We revisit Saw with our first guest, Kristin Sorhus-Hafen – who doesn’t normally do horror, and is watching it for the first time. Wheee!

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Saw (2004)

Episode 6, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd:  And welcome to another edition of 2 Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd. I’m Craig. And Todd, for the very first time here in the 2 Guys in a Chainsaw Studios, we are joined by a guest, Kristin Soreshafen. Kristin, say hi to everybody.   Hello.   And, Kristin, you were the one who asked to be our 1st guest. 

Kristin:  I did. I did. 

Todd:  Did did you hear our previous podcasts? Or 

Kristin:  Nope. I just didn’t Just put it on just put it on loud. And I feel real real dumb about it. I should have. 

Todd:  How flattering. 

Kristin:  Thank you. Thank you, Kristen. We’re glad you’re 

Craig:  a fan. 

Todd:  We we are. This is this is a great choice. 

Kristin:  I figured it had to be great. 

Todd:  No. That’s good. 

Kristin:  I’ll tell you. Right. And it had to be great. 

Todd:  Great. I guess our reputation precedes us. 

Kristin:  Absolutely. Now, Kristen, you also chose 

Todd:  the movie for today, which is Saw, the 2004 film by James Wan and Lee Whannel. Why did first of all, let me ask you. Have you watched many horror movies yourself? 

Kristin:  No. I haven’t. 

Todd:  Okay. So when I came to you and I said, what movie do you wanna watch on this podcast you’ve never heard? And you said Saw, I my mouth kind of hit the floor, and I’m kinda curious why. Why did you choose Saw? 

Kristin:  Well, honestly, it’s because I heard Cary Elwes is in it and he was my 1st celebrity Craig, and I thought, man, I really I have to see his complete body of work. 

Craig:  Gooder reason as any. Sure. 

Kristin:  I hadn’t seen this yet, so I thought that kind of fits in horror. Right? I think. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Kristin:  I hadn’t seen it, so I wasn’t sure. 

Craig:  Have you seen any horror movies? Do you have any basis for comparison? 

Kristin:  I have seen The Ring. 

Todd:  K. Oh, that’s not bad. 

Kristin:  I’ve seen, that want skeleton key, I think, like, can I 

Todd:  That was a good one? Yep. Yep. Okay. That’s it. 

Kristin:  That’s about it. I can’t really I can’t think of another horror film that I’ve seen. 

Todd:  So we go from sort of supernatural ghost thrillers right into the torture porn genre, 

Kristin:  don’t we? You know what? It’s been a 

Todd:  while since I’ve seen this. Craig, when did did you see this when it came out? 

Craig:  I think I did. I’m pretty sure I saw it in the theater. You know, you said torture porn, and I was, reading that when, 1 l and Juan went Todd, make this movie, they didn’t set out to make a torture porn film, but they kind of define the genre. I don’t recall hearing those words before this movie came out. And, I think I saw it in the theater because at the time, it seems somewhat unique, a different spin on things. Now we’ve been so inundated not only with the sequels, but also the crappy copycats that, it’s it’s getting a little bit old. But 

Todd:  It almost seems quaint, doesn’t it? Yeah. I mean 

Craig:  I it wasn’t nearly as gory as I remember. 

Todd:  No. Now I first saw this. I have a bit of a storied history with this one because I first saw it in the theater. I went my wife doesn’t like horror films. I couldn’t really get anybody to go with me, so I watched in the theater and I was really blown away. I was blown away because, you know, you’re right. The torture porn thing really started getting attached to films like Saw after Saw. Mhmm.   Saw came, then Saw 2, then sort of hostile, and and but Saw really sort of kicked it off. But up to that point, I never really seen a movie like this that was so grimy   Mhmm.   And so dirty and just so kind of unrelentlessly at the time brutal. Yeah. Almost nihilistic, you know? And it’s not that those movies haven’t existed or that I probably hadn’t seen them, but just this whole sort of everything at once Mhmm. With the modern style really hit me. On top of that, the puzzle aspect of it.   Yeah.   I mean, it is at its heart, I think, a mystery. Right? 

Craig:  Yeah. It is. And I think as the series went on, and I don’t even remember if I’ve seen them all, I I feel like I got lost in the plot. The the plot becomes so convoluted. I mean, I guess somebody could say Todd for them for being able to sustain a plot from the 1st movie and still have tie ins back to the 1st movie. But for me, I just I couldn’t follow it. I got completely lost. I didn’t know, where it was going.   But, yeah, the first1, I mean, is kinda set up as a mystery. It’s almost got, like, a a crime show feel to it, like CSI Yes. 

Todd:  Or 

Craig:  something like those murder shows that my folks are, you know, huge fans of. And and maybe those, you know, maybe those shows, owe a little bit of inspiration to this. 

Todd:  I think you’re kinda right. You know, when I when I watched this this time around, I was impressed with how slow it went. I mean it really took its time it was really pretty methodical from what I remember. I I saw the first saw, I was so taken by it that when I said when I saw that they were doing a Saw II, the next Halloween, I had to go out and see it. I went to the theater. I still couldn’t convince anybody to go with me, so I watched it by myself. And Saw 2 really ups the ante. Yeah.   I mean, Kristen, as far as this goes, it’s a way more convoluted plot. It goes a lot more fast paced, and you talk about gore and disgusting situations these people are put in. That’s when it starts really hitting hard. 

Craig:  Well and they kind of fell into a trap too because with the, with the second movie, they were really trying to up the ante on all of the traps and and the gore and all of that stuff. And so then every year after that, as these, you you know, would come out around Halloween time, they were huge blockbusters. They made huge money. Nobody wanted to go up against Saw in the Halloween season. And but they then had to keep upping it. You know, they had to try to keep it fresh and interesting. And eventually, I mean, it was, you know, just brutal. Just absolutely brutal. 

