“Saw” (2004)

Out of all of the movies that I have watched or am going to watch, this is one where the antagonist actually wins! Saw is a series that was started in 2004 that showed a dying man slowly killing the ungrateful people in the world. The movie starts with an introduction of the characters when they are chained in a bathroom by their leg on opposite sides of a room. There is a dead man laying in the middle of the floor with a gun in his hand and a bullet on the ground close to him. Lawrence, who is a doctor with a wife and a daughter, seems to not have such a good relationship with his family because he is always working and leaving the girls in the house. The other character in the room is Adam. In the beginning, viewers don’t really get a glimpse of who Adam is or where he came from. Viewers learn a lot more about Lawrence because of the excessive amount of flashbacks that end up leading to how he got in his situation. Lawrence leaves his house after his daughter says that the boogeyman was in her room. He reassures her that there is no such thing, before he leaves. A man dressed in a cloak then jumps out of Diana’s (the daughter) closet and takes over the house. The antagonist then ties Lawrence’s wife and daughter up and keeps them for Lawrence’s surprise. After a few hours in the bathroom, Adam and Lawrence seem to not have that much trust in each other because Jigsaw put them in there to kill each other. After further discovering, Lawrence finds a box inside of a wall that had a phone inside of it. The phone was unable to make calls, but others can call the phone. Anyways, the phone starts ringing and the call was from Lawrence’s house. With Lawrence’s wife on the other end, she tells him to not trust Adam and Adam actually knows who he is. Lawrence then questions Adam about how he knows his wife. Adam explains that he was being paid to take pictures of him by a man with a cut across his neck. The pictures were being requested by a former detective that got kicked off of the force after his partner died at the hands of Jigsaw, because he thought that Lawrence was the suspect. Adam knew that Lawrence wasn’t being truthful to his wife as well. Instead of going to his job at the hospital, Lawrence would go to hotels at night and have sex with his secretary. This draws the two further away from each other. The only resources that they have are hacksaws from a bag that also had the pictures that Adam took of Lawrence. After sitting there, Adam notices a picture right in front of him that has a man in his house during the time of night where Lawrence was out. Lawrence examines the picture and says that it was a man named Zep, who was a man that worked at the hospital. The mystery was uncovered and viewers now knew who the psychopath was. Then it was finally time for Zep to kill Lawrence’s wife and daughter. He calls the phone and has his wife Ali say that time was up. Little did Zep know, she managed to untie herself and fake having them tied. She then starts fighting with Zep, leading to many bullets ringing out in the house. This alerted the former detective who was watching Lawrence from across the street. He then runs over and fights Zep, leading to his death. This gives Ali and Diana time to run to a neighbors house and escape. Zep has no other choice but to go and kill Lawrence and Adam. He makes it there, but Lawrence had pretty much gone crazy and amputated his own leg, crawled to the gun, and shot Adam. Zep walks in the door of the bathroom and sees all of the chaos. He goes to finish off Lawrence but gets his leg grabbed by Adam. Adam then tackles him to the ground and smashes his head in with a sink. Lawrence then says he is going to get help and crawls out of the room. Now everyone is thinking, “amazing great happily ever after.” But there’s more. The man from before who was in the middle of the bathroom stands up and peels off a fake face to reveal the killer the entire time. The movie then shows the ultimate flashback on how this mess started. It shows how Zep was framed and forced to kill a daughter and wife or he will die from poison, and all of the other steps in order to completely do this the right way. The movie ends with Jigsaw leaving the dark bathroom with the sounds of Adam screaming.

To be completely honest, I wouldn’t necessarily call Saw “scary.” This movie did have scary parts to it, but these Saw movies deserve their own genre. The amounts of gore and crazy kills are unimaginable compared to other movies that I have watched. The movie overall sends a different message than the other one’s too, and that’s what I believe makes this movie more special. Instead of some random murderer killing helpless teens or random people, this guy is killing the ungrateful, selfish people in the world that have everything that a person could want, but doesn’t really care. I also enjoyed how the movie was very climactic at the end as opposed to the middle of the movie. It showed that a killer was still on the loose and builds up nicely to the sequel. After watching this movie, I would definitely want to see Saw 2 simply for closure on what happens after this movie. It makes the viewer ask questions, like “is Jigsaw going to die?” “What kind of crazy killing methods are going to be in the next movie?” And the fact that it leaves the audience questioning is the whole beauty of it. If the two men were able to escape and close the whole series right there, it wouldn’t have had that much of an impact on me than this ending. All in all, Saw was a good movie that featured some of the best kills that I have seen in this project and was a movie that made the viewer think that it was based on the kills, but then slipped in an amazing plot that no one was expecting.

