The Horror Honeys: Slasher Honey Would Like to Play a Game with You...

Slasher Honey Would Like to Play a Game with You...

A Slasher Honey Saw Tribute by Chassity

Hello. I’m Chassity, and I’m a Billy the puppet-loving, Jigsaw quoting, bona fide Sawfreak. 

Even I’ll admit this is not a popular thing to be, nor is it likely to gain one a lot of respect in the horror world. 

But you know what? That’s okay. I’ve been on this Earth long enough to understand that some things are just an acquired taste. Some things you either love or hate. And the Saw movies might be in that category of things. I understand why these movies get the eye rolls that they do. But I also will defend this franchise in a way I don’t defend anything else I enjoy. 

If you’re a Honey fan, you know that I’ve been recently re-watching the franchise before I retire these movies for a while. To go along with that, I thought it was high time that I did a Slasher Honey tribute to this franchise that I love so much, and explained just what it is that I love about it. 

So here it goes. 

Tobin Bell as 'Jigsaw'
Tradition. The thing they don’t tell you when you’re a child is that the older you get, the more value you place on tradition and sentiment. Saw is the only horror franchise (really, the only film franchise ever) that has become a yearly tradition filled with memories for me. I was unable to see the first two films in theaters as I was a freshman and sophomore college student far away from home, without access to my car. But after that, I’ve seen every film in theaters, multiple times. I’d see them at Halloween on double dates with my best friend and our boyfriends, when I came home for fall break and Thanksgiving break, and after that they became a tradition for me and my brother. We’d get off work early, go home and take naps, and then go to the Thursday night midnight showing, and then see them again after work on Friday, discussing them on the car ride home. Even now, I still watch them the week of Halloween. I have so many memories of watching these films for the first time every year with people I love, and they’ll be forever intertwined with Halloween for me. 

Cary Elwes as Dr. Gordon
The never-ending story. It’s been said before that Saw is not an anthology. It’s an ongoing series. Even more than that, it’s episodic. The story continued and grew, and with each new installment there was always more to learn about the characters fans loved and hated, and how everything was connected. Each movie catches you up on what happened last time and continues where we left off. Never was this more apparent than in how Saw III started immediately after Saw II ended, and Saw VI takes us right back into the world of Saw V. But by the same token, it’s a continuing story in which time is not linear. In any given scene in any film, you could be going back in time to any of the other movies. The best of the non-linear timeline is how the beginning of Saw IV is really the end of Saw IV and Saw III and Saw IV taking place at the same time. 

The crossing of genres. Saw is not your basic, mere horror franchise. One of the things I love most about it is how it is so many different things at once. It’s a crime drama (crooked tortured cops and sordid affairs within the force, the FBI hot on the trail), it crosses into action territory (car chases, physical fights between characters) it is borderline fantasy and sci-fi, and it is a soap opera (the story telling format is almost exactly like the way daytime dramas are told: show what happened last time, then move forward to what is happening now with an a story and a few smaller stories, reminding us of character’s motives and things we might not have already known, with flashbacks; this in addition to the melodrama of some of the stories and characters. I’m looking at you, Amanda Young.)

Which brings me to my next point:

Shawnee Smith as Amanda & Bell
More than any other horror franchise, it has a story to it. People who say “the Saw films have no story and are just about gore and violence” are wrong and obviously haven’t seen any of the movies. It’s the plot and story that made me care about the characters and kept me coming back for more. Not the traps. And it certainly isn’t the traps that have me hoping for a Saw VIII. The father searching for his son and then going missing while his police force falls apart as it searches for him (all the while the audience never finding out if he was ever told his son is still alive), the life story of John, the love story between John and Jill, and John and Amanda. The contents of that letter. What happened to Dr. Gordon. The theme of family. The connection between all the cops and their relationships to each other that always led to their downfall. Trying to guess the twist, the mystery, and just how much each cop and each new victim knows. If you think there’s no story here, I feel sorry for you. 

Billy the Rapist
It’s a horror franchise that deals with social issues. Health insurance debate (William Easton and the death sentence he gave John that inevitably turned him into Jigsaw), predatory lending (Simone, anyone?), mental illness (Lynn and her depression after the death of her son, and Jigsaw’s absolute disregard for the fact that this was a woman suffering mentally and emotionally just as much as he was physically), ethics in journalism (Pamela isn’t the only one responsible for that), date rape (Ivan was a monster, and yet he seemed to have gotten away with it for a long time), and the growing issues of morality of cops and in the justice system (Eric Matthews as an extremely crooked cop, Seth literally getting away with murder, and Timothy Young receiving a slap on the wrist by the justice system for running down a child). 

And now we arrive at the heart of the matter. I’m going to take a deep breath and just say it:

Saw is pretty much my Star Wars
Go ahead. Laugh if you must. But I’m not alone in feeling this way. I might not be a fan of that franchise, but I’ve seen the movie Fanboys (the love letter to Star Wars about a group of huge fans setting out on their own journey to see the latest installment before anyone else) enough to see similarities to the way Star Wars fans discuss their franchise and the way we Sawfreaks discuss ours. 

In fact, I’d even argue that Saw IS the Star Wars of horror. It has its version of the trash compactor scene (Strahm’s death). Amanda and Hoffman are like Luke and Leia to Jigsaw’s Darth Vader. It has its iconic moments and elements that give it an important place in horror history the same way Star Wars does for its genre. Star Wars has Chewbacca, the Death Star, plenty of costumes people wear in celebration and to events, and so much more. Saw has The Bathroom, Billy the puppet, the audio lab massacre (known affectionately to some Sawfreaks only as the “right now you’re feeling helpless” scene), and the reverse bear trap. 

I have always said we all have our things that are sacred to us, and that should be respected. Mine might be a little odd, but who’s to say? Look, my dad had Star Wars AND Star Trek, my brother has the Harry Potter movies, and I have Saw

What series do YOU feel passionate about?
Tell me on Twitter: @ChassMM