A criticism of horror sequels: “I saw ‘Saw,’ and ‘Saw II’ too”

Ben Raymond

Did you see “Saw?” I never saw “Saw.” I never saw “Saw” because what I saw from the “Saw” trailer was that I’d seen all “Saw” had to offer and saw a better film than if I went and saw “Saw.” But then I got a second chance to see “Saw,” rather, “Saw II.” Did you see “Saw II” too? I saw in “Saw II,” what I saw in “Saw;” something I’d already seen. Recently, a lot of people who saw “Saw” and saw “Saw II” saw “Saw III.” I also saw that “Saw IV” will be released next year. Will the same folks that saw “Saw,” and saw “Saw II,” too, and saw “Saw III” see “Saw IV?” Why not, if you saw “Saw,” saw “Saw II,” saw “Saw III” and saw “Saw IV,” go see “Saw V,” “Saw VI” “Saw XXXVIII?” People like what they have already saw … seen.In 1931, moviegoers were terrified by MGM monsters Frankenstein and Dracula. In the ’40s and ’50s, giant bugs and alien pods gave them the willies. The suspense classics and psychological thrillers of the ’60s and ’70s chilled them to the bone and made them all afraid of their closets and the undersides of their beds. The jolting shock horror and campy gore of the ’80s made us all scream for more. Not a decade ago, a trio of foul-mouthed wannabe documentarians strolled into the woods in search of a witch that never appears on screen and made audiences crap their collective trousers. How did it come to pass that the horror genre’s evolution has landed us in our present fad of cheap, senseless gore and mutilation? Perhaps it isn’t an evolution at all. Perhaps our contemporary bloodlust for neo-torture balderdash is a sign of artistic apocalypse.This cinema purist is sick of horror franchises that proliferate little more than a nauseating, gory redundancy. I’ve seen all the blood, bone marrow and rolling eyeballs that I can stomach. And, I swear, if I see one more woman reach into a pit of hypodermic needles or pull chains out of her chest cavity to stop a bomb from exploding, I’m going to start my own horror franchise, a real one that targets the producers of this excrement! Why can’t films be gut-wrenching without wrenching peoples’ guts out?