By: Hawk Ripjaw –
Guess which movie has the worst critical reception? Depending on which aggregator you like to visit, the answer may surprise you.
Seven years. That’s how long it’s been since the last installment of the horror franchise whose marketing hook at one point was “It’s Halloween, so it must be Saw” (or something similar). The series started out impressively: psychological mind games and crazy twist endings punctuated by deviously inventive ways to spill blood made for a couple of memorable movies, before it became a little too obsessed with everything and got progressively more absurd and careless. I mean, look at the poster for The Final Chapter. How awful can you get?
So, with a different set of directors, a nice gloss, and a trailer that’s a much jauntier than the rest, we’re supposed to want to be sucked back in. But I know better. I can almost guarantee that this will dip back into the same formulas and problems that the latter chunk of movies struggled with. When the trailer first dropped, I was intrigued by what felt like a new direction for the franchise, but now I’m no longer sure. With the same writers, there’s no way they’re actually going to blaze a new path, is there? It’s probably just going to be the same shit with traps, lots of flashbacks, a man with terminal cancer (who is now dead) somehow orchestrating the elaborate capture and death of tens of people, and some kind of twist. Based on the trailer I’m guessing half of the scenes take place at a different point in time and that’ll be the twist. Does it even matter? This probably won’t return Saw to its former glory.
Choice moments from the trailer that make me want to get hit by a train rather than see them in the movie: the jogger at the beginning screaming at the body while everyone else awkwardly stares at it; and the random guy making a cheeky sarcastic comment at Billy the Jigsaw puppet.
Who doesn’t love George Clooney? The guy’s classy, seems super nice, and has, for the duration of my entire existence, maintained a standard of ridiculously good looks. He’s almost impossible to resist… until you look at his directing filmography. Sure, Good Night and Good Luck is a great movie. But Leatherheads is a mess. Clooney bounced back with The Ides of March, then crashed and burned again with The Monuments Men. So his track record isn’t great. It’s encouraging that the script was written by the Coen brothers, but disheartening that it was rewritten later. Everything about Suburbicon has “risky” written all over it, and while this looks like the Coeniest of Coen-scripted/non-directed movies, you can’t just pick up sheet music from Beethoven and play it like you know exactly what you’re doing. That’s a good analogy, right?
At the very least, the trailer song is a reminder that Run the Jewels is one of the most talented musical duos working today.
The presence of anything from the Coens is always worth a sacrificial offering to the movie gods, but this one might bite us in the ass.
Thank You for Your Service
A couple of years ago, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper tried to portray PTSD by exploring his reaction to memories of the Middle East. It was moderately successful, when it wasn’t switching back into early-2000s action sequences with parkour snipers and slow-motion headshots. That’s probably why, even as a noted critic of war movies in general, I’m intrigued. The trailer looks almost completely character-focused, ditching the weird action stuff in American Sniper and really just diving right into what war can do to someone and how that infects the remainder of their personal life. That’s the kind of shit I like to see in a war movie.
It has to be better than American Sniper.