Saw and Halloween – name a more iconic October duo from the last decade (seriously, not just memeing here). Every Fall, for a span of seven films in as many years, John Kramer/Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) – or one of his minions/impersonators – erected a maze of “torture porn” death traps for “chosen” characters to navigate. Carcasses were scorched, heads were pulverized like rotten fruit, and insides were spilled at a frightening turnover rate. Saw 3D was intended to end the franchise, but studio execs eventually realized how much money was left up for grabs.
Zip ahead to 2017 and we have the appropriately titled Jigsaw, Lionsgate’s reboot of James Wan’s infamous slaughterhouse-games franchise. Once again, audiences could rely on Halloween’s October release window for one screamingly macabre “test” designed to maim, massacre and murder with redemptive intent. When I heard the news myself, a flash of Jigsaw’s bodycount projected before my eyes and I knew – as an online film journalist with absolutely zero dignity left – what had to be done. SOMEONE MUST RANK ALL THE SAW DEATH SEQUENCES.
Unfortunately, Jigsaw is not screening for press so this article just focuses on Saw through Saw 3D. In any case, let’s get to the gory details. How does your favorite “trap” or death rank on this punishing playlist of the damned?
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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.
It’s bad, no question. But bad doesn’t necessarily mean unwatchable. At a scant 88 minutes, Surrogates doesn’t linger on a single idea long enough to be boring. Swap out “boring” with “interesting”, and the same point stands. There was undeniably potential here for a vastly better film, one which more creatively explores this world and more thoughtfully examines the many questions that Surrogates only touches on before rushing to hit the next derivative action movie beat. If you’re willing to accept that the movie isn’t going to do that, it should suffice as cheesily enjoyable formula trash. Hopefully you liked I, Robot, because it’s pretty much the same movie.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – A commentary with director Jonathan Mostow. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as 2 featurettes (“A More Perfect You: The Science of Surrogates”, “Breaking the Frame: A Graphic Novel Comes to Life”), and 4 deleted scenes.
|BEST DVD PRICE
|Amazon – $16.99
|BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
|Amazon – $23.49
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With Paranormal Activity, the comparisons to The Blair Witch Project films just keep on coming. Like Blair Witch, 2009’s Little Film That Could was made on a shoestring budget and cleverly marketed into mega-success. Now, Paramount has hired a writer and director for the film currently called Paranormal Activity 2. Just as when Artisan made the Blair Witch sequel, the studio is keeping original Paranormal creators Jason Blum and Oren Peli on the payroll as producers, but is giving the reigns to different talent. In this case, said talent happens to be screenwriter Michael R. Perry and director Kevin Greutert, the latter of which you may recall directed the most recent Saw film. Read More »
This week, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley assess the state of Avatar’s marketing, discuss their thoughts on the Men in Black series, and lament the imminent death of Miramax. Writer/director Richard Kelly joins us for this episode. Richard Kelly’s newest film, The Box, is out in theaters on Friday, November 6th.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review The Box.
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Update: In our box office report below, we mentioned the lack of official sequel plans for Paranormal Activity. Well, Paramount has now released a statement from Chairman Brad Grey via LAT: “We have the rights on a worldwide basis to do Paranormal 2 and we’re looking to see if that makes some sense.” The word ‘some’ has possibly never been needed less in a sentence. Paranormal Activity‘s boffo, record-setting box office is discussed below. We’ll update on the sequel when and if more details come in. In the meantime, what direction should a sequel take?
It had to happen later than sooner: this weekend Lionsgate‘s Saw franchise took a significant tumble with Saw VI opening to a mere $14.8 million from 3,000 theaters, the lowest opening since 2004’s Saw ($18.2m). The prognosis for the grisly torture series might be gloomier if not for its showdown with Paranormal Activity, the year’s biggest movie phenomenon (no small feat), which haunted the top spot after months of escalating buzz with $22 million. That means it’s up two millie over last weekend, while still playing in less than 2,000 theaters. Not only are number-crunchers getting wet over the idea that this indie pick-up from Paramount, budgeted at $13,000 (yeah, thousand), might gross $100 million domestic, but it’s on track to become the most profitable release in the mountainous studio’s history. Word from the clown is: Executives are filming themselves asleep with permagrins, splayed out on beds covered in dollars gold bars.
