Torture porn — the name says it all. It’s a term that was more or less invented for the original Saw (2004), a shocking little flick that demanded your attention with a few of the nastiest, most graphic deaths-by-device ever put to film. Horror directors had been pushing the gore envelope for decades — look at the infamous Cannibal Holocaust (1980), or even something like Army of Darkness (1992) — but Saw‘s brand of cringe horror made it feel dirty, gratuitous and just plain uncomfortable. It’s no coincidence the film premiered less than a year after the Abu Gharib abuse and torture scandal went public. Since then, Saw has spawned six sequels at a rate of one per year. Saw II is my favorite of the bunch (if a reasonable human being even can have a “favorite” Saw film), although I’ll admit I haven’t seen the final two. Enough is enough sometimes, but the second installment shares all of the original’s best traits: a lucid plot, decent characters and oodles of creative death devices. Like good porn, it also manages to upend taboos without becoming totally tasteless, and that’s something the other sequels could care less about.
Sometimes, certain movies don’t deserve a full review or a lovingly curated drinking game. No, instead they deserve a quick-n-dirty social media treatment on the quickest and dirtiest platform around: Snapchat. We watch, snap and comment, then repost the photos here. Just think of it as Masterpiece Science Theater 3000 for the Facebook generation.