Todd:  Yeah. Almost unbelievable. And and and the thing that I liked about it as a guy who watches a lot of horror films, once I, you know, got into the second one, it became a Halloween tradition for me.   Mhmm.   And I I would Todd asking people to go because I kind of enjoyed going by myself. And the reason I did was up until these films I’d really never seen a movie since I was a kid that made me cringe turn my eyes away from the screen. They would kind of bother me at that visceral level, the terrible traps these guys get put in   Mhmm. And the   things that happen to their bodies, and it just pretty much zooms in on it and shows it in all of its explicit detail. I mean, as much as they can get away up with 

Craig:  with an r rating, it’s insane. Right. And they had to cut quite a bit to get the r rating. It’s I I’d be really interested to see what they had to cut because in comparison to the sequels, this one is pretty tame. Now I think it should also be said that if you’ve not seen the movie and you’re not a fan of gore, it’s certainly not tame in and of itself. It is gory. It’s just as an entry in the series, it’s probably the least so. 

Todd:  It’s probably the goriest thing, Craig. Is it the goriest thing you’ve ever seen, Kristen? 

Kristin:  I mean, on a screen probably. 

Craig:  You’ve been through childbirth. So 

Kristin:  I have. I’ve seen some pretty gorgeous stuff. Well, then I do, you know, makeup and stuff. So I I’ve seen the I’ve done a lot of real research on real things. But as far as on a screen all at one time, yeah, that’s probably the the goriest stuff. Now I feel like are there a lot in the sequels, are there a lot of, like, kind of machine, the hooked into your upper and lower 

Clip:  jaws. When the timer in the back goes off, your mouth will be permanently ripped open. Think of it like a reverse bear 

Craig:  trap. Yeah. The reverse bear trap. That was one of their first. This was, Lee Whannell is the screenwriter, and he developed the story with James Wan, who was the director, and they kinda started out just, throwing a story together based on nightmares that they had had, you know, these, really scary traps and and whatnot. They put the the script together, and, you know, they were both of them, you know, brand new, in the industry. And, you know, somebody in Hollywood read it and just the the traps get more and more intricate and violent and scary and 

Todd:  Complicated. Mhmm. And and and I think the reverse bear trap scene was the scene that they shot kind of as a speck. It was. They took around to so before they’d shot anything in the movie, they shot that that scene. I don’t know if it’s the actual scene that ended up in the movie. It wasn’t. They shot a version of it, and then they shopped it around to get financing and and 

Kristin:  you know? So they they 

Todd:  were really selling the look and the feel of the movie just as much as the script. You know? And it has that. You’re right. The mechanical element that   you’re trying 

Kristin:  to like that was way scarier than the other parts. Just I mean, with a machine, there’s nothing you can do. It’s all it just happens. 

Todd:  Well, it’s so 

Kristin:  thing goes. It happens. 

Todd:  It’s true. 

Craig:  And the way it’s presented, it’s so visceral. It’s it’s it’s scary to look at, let alone think of yourself in that situate. Yeah. 

Kristin:  Can feel the metal in my mouth. Oh, it’s terrifying. 

Todd:  Yeah. You’re right. And it’s interesting what you said. I mean, it’s one thing to be up against a person Yeah. Who you can convince, who’s a human, who you can kinda maybe psychologically get through Todd, or you can, like, hope to leap across the room at them or something like that. Right. But when a person is just set in motion a machine that’s gonna do its thing and has left the room, and it’s all up to you. 

Craig:  Right. And and, you know, the clock is is ticking, and I think that that was a a good device. I mean, not only do you see the clock constantly, but you’re also hearing the 

Todd:  tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick 

Clip:  tick tick tick tick tick tick 

Todd:  tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick 

Craig:  tick tick tick tick tick 

Todd:  tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick 

Clip:  tick tick tick tick tick tick tick 

Craig:  tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick. Oh, 

Todd:  yourself too. I think all of these traps and all of these films sort of ask the quet really have you asking yourself the question what would I do in that circumstance? Would I have the guts to be able to do what I have to do? And I mean, this was nothing compared to what came later   Right.   But, you know, the guts to literally go into this guy’s guts, you know, that’s still alive across the room. Dig through them for that key that’s gonna let you out of the trap. 

Kristin:  I know. I kind of oh, I was tell it when she was about to cut into him, I was like, what are you waiting for? He’s dead. It’s not a problem. Just do it. And then he started to move, and I thought, crap. I thought I could do it. 

Craig:  You’re like, oh, 

Todd:  it’s this kind of thing. 

Kristin:  I know. Well and I thought if she had just done it, she would have never known that he was still feel guilty about it. I just she just just jumped on it. 

Todd:  Yeah. But but it changed her life. 

Craig:  It did. 

Kristin:  Oh, it changed her life. I I had a note about that too. Go ahead. 

Craig:  She becomes a key player, in the sequels. As it turns out, we find out that she actually becomes an assistant, basically, to the killer later on because she’s so grateful to him for having turned her life around. You know? I don’t know. You know? On one hand, drug deal or drug addict on the other, serial killer. 

Todd:  You know? You gotta balance 

Craig:  it out, wait out, I guess, but she sees it as an improvement. And I really like that actress, Todd. Shawnee Smith. Is that her name? She was in a she was in a lot of stuff from the eighties. She was in eighties four, and she was in you’re probably too young. Todd, do you remember summer school? Yes. She 

Todd:  was one of the students in summer school. Yeah. Oh my gosh. 

Kristin:  Remember that movie. Yeah. Wow. 

Craig:  So she’s been around, and she, they asked. I I don’t remember if it was Lee 1 l or or or James 1. They asked, you know, is there anybody that you have in mind for this part? And then whoever it was just kind of off handedly said, I wonder what Shawnee Smith is doing. And, the next day, the the casting director came and said, we got her. Wow. 

Todd:  Well, she wasn’t doing much. 

Craig:  No. She didn’t have a whole lot to do, and she was apparently deathly ill for all of her scenes. 

Todd:  Which worked out well. 

