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Tomorrow night marks the beginning of the 10th anniversary re-release of James Wan's Saw, the film that built Lionsgate into the burgeoning powerhouse that it is today. However, Screen Junkies' Honest Trailers has some other ideas as to what the film's legacy truly is, specifically calling it out as "a great idea for a student short film, that somehow got scratched into six feature length sequels, two video games, and one super fun roller coaster." With that sort of snark within the first minute of the trailer, you can begin to see where this is going, and fast.
Screen Junkies has a lot of issues to bring up with the franchise on a whole, but focuses mostly on the first film's successes and weaknesses. While they come away with some sort of residual admiration for Saw, they quickly follow up with a reminder that all you know and love about this franchise eventually gets taken out in the clumsy wake of whatever sequel is your breaking point. Up until that point, you can walk away from these movies and still have some respect for Wan and Leigh Whannell's original vision.
Getting what Screen Junkies actually liked about the franchise out of the way, they do admit that in a shorter confines, this film could actually be much more effective. Most importantly, the traps and lack of gore in Saw that they seem to admire. That's about all this film gets from them though, and even those compliments are put out of their misery with the reminder that the traps "...turn [them] into complete parodies of themselves" within the sequels. As for the gore -- well, you just need to watch how they cover that aspect in the video itself, because it's one of the funniest usages of mosaics and music you'll see.
So what's the damage that the Saw series ultimately walks away from this Honest Trailer with? Basically, it's slammed as an idea that sounds like its greatness decreases exponentially through the law of diminishing returns. If Saw was a five- or 10-minute student film, Screen Junkies would have nothing to complain about. But with the lengths the series went to recon further accomplices to Jigsaw, include more complicated and gory punishments, as well as fill out the running time of the first film with flashbacks and obvious filler to make the film seem bigger; the films lose too much thematic blood after cutting their foot off and limping on through six sequels.
With a new Saw film being proposed by the franchise's producers, perhaps it's a good time for those involved to watch this trailer and realize what eventually went wrong with a franchise that had a decent run before nosediving into horrific depths of self defeat. At the very least, the makers of Saw can comfort themselves with two facts: the seven films and boat tons of cash won't be going away anytime soon, and at least they didn't make Transformers: Age Of Extinction. After that film, it wouldn't be a surprise to find out that Jigsaw adopted the pseudonym "Ehren Kruger," only to make sure the Transformers films happened.
Saw will be back in theaters with showings as early as tomorrow night, for one week only. To watch or not... it's your choice.