This past week brought a bit of unexpected good news for horror movie fans: those of us who have been hoping that there’d ever be a Saw VIII received word that said movie might be well on its way to being made—not only sometime this decade, but even as early as next year.
Now, if you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for news of a Saw VIII pretty much since walking out of the theater after seeing Saw VII.
The general consensus is that the reason horror movies are not taken seriously is because of lack of plot and having sequel after sequel with less and less plot with each installment . The Saw franchise is one of those rare horror franchises that actuallyhad story and always seemed to put just as much effort into complex main characters as it did in the traps. I’ve never hated horror remakes or horror sequels the way most film snobs do, but I agree with the sentiment that sequels should only be made if there is enough story to tell to justify it.
That is one reason why the idea of a new Saw movie is so exciting, 2010’s installment was supposed to be the “final chapter”, but (while a great horror film) instead of resolving all the storylines and answering all the franchise’s pending questions, Saw VII was more successful only in creating a heap of new questions on top of the ones it didn’t answer, that it was supposed to.
This is why it was inevitable that there would be another Saw. This news of this, once totally official, will inevitably be followed by rumblings that this film is only about making money, and that there is nowhere for the plot to go. True fans of both the genre and the franchise, however, will realize and understand that there is possibly more story potential now than there has been since the beginning of the franchise.
Starting with the obvious: the open ended ending of Saw VII. After all that Detective Hoffman has survived, there is a very real chance that he could have survived being left in that bathroom by Dr. Gordon. This is the number one burning question left unanswered; with a close second being the details of Dr. Gordon’s involvement with Jigsaw and his apprentices. A new film will most likely center around revealing how much Dr. Gordon knew about Amanda and Hoffman, how much they knew about him, and what Dr. Gordon’s motivation was for helping Jigsaw. Of all the victims, Dr. Gordon was easily the least likely to want to have anything to do with the Jigsaw traps again, so it will definitely be interesting to see what creative justification the filmmakers come up with.
Another interesting thing to explore in a new film is an official answer to who the other people were in the pig masks with Dr. Gordon at the end. While there has been an unofficial answer, it won’t count unless it’s seen in a actual film. There is story potential here, because it just doesn’t make sense to involve two more extra people in the Jigsaw legacy, with all the apprentices and accomplices (Jill, Art, Obi, and Zepp) that we’ve already seen. The only logical explanation for even including the two other guys is to set up potential story for another film.
While it’s been argued that Saw VI could have easily been the final film because it a great ending and felt like it was wrapping up the series, it, like Saw VII, also created a few questions that aren’t answered as of yet, The letter to Amanda from Saw III . Since Saw VI we’ve known that the letter was written by Hoffman to blackmail Amanda into killing Dr. Lynn Denlon. But what we don’t know, and what a possible Saw VIII should show us, is whether or not John told Hoffman to write the letter, as part of Amanda’s test, and if Hoffman acted alone, why he wanted Amanda to kill Lynn so badly. It would also not hurt for a part of a new film to explain how Hoffman knew about the things he talks about in his letter to Amanda. Spending some time on this plot point is important, because it would play a role in how Jigsaw and Hoffman are viewed, and what kind of people these characters are.
These are just a few of the examples of why another Saw film was inevitable. Between these and the possibility of developing underdeveloped characters like Jill Tuck, explaining how the Fatal Five trap group from Saw V fits into everything (and more about the eight people they “killed”); a new Saw movie already has the potential to be the best one yet, if it makes half as good use of flashbacks as it has in the past, and if it sticks to these details and plot points that fans care about. Hopefully, the filmmakers will be able to do this rather than the much more likely use of all new characters with very little Jigsaw or flashback to other important characters.