Craig:  Yeah. She She she had a, like, she had a fever, like, a 104 through the whole thing, but she also didn’t have to do a lot of shooting. They filmed this really quickly in just a matter of, I don’t remember exactly how many weeks, but, you know, just a few weeks. Danny Glover did all of his stuff in just a couple days, I think. 

Kristin:  Well, yeah. 

Todd:  That’s the only way you could probably afford Danny Glover in Birmingham with this kind of production. 

Kristin:  I think that was kind of an odd choice personally 

Todd:  to 

Kristin:  have Don Danny Glover there as a cop and then, you know, the bad guy chaser. 

Craig:  Well, I mean, it it kinda played against type for him because he’s so well known for the lethal weapon series. Mhmm. And then here, I don’t know if he’s supposed to come across this way, but he comes across as so bumbling. Like, Kristen, you commented on it several times. Been. Yeah. No cop would ever do that. That’s just, like, the craziest thing. 

Kristin:  It was. 

Craig:  I was surprised too. And the 1st time that it seems that he gets killed, which happens a couple of times. 

Kristin:  Right. 

Craig:  The 1st time, I I, was thinking, don’t worry, Danny Glover. At least now you don’t have to be in any 

Kristin:  of the sequel. But, 

Todd:  that’s right. 

Craig:  But then he apparently got killed again towards the end, but I think I don’t even know if he is really dead. I think in the universe of the film, he’s not. I think that he survived it and, like, he appeared in the Saw video game, which the the director and producers consider canon. It’s so convoluted. It will 

Todd:  it it is super convoluted because they didn’t realize that this was gonna be such a big hit that it would demand sequels. And so the writer, Lee Wenzel, who also, plays in it, he’s opposite, Carrie Elway’s in the room. 

Craig:  Yeah. He’s one of those main guys. He’s the guy 

Todd:  that wrote it. He’s Adam. Yeah. Adam is the one who wrote the horrible dialogue that he can’t even deliver. Right. I 

Kristin:  have right here so much writer driven dialogue that somebody in some room thought this is what he would say. And then you get out there as an actor and you’re like, I can’t make this make sense. But you have to say it. 

Todd:  It’s so true. Right? Yeah. I mean, there were there were horrible lines in there. Horribly obvious like 

Clip:  1st dead body I’ve ever seen. 

Craig:  Looked different in real life. They don’t move. 

Todd:  They don’t move? 

Kristin:  What was it about? You’re dead. I there was one too about, this is as much fun as I’ve had without lubricant. It came out of nowhere, and he just said it super fast. I mean, maybe if he had coined it in the moment, like, oh, this is as much fun as I’ve had without lubricant. You know? That makes sense. Like, he came up with it. He said it. Like it was in his back pocket the whole time waiting to use it in this horrible dirty bathroom.   Right. Right. 

Craig:  Well, this is kinda his first effort. You know? He they he and Juan have both gone on to have, you know, major success with I know, Todd, you recently reviewed Dead Silence. Right? Mhmm. That was them, wasn’t it? 

Todd:  That was them. 

Craig:  Yeah. And, the Insidious, series, which is still, you know, a pretty hot ticket right now. And he’s in that too. I mean, he’s, he plays, one of the paranormal, investigators. And in those movies, he’s kind of a comic relief kind of thing, and I think that kinda works for him. 

Todd:  It works a lot better than him trying to play the serious guy. Right.   Yeah.   It just comes across real Annoying. Annoying and not realistic. It comes across as a guy acting. Yeah. That is really what it is.   Yeah. 

Craig:  Well and I guess in in some regards, that can work because he is I mean, he’s lying, you know, from the beginning. Both of the guys are. Both of the guys, are are concealing things. So maybe that maybe it was somewhat intentional. Let’s give him the credit and say that he was doing it for 

Kristin:  benefit of the doubt. 

Todd:  Well, let’s give him the credit too for writing even if his dialogue kinda sucks. Like, the plot is pretty pretty solid. 

Craig:  Yeah. Good storyteller. Definitely. 

Kristin:  Did you I mean, 

Todd:  Kristen, were you kind of on the edge? Edge? Were you back and forth as far as who wait. Is it not this guy? 

Kristin:  Doing it. Yeah. Of course. In fact, at the very beginning, the first scene, I I wrote down stuff about Carrie Ellis looking like he wasn’t telling the truth all the way, that there was some sort of concealment going on. 

Todd:  What 

Clip:  about you? There’s there’s not much to tell. I I was on my way home from work, and, I don’t remember anything else. 

Kristin:  I also wrote down, it could have been bad acting or disguising an accent, but let’s hope not. 

Todd:  Maybe a little bit of both. 

Kristin:  That might have been part of it. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Kristin:  But, you know, they maybe were playing that did he do it angle because you find out later that he was a suspect. So they could have been playing that angle a little, intensely maybe. 

Todd:  Well well, who at any point in this movie is not a suspect? Right. You know? I mean, even the people in peril, that’s part of the genius of it, I think. Obviously, Adam, Lee Wenzel’s character has something to hide. Cary Elway’s character, what his name was, Larry. Yeah. He has something to hide, not related to the game, but the fact that, you know, Cary Elway is a surgeon, and he’s obviously almost apparently cheated on his wife. Right. And, Adam takes, you know, pictures.   He’s kinda one of these surveillance He was paid to private investigator kind 

Craig:  of, you know. Yeah. And and knowing what’s going on. Right. But I I think that that’s, you know, know, kind of part we didn’t even set up. I I I guess we don’t have to. This movie came out in 2004. If you’re listening to this podcast, we assume you 

Todd:  probably see see that. But go ahead. But that’s well, no. 

Craig:  I mean, that’s kinda part of the premise is that all of the characters are flawed in some way. I mean, that’s that’s the the killer’s whole shtick is that he’s trying to punish these people for wrongdoing or make them see the error of their ways. Mhmm. So all of the characters are are flawed. All of them have some kind of shady secret or past. Even, Danny Glover, the the cop, the investigator is is kind of, unhinged by the end. You wonder if maybe he’s got something to do with it. So, the fact that, you know, there’s so many red herrings.   Everybody’s a suspect. I think that adds to the suspense and the mystery. And the 1st time I saw it, I was absolutely blown away by the end. I had no idea. I didn’t see it coming from a mile away, so they got me. 

