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How a good film could've been perfect

Sequel or Prequel?

How a good film could've been perfect

Postby Vinc360 » November 16th, 2017, 2:25 am

As I've already posted about in the past, I'm generally pretty happy with Jigsaw. I don't think it was a bad movie in any way, and even think it had several brilliant ideas. In fact, I think in many ways, this is the best sequel since Saw II, and the strongest overall movie since the Whannell era. However, this movie is not at all without flaws, and I thought I'd write down what I would've personally done to enhance the movie and bring it more in line with what I'd personally want out of a Saw soft-reboot. I even have ideas on how they could "right the ship" for a sequel to what we got, but I won't get into those today. If you care to read what follows, thank you! Make sure to let me know your thoughts, and maybe some of what you would've liked to see!

My disappointments essentially come from a few things and are mostly about events that unfold in the third act, which I found largely flawed. It's important to note that that I was never a big fan of the direct APPRENTICE approach with John being a mentor. I recognize that killing John so early made it important to have successors, but I feel like the apprentice angle has been done so many times at this point that it undermines the character of Amanda and the ending of Saw III, on top of becoming increasingly unbelievable from a story perspective. It's also becoming quite samey and boring as a retread of old ideas.

There's also the fact that Logan appears to be yet another deeply flawed apprentice, who goes against everything Jigsaw stood for by the time he figured out his own MO.

On a perhaps more shallow note, I did not like Matt Passmore's performance once the reveal was made. The ending of the movie felt like an exposition dump, and his performance did not sell the situation very well. It felt cheap. The cheap laser collars CG, Passmore's unconvincing performance, and the exposition dump nature of the scene all made it considerably less effective than such a scene should've been, for me. Now to be fair, this is not a dig at Passmore himself, as I really did like his performance in the rest of the movie. I'm speculating here, but considering the secretive nature of these movies, I wouldn't be surprised to hear Matt was given his line on the spot, without much preparation beforehand, or perhaps he simply struggled with this scene in particular, as I believe it was a hard one to pull off to begin with. It's also fair to note that these movies usually end on exposition-heavy scenes, but I feel like the way they were previously delivered with rapid-fire editing and actual tapes, rather than monologues, worked far better in terms of delivery.

There's also the fact that the twists were far too telegraphed, especially with the whole Eleanor lair sequence essentially being a complete giveaway of the timeline twist. That's a shame, and I had similar issues with Predestination being a little too generous with hints.

My proposed solution to all of these issues would've been to simply not have another Jigsaw apprentice who knew John, but rather have an actual copycat, someone who "broke bad" in a similar fashion to John Kramer, and was perhaps inspired by his actions without having directly met him. In fact, I thought this movie had the perfect candidate for such a character in Anna's husband, since the poor guy was framed for his baby's murder by his own wife and even was condemned to spend years at a mental institution, given plenty of time to reflect on his condition and grow increasingly bitter. Let alone the fact that Anna's confession would've been a perfect trigger for him to be pushed over the edge. Just imagine:

- Guy lives a perfectly happy life with his wife and new child
- Wife kills baby, blames him
- Being framed for the murder, he is convinced he is responsible for ruining his life
- He tries to commit suicide, unable to live with his guilt, but fails.
- Meanwhile, John realizes what happened and tries to go to the cops with a testimony
- Cops do nothing to help the situation (Det. Halloran being one of them?)
- Anna gets away with it, angering John who relates the situation to his own experiences
- John sets up the barn game, gets Anna's confession as part of the shotgun trap, and records it.
- John sends the confession tape to the guy to help soothe his conscience.
- The guy finally gets released from the hospital, 10 years after the barn game occurs, and he finds the tape that was left for him.
- He recreates the barn game, leading cops to it so they can see they ruined his life.
- Guy feels horrible about having wasted so much of his life and almost lost it due to the actions of others, vows to continue John's work in his own way.
- We have a new Jigsaw, with his own reasons to do what he does, and a brand new character to discover in future sequels, without the movie feeling like a big sequel set-up.
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Re: How a good film could've been perfect

