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It should be made clear that I do not find the first Saw film to be without creativity or originality. I actually respect Saw as a staple of horror films since the turn of the millennium. But sadly it was followed up with sequels that rated in order of their appearance from "a nice shot" to "abysmal atrocities of cinema". Torture porn for torture porn's sake is not this reviewer's cup of black tea, which is mostly what the sequels bring to the table.

Sequels must always pass the first test for this critic to take it seriously. That test is whether or not the movie is furthering the story or is a corporate producer's agenda to create cash cows via the first film's success. Sadly, the latter is the case for franchises like Saw and Paranormal Activity. Take an interesting concept, then drain it dry till it has no fruitful blood to leech. This is something Hollywood has not only strived to do, but has become increasingly effective at it. It takes original and stubborn minds that refuse to let their work be tainted for the American dollar to keep great movies from becoming shallow franchises diluted with countless sequels.

But where would we be without the overly-manufactured horror characters of the 80's? Was it corporate greed that saturated us with our favorite onscreen slashers? Was it the bottom line that led to instant-classic creature features? Would we have witnessed the fantastically over-the-top climax of Child's Play 2? Would we be celebrating the scifi-horror-adventure of Aliens as a film on par with the original? Would we have made it to remakes that, while often falling short, attempt to regnite horror personas for a new generation? These are questions that counteract with this critic's distaste for the butchering of concepts till there is nothing left to package and ship.

Sometimes the retelling of good ideas over and over can lead to new good ideas. We just have to patiently sift through the weeds to find the wheat. That is...if writers, directors, and producers refuse to work hard and produce original ideas from scratch, as is beginning to optimistically sprout up from today's crop of young cinema entrepreneurs.

- Sickle

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