Todd:  Yeah. Me too. I was I had chills. The the end scene when the guy gets up and goes and says, game over and shuts that door. Game over. 

Craig:  I know. And what an excellent conceit that is Todd have the killer in the room the whole time and, you know, right there in the middle. It’s 

Kristin:  So many 

Craig:  not concealed, in any way. So clever. Now I don’t know how realistic that is. I don’t know how still somebody could lay for for 6 hours and No. Why wouldn’t they see him breathing, etcetera, etcetera. But, I don’t know. 

Kristin:  Maybe they do move when they’re dead. 

Todd:  Maybe they   do. That’s right. You know? 

Kristin:  Did did it take you by surprise, Kristen? Or Of course. I didn’t see it coming at at all. But it was really interesting the aspect that you they played about each of these victims having something that was wrong with their life, either they were doing bad things or or or whatever. It kind of sometimes, you know, you watch shows and you just hope the bad guy gets it. You know what I mean? But then starting with a guy who you don’t know is bad, seeing him get it, and then realize that this is what he had done wrong, he almost cheated on his wife, or what all these things you think, man, really Todd deserves that. No matter what it is they’re doing, nobody. 

Craig:  Yeah. That’s the thing. Like, I I think that there’s part of me that wants to be like, oh, he’s kind of this moral crusader, but then at the other time on the other hand, I’m like, it’s kind of a prick move. Like, you know? Yeah. 

Kristin:  Who are 

Craig:  you to judge these folks? 

Todd:  You know? 

Craig:  Well, like, I’m sorry you have cancer and you’re dying, but Todd doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be afraid. 

Todd:  Well and then that is Jigsaw’s fatal flaw, really. I mean, that is his problem is Mhmm. This sort of, punishment does not at all fit the crime. But but that also overlooks a little bit more of his motivation, which is not just that you did something wrong, but that you don’t appreciate life. 

Kristin:  Right. 

Todd:  You don’t appreciate what you have. And so I’m gonna push you to the extreme to where you have to take some action on your own, to save your life. And after you do that, you’re going to appreciate it, and you’re you know, it’s gonna be the best kind of therapy you can do. 

Kristin:  Right. 

Todd:  You know, presumably. 

Kristin:  Expect that you’ll need therapy after for the rest of 

Todd:  the day. You are. And, again, if you lose, it was really not fair. 

Kristin:  Right. Right. 

Craig:  And and but the only survivor that we know of came out feeling like she had learned something, like she had been helped. Yeah. I mean, it’s sick and twisted, but I guess she just gets him. Yeah. 

Kristin:  Well, I kinda feel grateful that I’m not in those situations. So it hurts me a little, I suppose. Nice. 

Todd:  Well, you know, so it starts out with these 2 guys in the room, and it reminded me a lot of these locked room mysteries, you know, that are Yes. Really popular right now. Yeah. 

Kristin:  Those are my favorite games on my phone, Awesome. Escape the Room ones. 

Todd:  Yeah. Yeah. 

Kristin:  I was hoping for more of an element of that, really. Well, didn’t you feel like there was some other reason to some there. I mean, the kind of the mystery, the the x and the heart and where are the keys and but I wish it was kind of a little more centered on that. Does that make sense? I don’t know. 

Todd:  Well, it is sort of the grounding of the film. The whole film is kinda told around those 2 characters, but you’re right. It’s not really all about them getting out of the room. 

Craig:  No. There’s only only a couple of clues. I mean and it starts out that way, you know, with, them having to decipher the messages and then just little symbols and things in the room being clues that they can then, you know, find things behind. 

Clip:  X marks the spot. Sometimes, you see more with your eyes shut. 

Craig:  But that kind of peters off after the first 40 minutes or so. 

Todd:  Yeah. And it peters off. I mean, it’s not really the same thing going into the rest of the series. No. 

Craig:  It’s not. 

Todd:  But   I think part 2 has him trying to get out of a house Yeah. That’s all boarded up. That’s maybe the closest it comes. And then from there on out, it’s just people caught in traps. 

Kristin:  Yeah. Yeah. 

Todd:  Pretty much trying to get   out of them.   Started. Just a parade of traps loosely connected with, like, some kind of unbelievably complicated story of people investigating and trying to find Jigsaw. 

Craig:  I think I remember liking part 2. Was part 2 the one where the girl had to put her hands up in the box and, like, the razors? The razors. 

Clip:  That that image. 

Kristin:  Is that like poking your finger through the straw hole in a 

Todd:  Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. It’s like it’s razor blades. 

Craig:  Like a Chinese finger trap. Yeah. 

Todd:  Yeah. You you try to pull them out, and that’s when you start having problems. Yeah. Yeah. It’s got a lot of really, really demented traps like that. And then, of course, obviously, as they go on through, what, 6 more movies or 5 more movies? 

Craig:  At least 5. I think 6. I think there were 7 altogether. 

Todd:  Yeah. I mean, obviously, you know, the well you gotta you gotta really dig the bottom of the barrel to come up with brand new interesting things. Right.   Mhmm. And and   that’s why it gets so gross and strange.   Yeah.   But but it also gets extremely convoluted. And, I mean, I don’t know. We’re talking about this movie. We’re not really talking about the rest of them, but let me just tell you. I mean, you have to watch them from beginning to end. You have to start with 1 and go all the way through to 7 if you wanna have make any sense of parts 2 on. 

Craig:  Right. You’ll have no idea. They’re not self contained. People come back from the day or or not or not back from the dead, but, like, people you think are dead come back. 

Todd:  And People who seem to be okay. It’s similar kind of deals where people who escapes saw his tortures turn out to then be working for him or that maybe they were working for him all along and they were in the trap as a decoy. I mean, all kinds of strange things, but that’s what you do when you when you didn’t expect this film to go to to spawn somebody. 

