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Face-Off: Saw Vs. Hostel

02.20.2012by: Mike Catalano
Remember way back when "torture porn" was all the rage in horror movies? Remember the two flicks that were right at the starting gate of this era of evisceration? Now it's time to see which one shocked, sickened, and entertained the most: SAW or HOSTEL!
Gore
The entire grand scheme of this flick is the fact that two guys have to literally saw their feet off in order to escape the nasty predicament they've been placed in. With that said, despite the numerous instances of forced self mutilation that characters are pushed to endure, a great deal of it is actually implied as opposed to shown. We don't even see Cary Elwes sever his foot.
Oh, man! From gunshot wounds to severed limbs to burnt out (and snipped) eyeballs, absolutely nothing is left to the imagination. The flick is out to make your minds and stomach churn!
Scares
From the creepy, tricycle-riding puppet to the dark hooded figure causing all the madness, SAW is incredibly adept at sending freaked-out chills down the spine.
HOSTEL does an excellent job at teaching us the difference between scary and unnerving. While the grotesque on-screen sights certainly make you shriek, it's more about the shock value than true terror.
Humor
Save for a couple of silly quips from Cary's fellow captive, Leigh Whannel, there isn't a whole lot of laughs in this pretty serious story.
If you only watched the first half hour of this flick, you'd think you were watching a comedy. Some really funny stuff, especially with the whole "Americans in a foreign country" schtick.
Director
James Wan, a master at suspense, story, and originality. He was able to make SAW on a super low budget, yet everything appeared like a big studio flick. He even duplicated that success last year with INSIDIOUS.
Clearly a fan of our genre, Eli Roth knows how to deliver the gory goods and even wrap it all around a fun, entertaining story. I thought his sequel to HOSTEL was outstanding.
Villain
Throughout the entire first SAW, we had no idea who the main baddie was (can you believe we were led to think it was "Ben" from LOST?). However, once we really got to know Jigsaw, played to perfection by Tobin Bell, a new iconic horror movie master was made.
Well, Elite Hunting is more of a group than a single villain for HOSTEL. Said group is basically comprised of spoiled, rich jerks, which ain't so much.
SAW
Well, who wants to play a game?! It would appear that according to me, Jigsaw bests the Elite Hunting Club! In terms of sequels and success, I guess that may seem like a no-brainer. However this is AITH, wear brains are bashed to bits (or eaten), so what say YOU? Which of these two flicks do you feel is the true Ron Jeremy of torture porn? Kindly voice your opinion below.
Tags: Face-Off

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