Monday, November 14, 2005

Better than Seven?

My husband and I watched Saw tonight, and the Greek translation, in big bold letters is:

ΣΕ ΒΛΕΠΩ

Which means, "I see you", which isn't entirely the point of the English title, but I guess it works in its own stupid/clever way. Even so, I have a grand temptation to call any type of saw σε βλεπω now, just to be annoying.

My husband rented it, remembering my desire for horror, and due to a colleague's (an oncology resident, no less) review that it was "better than Seven". He was, of course, intrigued by this description, because we are both quite fond of Seven, although neither of us had very high hopes going into our viewing of Saw.

My first thought, of course, is what in the hell happened to dear Westley, because Carey Elwes has strayed so far from his famous role, and so badly, that is rather heartbreaking to watch. The last thing I saw him in was X-Files, where he played the completely annoying Assistant Director Follmer, but at least it was decent acting. In Saw he had too much makeup and too much to whine about. High pitched, annoying whining. Do I care about a character who is that irritating? Nope.

My second thought was, oh my god, I am stuck in a never ending Nine Inch Nails video. Which is perhaps one of the clues as to why this movie was so popular. The direction, the cinematography, the look, all custom tailored for the current MTV generation. Bravo. Lucky the director went for a percentage instead of an up front paycheck, eh?

To the nitty gritty of the movie, well, I couldn't bring myself to care less about any of the characters. Not even the little girl. That is saying something, because I am often easily roped in to some kind of emotion for somebody. Not this time. The killer even left something to be desired. I wasn't scared. I didn't get any gothic chills. I couldn't appreciate the setting. It was a completely empty shell.

Without giving much in the way of spoilers, the point of the killer in this movie is to put people up to moral/personal challenges while suffering and facing certain death. The one scene that has any redeeming factor on any level (small spoiler here) is one where a woman, in order to save her own life, has to kill someone. Well, that can offer forth some interesting discussions on morality, which perhaps was part of the point of the whole movie, but the rest of the cases did not prove as interesting in that regard. Is our need for survival greater than our need to be moral?

Needless to say, I am not planning on seeing Saw II.

And no, it was not even close to being better than Seven.

7 comments:

Mike said...

What is it with Seven? Am I the only person who wouldn't rush to watch it twice?

"Is our need for survival greater than our need to be moral?"

Now, that is a question!

Cynthia Rae said...

I loved the moive Seven. I will not be watching Saw. Thanks to you Mel, I have saved two hours of my life.

hobbes said...

hm - can't do scary movies at all. I guess I'm just a wimp

Ethnocentrist said...

In Saw he had too much makeup

Actually, what the hell was that all about? Was there some reason that they caked on so much makeup for him to truly look unrecognizable? I agree, the movie was quite a disappointment on so many levels.

As to this "can of worms" alert...

Is our need for survival greater than our need to be moral?

It's best to let sleeping dogs lie... :) Not to mention, staying on topic for a particular entry. Which I do TRY to do.

cream said...

Seen Seven but not Saw. I would like to see it but my wife hates horror films.
The only film that really frightened me when it came out was The Omen.
Thessaloniki! Great place! Was there in 1979! The ice cream parlours! Ahhhhhh!

Nicole said...

Not a big fan of Seven myself. I know at the start the world sucks and at the end- the world sucks :)

I haven't been scared since I watched The Exorcist (on TV so all the nasty stuff was cut out) as a kid- me and my sisters- Three Catholic girls watched it during a storm. Parents out for the night. Freaked me out. Poltergest was another good one and of course the first Nightmare on Elm Street.

But I haven't had a good scare since I don't know when. . .

melusina said...

Well, I thought Seven did what it did very well. I think Saw was trying very hard to be like Seven in some ways, but just didn't make it.

Ethno, I think the makeup thing HAD to be in Elwes contract. I recall saying something about his makeup on the X-Files too, when we were watching it. He must insist on being made up before every take.

If I had seen the Omen when it came out it might have scared me, but I watched it a few years ago with a friend when it was the only thing on television and we laughed a lot. And there is more to Thessaloniki than ice cream! Haha!

Poltergeist, man, now that was a scary movie for me. I had nightmares/visions from that movie for a year after I saw it, and that is when the parental decree came down that I was no longer allowed to watch horror films, until I got older. Man.