Kristin:  Going. Right. 

Craig:  And so far, you know that they’ll come back to this series eventually. It was too profitable for them not to. They said the last one was the last one, but they lie. They’ll wait they’ll wait a handful of years and look at it. Yeah. 

Kristin:  Actors maybe. 

Todd:  Saw a   reboot. You’re absolutely. Well, they kinda have to once they run out of a few more, series to a reboot. Right. You know? We’re on our, what, 3rd reboot of, Texas chainsaw or no. 3rd reboot of Halloween. Right? 2nd reboot of Halloween. I mean 

Kristin:  Well, I mean, they have to. That cell phone is a flip phone. In 10 years, they’re not even gonna know it. That’s true. 

Todd:  How much of this wouldn’t have been an today’s, society? I don’t 

Kristin:  know. Yeah. 

Todd:  Well, his wife probably would have been tracking him. Oh, yeah. You know, knowing where he going. From a filmmaking perspective, I thought I was really quite impressed. And I was impressed when I first saw it, but I was really overcome by the stylishness of it, you know, that I’d never seen before. Now like you said, Craig, that I’ve seen a 1,000 movies like this. I kinda come back and compare it. Right.   And as we said before, it’s almost quaint. It’s almost like going back and watching Pulp Fiction. 

Clip:  Mhmm. 

Todd:  Because now you’ve seen so many Quentin Tarantino esks that the original that started Todd all just it’s quieter. It’s not as over the top. And so it just really kind of exposed to me some of the interesting I mean, James Wan is a pretty talented director, I think. This being his 1st big movie, the way that he uses sequences I really liked. I liked sequence the sequence with the camera, the flash bulbs Oh, spooky. Yeah. In the apartment, and I’ve seen that in before. Yeah.   He is not original to that, but it was very well done.   Yeah. 

Craig:  It was very creepy. Yeah. Kristen, you were I could tell you were very tense. You were. 

Todd:  You 

Kristin:  were. Well, it’s just so I know. It so emphasizes that somebody’s watching. So who else could be watching? And it’s scary. 

Craig:  I thought it was funny when he found the the doll in there, and then he, like, beat beat it with with a bass on that. Like, dude, it’s a doll. Yeah. I was like, you Maybe be a little bit more concerned about whoever put 

Todd:  it there.   That’s the bigger news. 

Kristin:  Turn on a light instead of walking around in the dark for 10 minutes. 

Craig:  That was a good that was a good sequence. And I know what you mean. I feel like now it feels a little bit dated. It’s almost got kind of a a late nineties, early 2000s kind of music video feel to it. And I’m thinking especially of the places where they do, oh my gosh. Here’s a big revelation. Let’s flashback to all of those little things that you should have picked up along the way that you didn’t. And, when there would be, you know, some real real I don’t even know what they call it, Todd.   What do they call that when it’s, like, the real super fast 

Todd:  Oh, just like when they over Craig the camera. So it’s like so everything’s like super fast motion. Right. And and but also with that jerkiness added to 

Kristin:  it. Yeah. 

Todd:  Yeah. Like, it’s a handheld camera 

Kristin:  Like a hand that’s getting played through super fast. Running around. Yeah. 

Todd:  Yeah. That again, that was really stylish at the time, and now, you know, you don’t really see it that much. It’s kind of overplayed. 

Craig:  Well, and you probably noticed things, you know, I I I never would have noticed. I read this, on IMDB or somewhere, but, he was very conscious of of the hit the style. And and, when it was filmed from Carrie Alway’s perspective, looking at Adam, it was very steady cam. And then when it was from Adam’s perspective, it was more handheld shaky to kinda try to play into their different characters, which if you notice, those things are are interesting. I I I don’t know if I would have picked up on it. 

Todd:  Well, it’s the kind of thing that you’re supposed to subconsciously take in. I don’t really notice outright. I certainly didn’t notice that.   Mm-mm.   But you’re right. I mean, Adam was the guy who was immature. I mean, he’s flat out Carrie Elway’s, you know, a character. Juvenile, flat out. It’s like you’re immature, and you can see that. 

Craig:  You know? Right. 

Todd:  Whereas he seemed to be the more calm and collected. I’m a surgeon, but then breaks down. 

Craig:  Right. Up until the end. Right. When things go terribly wrong. Something that’s interesting about the production is they they did have to cut. I don’t think that they had to cut any complete scenes. They had to trim it down. They had to trim down some of the gore.   I know that they trimmed down some of the scene with, the overweight guy in the razor wire. They had to cut some of that out. They had to cut some other stuff. But once they had done that, I don’t know how they determine this, but they decided that they didn’t have adequate footage. So they actually went back and did a lot of, reshoots, but the cast had already gone. I mean, they were they were gone. So a lot of it it when you see people from behind, like, walking into and out of buildings, it’s just Leigh Whannell in, in other people’s costumes. 

Todd:  Woman’s wig and Right. Todd. He’s got a hood on. 

Craig:  Yeah. There’s, and there are also and and I only noticed this because I had read about it, but there are also lots of different places, especially where things are being revealed or whatever, where you just see hands working. 

Todd:  Oh, yeah. 

Craig:  Leigh Whannell’s hands. Like, when, Amanda, the the girl we were talking about before, when she’s digging through the guts, those are L1L’s hands. Oh. So, they flesh it all out and just kinda cut and pasted things together. And that may have some impact on the final. You know? Maybe that’s why we get those choppy scenes. I don’t know. 

Todd:  That’s true. Well, you know, no better way to sort of disguise the fact that maybe you’ve shot these weird than to give it sort of a gritty look and be flicking and flickering, you know, the images fast you patch you so quick that you only get a sense of it. And what a happy accident that was then. Yeah. You know? That, it’s again that’s that’s sort of Spielberg and Jaws type thing where the less you see of it, sort of the better it is. I I also thought of another film that did that really well. What’s the one that takes place in space, where they they they basically find a portal to hell? 

