deranged criminal mind that has brought them together and finally realize that they, too, must make a seemingly impossible set of choices for their lives. So begins SAW, a thoroughly chilling and expertly crafted suspense thriller by James Wan.
The director of Saw, James Wan. Pic source:http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/movie/saw/04.jpg
SAW is an intricate tale about a deviously intelligent game executed by a criminal genius who is passionate to teach his victims the value of life. Each detail is important, but see if you can retain them in this landscape of indelible horror. Terrifying in tone and effect, SAW is a who-done-it-thriller with twists and turns that continuously outpace expectations. Prepare yourself; you won't sleep easily tonight.
The first film was just breathtaking and gorgeously filmed. The story line was excellent and the unexpected twist at the end was just awesome. You know-the flashback kind of thing, telling you the real story behind every scene in just under 1 minute towards the ending. It is highly recommended that you see this first film before proceeding to the sequel.
I was really anticipating for a sequel to that and I wasn't dissappointed as Saw II was scheduled to be filmed buring Halloween. I saw the trailer and adverts everywhere bearing the tagline: "We dare you see Saw again" and "Oh yes, there will be blood." So, when it was just up today, I rushed to the cinema to see what the sequel would be.
And here's the synopsis for Saw II:
While investigating the bloody aftermath of a grizzly murder, Detective Eric Mason has the feeling that it is the work of Jigsaw, the notorious killer who disappeared leaving a trail of bodies - and parts - behind. And Mason is right. Jigsaw is at work again. But instead of two people locked in a room with only one unthinkable way out, there are eight. Eight strangers -- unaware of their connection to each other -- forced to play out a game that challenges their wits and puts their lives in jeopardy.
Source: Yahoo Movies.
The starting of the film was not what I was expecting as it was not quite the continuation from what it ended in Saw. I was expecting it to be like sequels such as Shrek 2 or Princess Diaries 2 etc.; picking up from what was left in the prequel. The film was greeted by the evil doll and the infamous locked 'head-clamp trap' and as promised, there was a lot of blood and gore.
Ooohh...that evil doll! Source.
The focus of the storyline has now changed from an adulterous oncologist (doctor specialising in cancer) to a police detective named Eric Mason who framed innocent people by planting evidence (sounds familiar?). Same as its prequel, the 'serial killer' named Jigsaw/John targeted people who do not cherish their lives. Eric was actually having an estranged relationship with his son, Daniel and was just divorced from his wife.
The story went on very quickly where the police finally found the hiding lair for Jigsaw, which was somehow the intention of him. As revealed in the prequel, Jigsaw is actually a terminal stage cancer patient. He is 'teaching' other healthy people of cherishing their lives by putting them in situations and experimenting them on how far people would go on saving their lives. This is either by harming themselves (e.g. cutting own's leg off to save own's life; hence the name: Saw) or harming others (digging into people's intestines to get a key to a lock).
As mentioned in the synopsis, this time around, a group of 8 strangers were trapped in a house fumigated with toxic nerve gas sarin, with limited time to decipher codes set by Jigsaw in order to escape. The 8 includes Daniel and a previous victim of Jigsaw, Amanda which survived his 'game' who was chosen by him before for being a heroin addict. Others include an angry businessman (who got shot in the eye just minutes after they found out they were trapped), a selfish thug, a geezer, a sensible 'leader', an emotionally fragile girl and of course...a hot chick whom the thug claimed that 'the only door she knows how to open is the one between her leg.' All of them were brought together into the house by something in common, which I mentioned somewhere earlier (figure it out yourself, lar!)
The story switches back and forth on how the detective desperately trying to source out information from the captured Jigsaw to save his son, and on how the 8 people trapped there deciphering codes and playing 'games' set by Jigsaw in order to escape, with one by one dying along the line. The codes were pretty predictable but the traps planned were just brilliant. The most memorable part was about Amanda trying to fish out an antidote for the nerve gas in a pool of needles. Sounds like a much more extreme segment from Fear Factor.
I reserve any review of the ending to leave it for you to watch it; just expect that there's a sudden twist at the end. The website to the film, saw2.com is worthwhile checking out. You can find some insights on the prequel of the two films in a comic strip form there also. So fingers-crossed, hopefully there will be a trilogy of it. The director for this time, Darren Lynn Bousman even has a blog.
Overall, I would rate the film as 7/10.
Oh...too bad it's not going to show in Malaysian cinemas. Or else, Bad-rude-din's gonna complain: " Aper semua hantu, patung dan darah ini? *insert his favourite racial slur here." Just too many swear words and blood scenes, I guess. The film's already rated '18' here. Even if it will be shown, I'm not sure how the movie will be edited that you will find it riculously silly. Maybe only no-brainer 'horror' films such as 'Potret Mistik' will only be allowed to be shown. So, please kindly enquire your friendly Uncle Ho's dealer for a copy. :)