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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

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This week's question: 

I just saw Saw 2 and, gad, it was a rough ride.  Did you see anything redeeming in the flick, Dch?

George from Toronto

This week's Answer: 

Did You See What I "Saw," Too?

George, thanks ever so for your e-mail.  I'm not a big fan of the horror genre, but it just so happens that I did happen to see "Saw."  Ergo, I saw "Saw."  I guess many of us are asking that very important question:  "Did you see "Saw 2"?  But therein could lurk communication problems galore (or at least a kind of Abbot and Costello routine):

Abbot:  I just saw a movie.  Very scary.  Did you See "Saw"?

Costello:  Yes, I saw "Saw Two."

A:  Oh,  so you saw "Saw."

C:  No, I didn't see "Saw."

A:  But you said you  saw "Saw,"  too.

C:  That's correct.

A:  What's correct?

C:  That I saw "Saw Two."

A:  Then you saw "Saw."

C:  No, I did not see "Saw." 

A:  What?  As a kid you never seesawed?

C:  Of course I seesawed.

A:  Then why did you say you did not seesaw?

C:  I didn't say that.  I said I saw "Saw Two."  I didn't see "Saw."

A. Wait a minute now.  Only seconds ago, you admitted to me that you seesawed and now you're saying that you didn't seesaw.  Make up your mind.  Did you or didn't you seesaw?

C:  Of course.  What kid didn't seesaw?

A:  Now you're saying kids should see "Saw"?  What kind of parent would you be to send kids to see "Saw"?

C:  I'm not saying to send kids to "Saw."

A:  You're not?

C:  Absolutely not.

A:  Then obviously you've seen "Saw."

C:  No, I can't say as I have.

A:  You saw "Saw," but you won't say you've seen "Saw"?

C:  No, I would say it if I had, but I'm saying I can't say that I have because I never saw "Saw."

A:  Now you're saying you never saw "Saw."

C:  I never said that I did.

A:  Said what?

C:  See "Saw."

A:  There you go again, saying you never seesawed.  What kind of kid were you?!

C:  I good one.

A:  Then why didn't you seesaw with the other kids?

C:  I did.  I seesawed all the time.

A:  You seesawed all the time.

C:  Certainly.

A:  Let me get this straight.  You seesawed...

C:  Of course.

A:  And I saw "Saw" and you saw "Saw," too.

C:  Exactly.

A.  So, you did see "Saw."

C:  Yes.

A:  Finally.  That's all I needed to know.

C:  On the playground all the time.

George, are you still there?  The vaudevillian inside of me gets carried away.  Back to the question at hand.  I must admit that as "Saw 2" came on the screen, after having to see the horror before it (brace yourself):  the six or eight commercials about cars, television shows, soft drinks (ever have one of them?  I'd like to know what's soft about them.  My esophagus and gums are still getting over the carbonation assault.) and other products -- so many that I lost count, lost my sense of where or who I am.  Honda's don't fly!  Nobody cares about an Internet movie ticket site!  

Will Somebody stop this horror!?  This Corporate Onslaught!!

Did We pay 12 dollars to see brainwashing Commercials!!?

SOMEBODY Put an End to this MADNESS!!

But after that, the film was pretty subdued, compared to what was inflicted on us before.

Referring a little more directly to the film, "Saw 2," and focusing on the screenplay...

Because That's What I do, God help me!!

Sorry.  The horror writer inside of me gets a little carried away.  Looking at "Saw 2," the screenplay creates a powerful and lasting tension, stretching our ability to endure such relentless and merciless anxiety.  It's not easy on the nerves, but, then again, any film with a title of a tool probably isn't supposed to be a walk in the park.

Unless It's alone in Central Park and AT Midnight!!!

Sorry.  The park-walking at midnight part of me gets carried away.  Without giving anything away, there's a clever development that prolongs the tension and deepens the suspense.  The dialogue is crisp.

Crisp like Burned Flesh!!

Sorry.  The cannibal part of me gets carried away.  The pace is excruciatingly perfect.  The claustrophobic and dismal environs are extremely suitable to terrorize and just generally have you wanting to never see another light greenish, puke-yellowish room (or whatever color we were seeing?)  And don't expect a "they lived happily ever after" ending.  Horror screenwriters usually like to leave room for more horror to come.  Do you want to know the true horror of it all?  (Brace yourself.)

The horror of not being paid to write another sequel.

Happy Halloween.



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