Craig:  Oh, event horizon. Event horizon 

Todd:  does that very effectively where this little portal and what you see through the hellish portal is just nothing but almost subconscious flashes of things past you, but it is absolutely terrifying. 

Craig:  Oh, gosh. Yeah. 

Todd:  Because your brain just fills in those blanks, and it’s gross. Yeah. 

Craig:  And that’s another example of them having to cut. Yeah. They there were far there were more extended. Talking about a different movie now. Sorry. Anyway, wrapping up, there were a lot more extended scenes in that that ended up getting no way cutting room floor too. 

Todd:  Yeah. It’s worse almost to not see it. Yeah. It really is. Leave something 

Craig:  to the imagination. I mean, that’s not a big surprise. 

Kristin:  We use that as parents all the time. Oh, yeah? Yeah. You say stuff like go to bed or you’re not gonna like what happened, and let them fill 

Todd:  in the blanks. Right. That’s good. That’s good.   And she   might cut my stomach open 

Craig:  as well. 

Kristin:  I might. 

Craig:  You never know. 

Todd:  I guess it depends 

Kristin:  on the child. Yeah. They’re not gonna like 

Todd:  it, though.   But it is funny how in retrospect slow paced this film is. It really takes its time. It is a 11 year old film, and it didn’t feel like it at the time I saw it. But now within the context of what’s coming out now, it really does take its time. 

Craig:  Yeah. I think that people in general are are getting a little bit, tired with with this style. You’re not seeing it as much, and the stuff that you do see is typically direct to video. We seem to be kind of on a trend back towards paranormal suspense type things, which, you know, is is all well and good. I I’m sure, you know, as trends do, this one will come back around, after a while. But I can’t really think of anything that’s come out in this type of genre that has been of the kind of cinematic quality that this movie is. I mean, this movie it’s well made whether you’re into this this genre or not. It’s it’s it’s a well made movie.   And the only one that I can really think of that I thought was a pretty good variant on the idea is hostel 2. Not even hostel 1. I think hostel 2 is a a really good 

Todd:  Oh, yeah. More so than hostel 1. 

Craig:  I think so. Yeah. Have you seen it? 

Todd:  I have. Yeah. I I I get them both confused in my head. 

Craig:  So The hostel 2 is the one that had the Lady Bathory scene and girls girls were the the Yes. Main characters, which I I thought was interesting. That’s true. And, again, I think it was a legitimately good movie, but I’ve seen so many of these just really gory, you know, going over the Todd, trying to make an impact, that that are are just bad. You know? Yeah. Bad effects, stupid stories. 

Kristin:  There is 1 there’s you reach a point where it’s guts. Yeah. You can’t get worse than it. It. So what do you do? 

Todd:  Do you 

Kristin:  know what I mean? If you’ve turned the body inside out, that’s as worse as it could be. Yeah. Then what? 

Todd:  Well and and this film and the films that followed it really stuck with the puzzle aspect. Uh-huh. To me, that was what got me about these films. Yes. As I said, the visceral aspect of it, the fact that I’m watching a movie that’s difficult for me to watch and it’s hard for me to find was one part of it. But the other part of it was really I just like the mystery 

Craig:  Yeah. Of who’s 

Todd:  it gonna be? There’s always a twist at the end of all these films, and so it becomes like you know, it’s like reading an O. Henry story every time. Part of the fun of it is to try to figure out and then experience the twist at the end. And a lot of the movies you’re describing, Craig, you know, are are just they’re not like that.   Yeah.   They’re just gross and gory. It’s like Friday 13th, but we’ve added the torture porn aspect, you know, the torture aspect to it, and a lot more blood and guts, but it’s really hollow and empty.   Mhmm.   The worst one for me was Wolf Creek. I saw Wolf Creek, and I was pissed off. 

Craig:  Which one was that? Is that the the 

Todd:  In Australia where the girls exploitation. Yeah. And all it is is that there’s some girls camping, our people camping, and there’s a crazy guy, and he grabs them and tames them up and 1 by 1 brutally murders them until 1 of them gets away. I mean, it’s it’s what sort of everything I think devolved Todd. 

Craig:  Yeah. They seem you know, the those were like like that. I watched it. I thought it was alright. I even watched the sequel. It was not alright. But some of them seem mean spirited. You know what I mean? Like, it’s like violence for violence sake, and and they they’re light on storytelling.   I mean, okay. Oh, there’s a big scary guy in the desert who’s gonna chop us up. You know? Okay. That’s it. You know? That’s the whole plot. I mean, here there was intricacy of plot. Mhmm. And and that it it just demonstrates more skill from everybody involved. 

Kristin:  Well and it’s fun to watch, and 

Todd:  a film’s gotta be kind of fun to watch even, you know, despite the subject matter. And at some point, it ceases to be fun to watch somebody in pain and in horror, so sort of never ending and to even know in the back of your mind, you may just end up with them dying too. Right. Right. You know, like, there’s no point to it. It gets so nihilistic. 

Craig:  See and I think that the sequels kinda fell into that. I think that the further along they went, it it kinda became less I mean, they they still were very intricate with the storytelling, but it almost felt forced. It seemed just like, how are we gonna keep this going so we can keep coming up with these interesting kills? And people wanted it. You know? They were making tons of money in the theater, so it’s not you know, they were meeting a demand, but, it just they kind of devolved, I think, over the course of the series. 

Todd:  I think you’re right about that. If it hadn’t been for my Halloween tradition, you know, I I, you know, I would have stopped at some point. 

Craig:  Did you see them all? 

Todd:  I did. I saw every single one of them in the theater, including the last 1 in 3 d. 

Craig:  Yeah. 

Todd:  Yeah. And I I just I was sad. I’ve I’ve got Todd admit, I was really sad. I was sad at the loss of that tradition. Like, there was no movie every Halloween after that that I could just, alright, honey, I’m going by myself to the theater. I’m gonna get my bag of popcorn. I’m gonna sit. I’m gonna watch this, and I’m gonna come out, and I’m gonna, you know, kind of kind of enjoy. 

