In 2004 the first Saw movie was released by Lionsgate Entertainment. I saw the previews with Danny Glover and it seemed liked just another horror movie. All I remember is that I viewed it as a crazy movie where the victims had to saw off their foot to survive, hence the name Saw. I was in no rush to see it and didn’t think I would be interested. That next year around spring of 2005 I was on a business trip and my coworkers and I were enjoying some downtime at our hotel discussing good movies that we had recently seen. Someone mentioned Saw and everyone’s eyes lit up and they all got excited, talking about how great the movie was. Unfortunately they gave away the ending for me (Don’t you just hate when people do that? I mean have some freaking courtesy. People who give away movie ending are some of the most selfish people on earth; but that’s a whole separate blog entry.) Still I was very intrigued and I won’t give it away because there is a chance that those of you reading this have never seen the movie. The ending which has a surprise twist seemed really cool. See I love surprise twist endings to movies. To me, it’s so cool to watch a movie that has something deeper than just what is shown. I love trying to figure out what the “twist” is in movies, and the more perplexing the better. Anyway I watched Saw on DVD and was pumped. Even though I had a heads up about the end I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
A few months later I learned that a sequel was being made. I had just assumed they were going to pick up where part 1 left off. Pumped, I made sure I was at my local movie theater as soon as the movie was released. So every October from 2005 to 2010 I rushed to see the latest saw movie. I became addicted. The first 4 were the best in my opinion because they all had great twist endings and were very suspenseful. Now I’m not trying to be a movie critic here but I didn’t really care for the last 3 mainly because the endings didn’t really do anything for me. Part 5 was the worst for me because they didn’t even attempt to have a twist. Again this is all open for debate but the point is that I was such a fan and so hooked I kept coming back for more. It was almost like a drug or a fix that I had to have. Every year I would have hope that the Saw people would recreate the magic of the first few. They didn’t. I really hated 5 and parts 6 and 7 (titled Saw 3D) were quite underwhelming. The point is that once you’re hooked, you’re hooked. The movies ended up grossing over $870 worldwide at the box office.
Meanwhile something interesting was happening with a movie called Paranormal Activity from Paramount. I remember hearing about this independent (before Paramount bought it) horror film showing in a very limited amount of theaters in the fall of 2009. Suddenly this movie was gaining steam and was set for a nationwide release. When it did release on October 23, 2009 it did to what to me was the unthinkable. It made more money that Saw VI at the box office ($21 million versus $14 million). NOW this movie had my attention. I must admit being a saw fan I was a hater though and I refused to see it even though the saw movies were bad for the second consecutive year.
Now we fast forward to fall of 2011. This the first October in 8 years that there is no Saw to look forward to and I am getting the itch to do see a good horror movie during the Halloween season. So I break down and decide to watch Paranormal Activity. I’m not here to do a review on these movies but I did read reviews on all 3 movies and it made me interested. I went on Netflix and watched part 1. Great Movie! I was so pumped I immediately streamed part 2 and watched it. At this point I’m pumped for part 3 and this excitement is only compared to the excitement that I had for the Saw movies.
So why is PA the new Saw?
Let me first say that although both can be classified as horror movies they are not exactly the same type of movie. Saw is known for its blood and gore. There is very little of this in the in the PA series. Having said that; they are both scary in my opinion. Last weekend I saw PA3 I thought it was the scariest by the way.
The main thing though that makes me say PA is the new Saw is the fact that both plots and storylines leave more questions than answers and leave you begging for the next movie. Timelines are all over the place and the movies are both sequels and prequels at the same time. Yep this is classic saw stuff and PA does it just as well and probably better.
All I know is that I’m waiting for a PA4 because there are so many unanswered questions from the first 3 and like Saw you wondered what happened with certain characters. Is so and so really dead? But why did he/she say that? What does _____ mean? One thing that Saw did successfully was leave us talking and debating all year long until the next movie comes out. PA does all these things.
As of today there is no official word on PA4 but every indication is that it will be made for a release next year. Hopefully these PA movies don’t start to suck like Saw did. Like I said I loved Saw 1-4, absolutely hated Saw 5, and am indifferent about parts 6-7. At some point the movies won’t be as good and maybe they will keep making them for financial purposes. Until then I’m going to enjoy them. Who knows maybe there is another horror franchise waiting for their turn?
Have you had a chance to see the Saw and Paranormal activity movies? What are your thoughts?
Paranormal Activity 3 is still in theaters.