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As it stands, this is a rumor at best and, more accurately, an informed online endorsement that could easily pick up steam amongst horror fans and online. Either way, it’s the weekend and the thought of Tobe Hooper, creator of Leatherface and director of 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and its huggable ’86 sequel, once again revving up the genre’s best ‘saw hadn’t crossed my mind. It should have. According to Shock’s Ryan Rotten, while attending a party for Saw IV, he saw Hooper hanging with TCM2‘s Bill Moseley and, more importantly, the team at Twisted Pictures. Dots connected, and Rotten has fully thrown his support behind Hooper’s possible involvement.
I know, oohlala. But as we reported (and as Russ understandably bemoaned), Twisted Pictures purchased the franchise’s rights from the metallic douches at Platinum Dunes. Twisted’s first installment, vaguely said to be a contemporary take and possibly a true third sequel ignoring Dunes‘ entries, is already in development, with a screenplay by Stephen Susco (The Grudge). Moreover, it seems that Hooper’s new management, Evolution, shares L.A. offices with Twisted, and also reps Susco. So, why would Hooper directing be a good idea for the franchise, and business-wise, is it a smart one, since Hooper hasn’t directed a hit flick in a long time? We chime in after the jump. Let us know what you think…
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A batch of new posters have hit the interwebs today, including a final one-sheet for Robert Zemeckis‘ A Christmas Carol, the Lionsgate horror sequel SAW VI and the book adaptation Men Who Stare at Goats starring George Clooney. Preview the posters after the jump.
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Lionsgate has revealed new details about the future of the SAW franchise. The fifth installment, follows Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), who has been carrying Jigsaw’s (Tobin Bell) legacy, goes on a man hunt after the secret is threatened.
“People escape one trap, just to get caught in another; it’s closer in feel to the original SAW as thematically it’s about teamwork. I am far and away convinced that these are the best traps we have ever had,” Producer Marc Berg told Bloody-Disgusting. “This film is far less confusing and more linear, and there are TWO great twists. Just when you thought you figured it out, we twist again.”
The film features six different traps and they shot three different endings, which will be included on the eventual DVD release. The full supporting announce was also announced, and includes: Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Mark Rolston, Carlo Rota, Julie Benz, Greg Bryk, Laura Gordon and Meagan Good. David Hackl directed the fifth film but will not be returning for the sixth installment after all. I wonder if the studio replaced him or if this was his own choice. SAW series editor Kevin Greutert will be making his feature directorial debut on Saw VI. Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton are back to pen the screenplay.
Also announced is a SAW video game which was written by franchise creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan, featuring all of the original cast members, and will take place in the timeline of the original film. Saw V is scheduled to hit theaters on October 24th, 2008.
sources: Bloody-disgusting, ComingSoon
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A couple months ago it was revealed that SAW series production designer David Hackl had been hired to direct not one but two SAW sequels, possibly even back-to-back. Rumor had it that Lionsgate wanted to, for the first time in four years, take a year off from the SAW series. But I’m happy to report that is not true.
“If it’s Halloween, it must be Saw!”
Lionsgate is eyeing October 24th 2008 for the release of SAW V. SAW VI has also been marked on the calendar for October 30th, 2009. Let the games begin (again)!
It’s pretty much a given: “If it’s Halloween, It’s SAW.” We’ve previously told you that SAW 5 is ready to go. Production designer-turned-director David Hackl is working closely with Saw IV scribes Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton on the next chapter, with a first draft due by the end of the month. Talk about fast tracking.
And now BloodyDiscusting has heard (read: unconfirmed) that Lionsgate hopesÂ to shoot SAW V and SAW VI back-to-back, with Hackl and crew signed on to both. It looks to me like Lionsgate wants get two in the can before the potential upcoming strike. Plus it seems to me that shooting back-to-back could help costs considerably. But it is a risk, what if SAW V isn’t as profitable as the previous films in the franchise? It seems like a good bet to take:
- SAW was made for $1.2 million and mad $103 million worldwide
- SAW II was made for $4 million and made $147 million worldwide
- SAW III was made for $10 million and made $164 million worldwide
Sure, P&A and exhibitor costs aren’t accounted for, but neither is home video/DVD sales, which is also likely $150+ million. A $12 million Saw film would probably have to make less than $25 million at the box office to be a loss. And the escalating box office receipts, what is the chances of that happening?