Craig:  I don’t think you were alone at all. I think a lot of people felt that way. You know? It it was kind of a way to celebrate the season, which is is nice. Paranormal activity kinda took over. 

Todd:  Yeah. And I And 

Craig:  I I think I think that didn’t it it kinda came out against Saw there for a little while and then 

Todd:  it. And overtook. And you’re right. And now we’re seeing a swing toward that direction of film. 

Craig:  Right. Yeah. I I I don’t know if I saw them all or not, but I do remember that I saw the 7th one, and I felt like the 7th one I’m sorry for your loss, but I felt like the 7th one It’s okay. I’m over it. I felt like they did a good job of wrapping up the story and in a really unexpected way. I’m just gonna spoil it for you. Carrie Elsway. Carrie always pops back up, in in the 7th one. 

Kristin:  Yay. You could go 

Craig:  see the 7th one. And and But 

Todd:  you gotta see the other 5 in between. 

Craig:  And you find out that he’s kind of been behind the scenes throughout the whole series, and we just never knew it. No. He’s back. And and it was it was kind of a fun way to check it. 

Kristin:  How was he behind the scenes in this one? 

Craig:  Todd doesn’t he ends up working for Jigsaw. Isn’t he? Or carrying on Jigsaw’s I’m pretty sure. Work after he after he Jigsaw dies. 

Todd:  Which in retrospect makes kind of sense because it’s the doctor and the patient. You know, it’s the doctor’s been reformed, and so he’s kind of seen it. So now he’s gonna take a surgical precision to, taking his, his patients, you know, saving people like a doctor supposed to, but not like a doctor 

Kristin:  supposed to. Giving them a quality of life afterwards. 

Craig:  Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but I think I feel like in the marketing for that last movie, they did a really good job of concealing the fact that Carrie always was gonna be a part of it again. Yeah. And, I don’t remember when he pops up in the movie, but when he popped up, I felt it was like a gift or a reward like, oh yes I knew I watched all these movies for some reason. 

Kristin:  The twist and all twist. 

Todd:  Yeah it’s it’s interesting I mean despite its flaws I mean there are a lot of things that don’t make sense in this film Things always work out a little too perfectly for Jigsaw, especially as the sequels go. But in this one, it’s it’s it’s a simple enough plot that it wasn’t quite so bad. The fact that he’s there the whole time, he could really put an end to everything whenever he wanted   Right.   You know, by electrocuting them both to death no matter whether the the girls get away or whether, you know, the cops start barreling down the door or whatever. As it goes, it gets so convoluted that it would be, you know, it’s ridiculous that he that he was such a good student of psychology to predict what people are gonna do at any given time. But, like, there’s stuff like the cops going through by themselves into the lair. What kind of a photographer, surveillance, you know, type photographer is using a flash? Right. You know? Like, there’s just, there’s there’s silly stuff in there that didn’t need to be in there, but what what are you gonna say? I mean, again, the dialogue was kind of poor. The yeah. 

Craig:  I I don’t mean to be critical of anybody’s acting, but, both main gentlemen were clearly trying to mask accents and not doing a terribly good job. Oh, no. That’s really nitpicky, but you you notice. If you notice, it kinda pulls you out. 

Kristin:  Yeah. It really does. 

Todd:  Even if you didn’t know their backgrounds, you would think something is wrong with them Something’s   wrong.   Their way speaking. 

Kristin:  Yeah. Well, I will give, what’s the the guy’s name? The title. Adam again, Lee. I will give Lee some credit. I didn’t pick up it until, you know, at least halfway through, I think. And I thought, wait a second, something’s off. But Carrie, my homeboy Carrie, I he needs to just decide what he is. He did 

Craig:  he did slip quite a bit, especially American. Yeah. Especially in in times of heightened emotion, he would really kinda slip up. And, frankly, at the end of the movie, when he kind of goes off the ledge, I thought his performance was pretty over the top. It was bad. 

Clip:  You’re gonna be alright. Wounded wounded in the shoulder. I have to go and get help. 

Craig:  Now how who’s to say I I’m sure it would be a blubbering mess in anything resembling that situation, but, you know, he’s kinda level headed all the way through. And then by the end, you know, he’s just simmering and crying on the floor. 

Kristin:  And I just feel like a phone call was not enough motivation to just lose it all and cut off your foot at that moment after everything had already happened. You know? Your time was already up. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Kristin:  Just figure it out from here. 

Todd:  Salvage the situation. 

Kristin:  I guess. 

Craig:  I think what we were supposed to take away from it is that he had literally lost it. 

Kristin:  Like, he had 

Todd:  been pushed over 

Craig:  the edge. I mean, the man’s supposed to be a surgeon, and he saws off his foot with a hacksaw that he’s been doling on a steel chain throughout the course 

Todd:  of the entire movie, which came out of a 

Kristin:  rusty toilet. 

Todd:  Toilet. I mean, honestly, I’m not sure. Even if he stops the bleeding, he’s gonna live after that.   Right. That’s 

Kristin:  right. They again, they have they 

Craig:  have no idea where they are. I mean, I guess, what’s the alternative? Stay in there forever. Right? I guess he had to do what he had to do, but there’s no way he’s getting 

Todd:  out of there. There are no way he’s gonna crawl his way out of there as slow as he was going. But then as slow as he was leaving, he when he turned around 2 more times. 

Craig:  Yeah. I’m back. I’m back. I promise 

Kristin:  I’ll be back. Turns back around. 

Todd:  I’m I’m not lying to you. I said, I will go back. 

Kristin:  I wouldn’t lie to you. 

Todd:  Stay strong or whatever. 

Kristin:  Yes. What if he got all the way out and then came back? 

Todd:  Are you still okay. Good. 

Kristin:  Oh goodness. 

