Monday, December 13, 2010

Terrible Performances in Horror History - Cary Elwes in Saw

I'll try to make this as non-schadenfreude based as possible but I do think it's interesting to note when awful things are celebrated. So I guess you could call this an examination of the terrible.

Horror movies often get a bad rap because many are produced quickly for a cash grab (Urban Legends: Bloody Mary I'm looking at you) and a product of this is god-awful acting. Many of the actors are young and inexperienced. I guess when the audience is rooting for characters to die establishing a complex and interesting character isn't high on the list of priorities. Which is fine. Not everyone has to be good at what they do. Bad performances become interesting, however, when it's not some person off Degrassi the Next Generation giving it a shot but an experienced actor. Which brings me to Mr. Elwes.

Most women have an insane and deep crush on him due to a little movie called The Princess Bride.
 See? Hawt. And he's damn funny in Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
Look at that face. Hilarious.

But those were better days. Now we're left with this:
Sunshine did not age well.

But not everyone can age as gracefully as Cher and as I am trying to move into a better class of people I will not judge him anymore for his appearance. I will leave that conversation with this:
Sometimes life just isn't fair I guess.

Anyway, on to Saw. I first saw Saw (unavoidable) the first winter I was living in Montreal. I had just finished my exams and had a few hours to kill downtown and Saw was the rage at the moment. To be fair it was a different time in 2004. No one had heard of Eli Roth and the phrase Torture Porn was in its infancy. I didn't know quite what to expect. I saw it in a large theatre with 3 or 4 random people and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Yes, I had the thoughts of, damn Wesley doesn't look to good, why is he doing that crazy voice (FYI-Christian Bale ripped off his Batman voice from this performance) and why is he taking weird pauses in his sentences? Then the ending happened. I'll admit, it knocked me on my ass. I did not see it coming. It felt like I had been slapped in the face and it left me wired for hours afterwards.

Ah, Dr. Lawrence Gordon. I was raised to never trust a man with two first names and Dr. Gordon is a douche-y guy. A surgeon by trade, he spends his life telling people they have incurable diseases and half-assedely cheating on his wife. So the Jigsaw Killer decides to teach him a lesson by making him the prime suspect in the murders. That's a lot to take on. It's almost Shakespearian.

Unfortunately Elwes gives us this expression for most of the movie.

Hey Dr. Gordon, you're a successful surgeon with a wife who you cheat on and therefore you don't appreciate life. How do you feel?

Holy shit Dr. Gordon! You've just woken up in a run down washroom with no idea why you're there! How do you feel?

OMFG Dr. Gordon! You've learned that if you don't kill the guy in the room with you, your wife (who you've suddenly developed feelings for again, convenient that) and your kid will be killed !!!! How do you feel?!?!?

Zoinks Dr. Gordon! You've just learned that you can't trust the guy in the washroom with you because he was paid to follow you around! How do you feel?????????????????

Oh my crapping crap Dr. Gordon! You've had to amputate you foot and are about to make a daring escape! How do you feel???

No, seriously. HOW do you feel. Your emotions seem to operate on a sliding scale scale of how open your mouth is.


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