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I've Watched Six 'Saw' Movies in Three Days and This Is Why

By Jodi Smith | Think Pieces | August 15, 2017 |

By Jodi Smith | Think Pieces | August 15, 2017 |

You don’t realize you’re sinking into a depression. At least, I don’t. I just think I’m tired or that I’m overreacting to work insanity. I worry about money and everything else before escaping into something mindless. Then one day I wake up and I feel nothing.

I’m just empty inside, which has the bonus of relieving my panic and anxiety disorder, but also? Empty and all.

I decided to watch a movie on Amazon Prime and was surprised that all seven of the Saw movies are available. I watched two that night, two the next night, and two last night. I’m watching the seventh tonight. It began as wanting to revisit a movie that I hadn’t seen in awhile. Say what you will about the sequels, but the first Saw is damned inspired. I remember thinking that it was original, as much as horror can be, and that the twist at the end was terrifying.

The sequels were all painted with the torture porn brush, but they aren’t quite as brutal as advertised until you get to parts V and VI. Those have some truly disgusting kills, with no camera work to hide the gore. Luckily I feel nothing right now, so those do nothing for or to me. Instead I’m finding myself focusing on the core of the films: Jigsaw’s philosophies on life and how you treat others.

It seems at first that this guy is infuriated to have cancer and he wants to punish healthy people for not appreciating their lack of cancer. As the series unfolds, loops around, and slides under itself, it becomes clear that Jigsaw/John Kramer sees himself as an enigmatic leader of sorts. Obviously he has disciples that are following his teachings and learning to carry on his life’s work. He also thinks that he is helping the people he forces into traps by making allowing them to be reborn with a newfound gratitude for their lives.

It’s insane, I know. But also? Shouldn’t people understand how their behavior affects other people? One film in the series targets the insurance company executive and his underlings for playing God with people’s lives via policy cancellations and denial of coverage benefits. Another takes people who followed the lead of a shady real estate developer to burn down a building that had people living in it just so they could make money with permits, new developments, and so one could be bribed to hide the evidence. These people are blights on society, it’s true.

The Saw franchise allows you to see some form of justice done to those that act without regard for others. This justice is as flawed as can be and problematic at best, but the catharsis we are denied currently is at least very closely matched by watching it. We don’t have people making the best use of their lives right now. They are destroying themselves and others in an attempt to control their place in a country governed by a coward that would rather line his pockets than lift us up. Justice is slow. It is meticulous and it is often not as satisfying as seeing a rapist stab out his eyes to save his own pathetic life.

It’s just a way to put reality away and revel in the moment of satisfaction you may glean from seeing someone triumph over their trap or fall victim to it. It’s cleaner and less hopeless somehow and I’m sorry I find solace in it right now.

Jodi Smith is a Senior Reporter, Film & Television at Pajiba. You can email her or follow her on Twitter.

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