Despite writing the occasional slasher, I’ve never particularly been a fan of films with a lot of gore. I saw the first Saw film when I bought a very cheap second hand copy, and almost had to dare myself to sit down and watch it.
I was very pleasantly surprised. The film did have gore, yes, but the overall plot – of a dying madman forcing tests on people to see how badly they want to live – stands up very well.
I’ve managed to get hold of the rest of the series – seven in all, I think - and watched the lot over the last year or so. Toward the middle the films seemed to become more interested in gore than plot which disappointed, but they do contain enough continuity from the earlier films to retain interest. Each film is a stand alone, but also refers back cleverly to those that came before it.
The final film was back in the spirit of the earlier films, with characters and plot playing a more important role. The film also brings things full circle and while the resolution is a little complicated, it’s good to have the loose ends from previous films in the series tied up.
In all, this is an entertaining series of films. They’re not perfect, but as well as being violent they made me think a bit about human nature. I think it’s best to watch them all quite close together so as to keep a grasp of the complicated strands that run through the series.
It’s difficult to give a mark out of ten because some in the series are so much better than others. However, I’m pleased to have watched the lot and there is certainly more to like than to dislike.