Don’t Forget The Rules.

Published on Sep 3rd, 2010 by

Dead Silence

I know the Saw films aren’t popular. I can understand why, as well. Six entries into the series (with a seventh due out this Halloween – THE FINAL CHAPTER or something, I think they’re saying. Which I think they also said about 4, 5 and 6) and there’s an air of fatigue to the proceedings; [spoilers] Jigsaw, the main villain, died in part 3, and they’ve somehow managed to spin him out as the villain for another three films, and probably the next one as well. Yeah, there’s Hoffman too, but he’s a bit of a dick.

For some reason, the Saw films are a guilty pleasure of mine. They’re the only films I go to see at the cinema, everything else I wait for on DVD. I don’t know why. I don’t even own the last 3 on DVD, and I only actually like three entries in the series. 3 and 6 were a bit naff, and 5 was utterly, unequivocally shit. I’m sure you don’t like any of them. Nobody does. I understand why.

Luckily I’m not actually going to talk about Saw, exactly! This is just an introduction to the actual point of interest here: Charlie Clouser. Say whatever you like about the Saw films, the score is always fantastic. This is down to Charlie Clouser, and  in particular the iconic theme song, Hello Zepp, which appears in different forms and under different names throughout the whole series. A filthy, pounding medley of synthesized strings, electric drumbeats and a haunting, jangling backing melody, Hello Zepp has become synonymous with ‘the twist ending’, usually playing in its entirety during the finale of the film where some misdirection involving Jigsaw, Amanda, Hoffman or that guy from ReGenesis is revealed. It’s a ridiculously atmospheric theme in all its forms, some might even say too good for the Saw series. I DISAGREE, but whatevs. The fact the reveals have grown increasingly lame is perhaps a reason for critique, but somehow, even the most barrel-scraping twist seems like an epic reveal when set to a Charlie Clouser piece. He also composed the score for Dead Silence, James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s follow-up to Saw 1. I’m not sure many people even watched this, but it’s quite good. It also features a very inventive form of ventriloquist’s dummy, which is nice.

As well as producing and remixing music for a host of other bands, Clouser was a member of the Nine Inch Nails live lineup between 1994-2000 (as well as contributing to And All That Could Have Been), which considering that period includes both The Downward Spiral and The Fragile, was definitely the best time to be a NIN fan. I’m fairly sure I’ll bring up Nine Inch Nails again. Just a feeling, y’know?

Anyway, here are two of Clouser’s score pieces. First up is the Saw III version of Hello Zepp, entitled ‘Shithole Theme’ and in second is the title theme of Dead Silence.

Latest Comments (5)

Matthew

I loved the first Saw film. The ending is absolutely fantastic if you haven’t had it spoiled.

September 3, 2010 11:50 pm Reply

Ashton Raze

Agreed. It didn’t open here for some reason, so I went to a cinema in Weston Super Mare to watch it (never again). It was in the first week of release, and back then it was a tiny, indie horror that hardly anyone had heard of, so there wasn’t much talk about it. While I did really enjoy 2 and 4, I think it would’ve been a fresh, brave move if they’d ended it after the first one; it ended perfectly, not knowing who lived or died, and what Jigsaw went on to do. But, of course, they make a lot of money so it was never going to happen. I foresee a reboot, or a supernatural plot twist, for Saw 8.

September 4, 2010 12:00 am Reply

Jen

I really liked the first one.

Wasn’t keen on the second one though. Haven’t seen the others but I do have a strange urge to watch them all. I think they’re a lot of people’s guilty pleasures.

September 4, 2010 1:21 am Reply

Starfuckers, Inc. – You get me closer to God?

[...] be a pretty interesting movie, and since I abhor the cinema with a fiery passion and only go to one when a Saw film is on, I’ll likely watch it on DVD a while after release. It does seem like it’ll be good [...]

September 30, 2010 2:55 pm Reply

witenoyze

Wrote this in the Saw video game review. Still stands now:

“I have mixed feelings about the Saw movie franchise. On the one hand, the original film arguably kick-started the torrid ‘torture porn’ subgenre in cinematic horror and the rest of the films have offered diminishing returns since the admittedly decent second outing. On the other, there’s something quite appealing about a silly horror movie franchise churning out annual releases in defiance of regular critical pannings and booting everything else out of pole position at the box office.

If nothing else, the Saw series deserves a nod for lasting beyond anyone’s realistic expectations. Saw VII just went into production; horror fans haven’t seen this sort of longevity since the halcyon days of Freddie, Jason and Michael.”

October 14, 2010 12:51 pm Reply

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