Saw: Jigsaw – Complex games, simple characters

The first Saw in 2004 has greatly influenced horror movies, especially the subgenre “gore”, that kind of film where violence on the screen is not only free but is the main source of entertainment.

The idea for the first feature, created by director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell, is heavily influenced by low-budget horror films, where leasing is limited in order to cut costs in production. So, at first, the Australian breeders imagined a story that would happen in an elevator. Possibly understanding that a lift would greatly limit the movement of the characters, the final scenario became the abandoned and scary bathroom of the first chapter of the franchise.

However, what gave the film its success was the villain, John Kramer, or Jigsaw, and the way he chooses and plays with his victims. Your target are people who have some kind of weakness, such as addiction, or who have some negative secret in their past. Being diagnosed with cancer, the Saw psychopath believes that everyone needs to enjoy life in a complete and non-malicious way. If he realizes that his victims do not do this, he imprisons them and forces them to be part of a game where the objective end, in the villain’s head, is to help them live better. If they can not get through the game, they pay with their lives.

Of course, none of this would be possible if these jokes and games were not carefully thought out of the plot. Objects that are simple and ordinary and that become deadly are common in horror movies. Famous director Alfred Hitchcock himself was a master at creating scenes of suspense and terror with objects or animals that seem peaceful (he even used birds as villains in his productions). In Saw, what is used to create terror are games or child pranks, especially those of detective where the purpose was to solve a mystery to win a prize. The problem is that the prize here is to continue living.

Such aspects of the work made it a cult movie and made possible the creation of a franchise. However, far from maintaining the quality of the original, each film seems to have its ups and downs. The new production, Jigsaw, follows a trend that has been growing since the second film in the series: a minor focus on the victims and why they find themselves in such a situation, and more in an attempt to make the villain a legend. This makes the games, so simple and effective in the first feature, now become complex and difficult to believe. It’s as if Jigsaw has set up his own Disneyland.

This also affects the structure of the plot. The previous films maintain a parallel between the sad prisoners, who have no contact with the outside world, and policemen who can not solve the mystery. However, Jigsaw’s legend becomes so strong that it begins to appear anytime, anywhere. The whole world becomes a place for your games.
This sequence, however, is not as scary or creepy as the original. There are even jokes that break the seriousness of important scenes to our understanding of the characters. Lack of character care causes them to make decisions that are easy to predict and change their personality quickly.

Even so, because of the success of the first, Saw: Jigsaw still manages to please its fans.

(article translated from the original version in portuguese, by Google Translate)

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