Postby kramersson » November 16th, 2017, 4:20 am

yeah, i like this, a lot. very similar to what i've been saying all along that this whole apprentice thing is getting out of hand and we need real copycats who wants to carry John's legacy to go up against the flawed apprentices. they need to lure and put each other in traps at the same time, and the winner comes out being the true holder of john's legacy. next movie should be called jigsaw vs jigsaw.
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Re: How a good film could've been perfect

Postby manyofhorror » November 16th, 2017, 11:21 am

All the ideas from you guys just keep making me think of how missed an opportunity the big reveal was
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Re: How a good film could've been perfect

Postby Faerie Tanith » November 16th, 2017, 8:38 pm

Hit the nail on the head there. I liked it, but it could have been so much more.
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Re: How a good film could've been perfect

Postby losingmymind » November 21st, 2017, 4:27 am

I couldn't agree more. After all, with the main theme of the marketing being "legacy", to the point where it was a working title for a really long time, it would've made way more sense if the new Jigsaw was someone who was heavily inspired, but otherwise unrelated to John's work. Hell, it was teased in the ending of the last one. Why they didn't go with this theme is beyond me.
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Re: How a good film could've been perfect

Postby JoeyFilms » November 21st, 2017, 10:23 am

Damn. I wish your idea was one of the "hundreds" they read before deciding on the one they went with. It feels much more natural than what played out and makes use of the same chess pieces.

Can we have you on the Saw 9 team please?
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Re: How a good film could've been perfect

Postby LitmusG1 » November 21st, 2017, 12:49 pm

I really like this idea by the way!

I guess it’s arguably slightly easier to come up with this stuff after the movie comes out but your idea is much better than what we got. It would be great to see some new ideas for the next one, or maybe a competition on here where the winner’s material is at least read by the producers of the sequel...
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Re: How a good film could've been perfect

Postby Faerie Tanith » November 21st, 2017, 1:41 pm

LitmusG1 wrote:I really like this idea by the way!

I guess it’s arguably slightly easier to come up with this stuff after the movie comes out but your idea is much better than what we got. It would be great to see some new ideas for the next one, or maybe a competition on here where the winner’s material is at least read by the producers of the sequel...


This. Let the polls begin.
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Re: How a good film could've been perfect

Postby manyofhorror » November 21st, 2017, 2:55 pm

I think its safe to say if they were gonna go down the new Jigsaw had a connection to John this wouldve been the best route, just having a subtle connection and their real work begins once John is long gone.
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Re: How a good film could've been perfect

Postby Vinc360 » November 21st, 2017, 4:03 pm

Thanks guys, I appreciate the kind words. I really do think this would've been a great way to sunset John's character, and something more respectful of the events of Saw III. John was always a tragic character to the very end, I always read John's reaction at the end of that movie as himself realizing he failed in rehabilitating someone, and realizing his method actually does NOT work. He sees Amanda as a failed apprentice. He hoped she'd see his way, but she's actually just replaced her addiction with killing.

Having other apprentices makes no sense with this in mind, unless all of the other ones are also failures, which isn't interesting at all. John's method might not work, but it makes sense that he'd affect other people in different ways. I thought this copycat route would have been a better way to respect John's character, while also providing a more disconnected and more interesting "replacement" for him than an apprentice would be.

I think the issue comes down to the fact that the producers of these movies consistently think ahead, and have become fairly risk averse. I don't think they're interested in making a Saw movie without Tobin Bell, but that fear of letting the character go is what ironically now holds the franchise back. Saw III was the last movie that was entirely true to John Kramer's character, so having him is just emblematic rather than meaningful now.

I do have an idea I've held onto for a very long time for a standalone Saw movie, which I legitimately think I'd love to see as a viewer and longtime fan, but I never gave much serious thought to pushing it, as I simply don't see much interest in making one from the producers. Let alone the fact that I have no prior writing credits to my name.
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