So after binge watching Saw 1-8 I kept thinking to myself about something intresting. This franchise, despite having eight movies, two games, a ton of iconic moments, iconic characters, and a mark on pop culture that will make most shiver at the thought of waking up and hearing “Let’s play a game,” the film never really had anything to say until the eigth film Jigsaw.
The most every Saw film had to say was things like:
- Don’t be racist
- Don’t cut yourself for attention
- Appreciate life
- Insurance companies are evil(?)
- Don’t be a dick
- Don’t fake being a survivor of Jigsaw’s traps to abuse the influence and power that comes from it to make monetary gain (point 2 but with extra steps)
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t drink and drive
- Don’t be a prostitute(?)
- Not everyone will pay gratitude to your good deed as everyone is just trying to look out for themselves
- Teamwork makes the dream work
- Drugs are bad
- Don’t be a pedophile
- Don’t exploit religion
- Don’t steal money
- (Some other things that slipped my mind)
Jigsaw, for the most part had a solid theme. It loosely follows the idea of the play No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre, which tells the story of three damned souls find themselves in a room with nothing but French furniture and no sign of torture in sight. They expected to be immense pain and suffering when they enter hell but soon come to realize that reflecting back on your past and how you may miss an opportunity to do some right by choice, is more torturous than anyone one could imagine.
Jigsaw goes with a slightly different approach to the play, having 6 victims having to reflect on and accept their sins. Their sins being things like knowingly selling a motorcycle with faulty breaks, killing your baby when it wouldn’t shut up, and stealing $3.15 from an asthmatic woman then not assisting her when she dies from an asthma attack from chasing after you.
I think what makes the Saw franchise as a whole is that our protagonist of the films have all done terrible things. They are bad people yet killing them is also bad. You have to question where you draw your boundaries and whom you want to live and whom you want to die. After the fourth film though, the traps are so intresting that you really don’t give a fuck about the victims and you just want to see limbs torn off and heads blown up. Fuck.
So why does all this matter and why do I care so much? (You probably aren’t asking yourself this but I need a transition)
Well with the amount of impact this film has made, inspiring other films like Escape Room, Panic Button, Would You Rather, Vile, Grotesque, and many MANY more films that follow the same “deadly game room concept” the Saw franchise sticks out among the rest.
These other films take bits and pieces from the Saw franchise and make something of their own, but with the rumors of a new Saw movie beyond the horizon my mind is racing with ideas.
So hear me out as I stumble through and loosely explain my idea for a ninth installment in the Saw franchise.
The first thing I want to touch on is how Jigsaw’s work has influenced the current society and culture. If Jigsaw’s actions happened in our universe there would be a ton of repercussions and this would make for some intriguing things.
For example, the man himself could be interpreted as an artist. A Jigsaw museum, displaying traps, blueprints, scale models, wax statues, audio recordings, and tours teaching about the man, the myth, the legend.
Another thing I could see as a result of his actions is imitations (which is a very important part of my story). The imitations can talk about films that were inspired by the Saw franchise, where the victims are innocent or have made one small mistake.
One thing I would love to see is a saw based game show. This is actually how I’d want to open the film. Two men wake up in a bathroom with a seemingly dead body on the floor, just like the first film, they immediately start getting into action, but something seems off. These men aren’t scared but seemingly excited, they are scrambling around for something but its unclear. One of them takes off the toilet lid and throws it to the ground, he reaches in and grabs a note that says “x marks the spot” he immediately tells the other guy to turn off the light. The glow in the dark x is revealed and is promptly broken open, the man reaches in and flips a switch. A buzzer goes off and the camera pans around to the wall, the wall lifts up revealing a live studio audience clapping and cheering, the dead body picks itself up and grabs a microphone happily announcing “YOU WIN!”
(I think you can start to see where I’m going with this.)
Jigsaw, is no longer a threat. He’s a myth and the butt of a joke. He was just a smudge on history and is now just another thing in pop culture. He is no longer a scary murderer, but an artist ahead of his time. His traps no longer hold meaning, but rather are just an interesting form of torture. He is for lack of a better term, a shadow of his former self.
So who are Jigsaw’s victims and what’s the theme?
First his victims:
- The Game Show Host and Producer: He satirizes Jigsaw’s work and makes it into entertainment for the masses. The events that killed, traumatized, and scarred dozens is now treated like childs play
- A Trio of Millionaires: Who make money by creating traps similar to that of Jigsaws and forces innocent civilians to play and die for their entertainment.
- A Loving Couple: The couple forces innocents to recreation’s of Jigsaw’s designs making them unfair
- A Youtuber (Like JayStation): Who uses the Saw mythos as clickbait in videos like “Calling Jigsaw at 3am?!?! HE ANSWERS?!?! (Gone Wrong!) (Gone Sexual!)”
- And lastly, A Journalist (Like someone CNN): who is making false reports about the Jigsaw murders in order to cause discourse and fear mongering to get more clicks
They would be locked into a maze of traps, all built by Jigsaw, each taking bits and pieces of each person’s work. They’re are unknowingly being watched the whole time by the masses being live streamed. All as this is going on each trap seen flashes back to a lesson the old Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) passes onto the new Jigsaw (Matt Passmore).
The theme? If it isn’t obvious each target abuses the name and ideals that Jigsaw (mostly) stands for. Previous films in the franchise lightly touched on some of these but never went head on. This film is meant to allow Jigsaw to rebuild his legacy and make his name something to be feared once again. You know something like a Saw Legacy.
The franchise isn’t smart at all, chocked full of religion metaphors, art metaphors, philosophies and ideologies being strung left and right, and whatever else the film can throw at the script, the franchise holds an untapped potential beyond that of sophisticated torture porn with more holes in its whole plot than there are holes in swiss cheese.
Maybe someday someone will see this potential and actually put it to use, and hopefully soon. The next Saw film (if it really is coming) will probably just carry on where the last one left but maybe, just maybe, by some stroke of luck it will touck into that potential the franchise holds.