Todd:  Well, this is the 1st time I’d seen it since the 1st time I’d seen it. Yeah. I’d honestly not come back to see it, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was just a slightly different movie in retrospect than I remembered it being, and I think that’s a testament to its originality. I agree. At the time, but again I felt that same feeling whereas if I were now coming to this film and never having seen it, but having seen all the horror films I’ve seen in the in the midst that were inspired by it it would seem a little maybe lame. 

Craig:  Yeah. At least middle of the pack. 

Todd:  You know? 

Craig:  I I don’t think that it would necessarily stand out the way that it did at the time, but, you know, obviously, it did. It it hit the right notes for the time. Yeah. Like, I don’t know if I’ve ever sat down and watched the whole thing, but they around Halloween, they play all these movies all the time. I catch little snippets of them here and there. It’s a fun popcorn movie. You know? It’s it’s you’re not gonna, I don’t think, walk away from it with any kind of profound catharsis. But, 

Kristin:  Oh, I don’t know. I mean, I do feel more grateful for my life. 

Craig:  Well, good. 

Kristin:  Yeah? I 

Todd:  mean, well, I’m curious as to your final thoughts, Kristen. 

Kristin:  My final thoughts. 

Todd:  Never having seen many horror films. There’s certainly nothing like this I’ve 

Kristin:  seen a lot of horror films. 

Todd:  Mother of of small children. 

Kristin:  Right. You know, I do feel like, it was a little cheesy. I feel like, throughout most of the whole middle part and into the end, it kind of was almost going for this psychological which is disappointing. 

Todd:  The sophistication you’d expect to see 

Kristin:  in Right. In the characters. 

Todd:  Well, it 

Kristin:  sounds silly, but it seems like there was so much time where it really was character driven, at least for the, you know, the plot to progress and and it it wasn’t happening a lot. Do you know what I’m saying there? I liked it. I don’t know that I’d watch it again, but I’m glad for the experience. There were a lot of moments where I just it got to chuckle at things and I thought that was great. I really like the, the moment where Zeb calls out for the doctor’s wife. Yeah. 

Craig:  The murder the murder. The wife has escaped and the murderer. 

Kristin:  Where are you? 

Todd:  I’m like, she’s gonna pop out and go, I’m over here. 

Craig:  Yeah. There were funny little parts like that. Would you say that you thought that it was scary or just gross? Because I don’t know. I don’t know the, you know, the I I guess the idea of finding yourself in that circumstance is unsettling, but I can’t you know, it seems so implausible. Right. I don’t know I don’t know if I would say it was really a scary film. Really, I mean, without all the gore, it it plays more 

Todd:  like a suspense movie, really. Like a mystery. 

Craig:  Yeah. Yeah. 

Todd:  With Columbo. 

Kristin:  With not enough suspense. But yeah. Yeah. I think that I I think that I would I was wanting them to be more level headed. They were making choices and I thought, well, that’s just stupid. I always try that. 

Todd:  Welcome to horror. That’s right. That’s what I said. You always run up the stairs. 

Kristin:  Yes. We’re always right. 

Todd:  That’s generally what happens. 

Kristin:  That’s true. But, yeah, I think I don’t know if that’s a writing thing, but I would love to see a horror film where they make all the right choices and it’s still scary. Do you know what I mean? 

Craig:  The interesting thing is they 

Kristin:  just put themselves there because they made dumb choices. 

Craig:  There are the ones where sometimes the characters are very self aware and, you know, say, I feel like I’m in a horror movie and then, like, cabinet in the woods does a good job of playing really tongue in cheek Yeah. With that. And there are some others like that, but this is pretty standard as far as the 

Todd:  It is. 

Craig:  Decision making and skills of horror characters. 

Todd:  Well and part of that Todd, though, is that horror as a genre, and a lot of people don’t realize this, especially if they if they only know it from afar, has a pretty strong morality behind it. I mean, it’s a twisted morality, and again, it’s it’s sometimes not the justice that you deserve, but the the girls who have sex get it, the people who make poor choices are getting it, and it’s unfair sometimes because, you know, when you’re in the moment, of course, you’re gonna make poor choices. Mhmm. But, because of that, it may be rare to see a horror film sort of like this one where everyone’s doing the the right thing and still getting screwed.   Mhmm.   That slips to me into the bothersome section. That’s when it starts to feel more nihilistic for me. 

Kristin:  This this certain genre of of film is interesting to me. This sort of torture porn type of horror because I feel like it’s just pain. You know? Once you feel the pain, then that then what? 

Craig:  But You know what I mean? Right. But it appeals to that basic human fear. You know what I mean? We all we all do whatever we can to avoid pain, especially, you know, as gruesome, as terrible as some of these things are. 

Todd:  Well, I’ve never broken a leg. You know? Right. And if and if somebody were to say, break your leg and then, you know, you will continue to live 

Craig:  or something 

Todd:  like that is as bizarre as that is, that is a tough call. Yeah. You know? It is a strange, strange, tough call. 

Craig:  It was interesting to hear your perspective, Kristen, being a kind of a a novice in in the genre. I’m glad you liked it. 

Kristin:  Yeah. Yeah. 

Todd:  Yeah. Thank you for coming and joining us. Appreciate it. You know, it was a great idea. And and I think, 

Kristin:  actually, in retrospect, a pretty good film to to bring you in on. Cool. Not bad. 

Craig:  Get to sit next to you and and see when you were tensing up and talking nervously. Todd boring. 

Todd:  Craig and I just sit and take notes. We’re so jaded by now. Well, thank you so much for listening to this edition of 2 guys in a chainsaw. Kristen, thank you so much for coming along. 

Kristin:  Thanks for having me. 

Todd:  No. It’s been wonderful having you. If you enjoyed this podcast, please, share it with your friends. Check out our website. I’m still doing my 31 days of horrors. You can go to, where I have a review a new horror movie every day. We’re coming to the close of the of the month. Once again, this is Todd And Craig. 

Kristin:  And Kristen. 

Todd:  With 2 Guys and A Chainsaw.

2 Responses

  1. Kristen says:

    Another fun listen!

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