The plot twist ending that rocked all audiences. (You might need to use Safari 🐼.)
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“The Shining” (1980)

“Here’s Johnny,” is probably the most famous lines from said to be one of the best horror movies of the 80’s, The Shining. The Shining is a movie based off of a Stephen King novel by the same name. The movie takes place in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, where a family of three, Jack, Wendy and Danny are in search for a better life. The movie starts with a job interview to be a caregiver for the Overlook Hotel. Jack is quick to accept the offer even after being told that the previous caregiver experienced a form of cabin fever and murdered his wife and two daughters before turning a shotgun to himself. Before the family moves in we learn that the son, Danny has telepathic powers and can speak to others through his mind that have the same ability, and he can see into the future. Viewers also get more of an insight of what Jack was like as well and is described as a former alcoholic and a domestic abuser. A story is told throughout the movie of Jack dislocating his son’s shoulder. Over time, we see that Jack is slowly succumbing to the craziness of the hotel and is being forced into his bad habits of abuse and quick temper. In other words, Jack completely loses his mind and tries to kill his family. Before this though, viewers will see that the ghosts of the hotel start to mess with Danny before his father. After being told not to go into room 237 by the head chef who also has “The Shining” (the name of the telepathic power) Danny does it after being lured in by a ball. He goes to his parents with a ripped shirt and bruises on his neck, which gives Wendy the impression that Jack is going back to his old ways and is hurting Danny. When Jack goes into room 237 on the other hand, things do not go as good, because this is the part where Jack starts to go crazy. After that, comes the part that many people remember the movie from. The scene where Jack chases his wife and son with an axe and breaks down several doors to get to them. Danny luckily escapes to the outside of the hotel and make it to a maze where him and his mother walked before the winter came. Jack was following him though in an attempt to kill him. After being outsmarted by footprints, Jack will slowly die in the frozen maze and Danny and Wendy will drive away in a snow plow truck. Many would say that Jack became this way because he had the same powers that Danny did the whole time, but he wasn’t warned like Danny was, which made him more vulnerable and easier to manipulate.

This movie is probably one of the better horror movies on this list that I have seen before. I chose not to do a jump scare or a kill count for this movie, simply for the fact that that’s not what made it scary. The only reason why this movie was scary was because of director, Stanley Kubrick, and his visions on how the movie should be made. Kubrick didn’t stop filming until he got exactly what he wanted from the actors. An example would be Kubrick’s experiments with camera angles and lenses with the cameraman on various shots, like the steady tricycle follow shot through the main hallways of the hotel. These follow shots gave the people who were watching suspenseful shots with the only sound being the wheels transitioning from the hardwood floor, to the carpeting on the floor. With all of the sharp turns in the hallway that happened throughout the movie, a viewer would never expect the scene where Danny turns to see the two ghosts of the girls standing there menacingly. Something that I also saw differently was the actors in these movies compared to Halloween’s actors. The acting in this movie was much better and made the movie feel so much more real than other movies. At first glance, I would place the blame of this on the actors, but after doing further research, I found out the truth. The reason why these actors were so perfect and genuine with their parts is because of the time that they went through these scenes over and over again. The mental strain that these actors went through was probably unimaginable. After over 100 takes for some scenes, the actors were tired of doing it wrong so they forced themselves to do it right. Even the classic “Here’s Johnny” scene was amazing because whenever the actress who played Wendy got the scene wrong she would be verbally and emotionally abused until she was actually scared and terrified. After the experience of watching The Shining, I have learned some new things about these horror movies and that the key to these movies aren’t “which one has more blood, kills or jump scares.” And like many other things, these movies need more time to perfect. This means that after this, I will be looking into how long it took these movies to be made along with all of the other things I previously was looking for.

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The iconic “Here’s Johnny” scene from “The Shining”

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The incredible steady shot scene from Garrett Brown. This brought the audience so much suspense and made them jump every time the boy on the tricycle made a turn.

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