From 2004 to 2010, Halloween held one wonderful treat for the fans of chills and horror. A movie from the Saw franchise. What began as an indie flick in 2004, spanned six sequels, and emerged as one of the most iconic and successful horror franchises in Hollywood. The whole lot of seven movies have grossed about $873 million worldwide as against a combined production budget of a measly $64 million. The die-hard horror movie fans would have watched them all, while some others would have stopped midway when the plots seemed to lose their tension, and it started becoming only about blood and violence (I managed four films, before I lost interest). But nobody can deny the true brilliance and excitement felt on watching the movie that started it all, the first one, 2004’s Saw.
The rather unknown James Wan (who would later go on to direct Insidious series, The Conjuring and is currently working on Fast & Furious 7) directed this indie horror flick on a budget of just a million dollars, with the screenplay written by Leigh Whannell. Lionsgate picked up the movie for a wide screening, and released it on the final weekend of October 2004. And bam, the movie was an instant success! It eventually grossed $103 million worldwide, way ahead of its production budget, led to multiple sequels, and kick started the careers of Wan and Whannell. Ten years since then, and Lionsgate is set to re-release Saw on the final weekend of October this year for only a week. A Halloween with Saw again! On the tenth anniversary of this truly horrifying and spectacular movie, I look back at three of the spookiest moments that stay with us till today (Spoiler Alert for those who haven’t watched the movie yet and plan to do so!).
Jigsaw’s Puppet is probably as iconic as Jigsaw himself in the universe of horror movies. Though not referred by name in the movies, he is known as “Billy” on sets. The “moving and talking” dummy is used by Jigsaw to communicate the nature of the traps to his victims. The grin on its face along with the red and black colour combination gives it an eerie look that can send chills across your spine. And then on top of it all, it mocks you! Yeah, that mocking sound had got Adam all riled up in the movie so much that he hammered the puppet with a baseball bat. Eh, but he forgot to be careful with the pig-faced man, didn’t he?
Sawing off the foot
Alright, so the opening scene of Saw itself is scary. A man chained to a pipe, a message that tells him that he needs to escape for the sake of his family. And a hacksaw. But after so much chill-inducing drama that we see through the movie, the best (or the worst?) of the horror is waiting to happen towards the end of the film. The hacksaw has to be finally used. And it is not the chains that can be cut with it. It is difficult to even talk of that scene without feeling something crawl up your belly and make you all nauseous. Watch it, only if you can.
Oh my god! The end, the finale, the moment that made me rise up my chair with shock and horror on my face. Saw has one of the most incredible twists right at the end which gives this movie an extra edge, and makes it so memorable. But this scene can be appreciated in its totality if you reach this point having watched all the other horrors that the movie inflicts, and are dying to know the finale to this whole gut-wrenching episode. Here it is once again, to be best enjoyed by those who would recollect how this ending had left them reeling ten years back. Oh, and don’t forget that little background score which will keep buzzing in your head even after the screen goes black!