Sawed Off (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Sawed Off (2022) Review

Horrorific content by angie on October 10th, 2022 | Movie Review | Cursed, Supernatural, Back from the Dead, Love Sick, Cabin in the Woods, Wilderness, Madness, Thriller, Mystery, B-Horror

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It's about two hunters who've been friends for years and are stuck in an infinite loop of killing each other in the woods while vying for the attention of their mutual ex Marjorie.

Sawed Off was directed by Hunter Johnson and stars Eva Hamilton (Ruin Me), Trae Ireland (13/13/13, Holla 2), and Jody Barton (13/13/13).

Sawed Off (2022) Review

The use of haunted/cursed/possessed tropes is not something new, and because of this, filmmakers find it difficult to use these tropes in an engaging way that will make viewers want to continue watching the film.

If you watch enough movies or TV shows in a particular genre, you start to develop an understanding of what will happen to the characters. This is the case with psychological thrillers as well. Maybe it's not so bad that the film has a more straightforward story. Perhaps it's better than the film's story isn't too complicated.

This show is well-made and presents its characters and their backstories to get viewers invested and caring about them.

The trailer for this movie led me to believe that it would be full of dark humor, but that's not the case.

The film's plot feels similar to Groundhog Day or Happy Death Day.

In Sawed Off, the idea of what would happen if you died and were resurrected repeatedly until your physical body didn't have enough mass left to support your spirit is explored.

Jon and Frank are invited by their mutual ex, Marjorie, to spend the weekend at her new home in the woods. Marjorie inherited the house from her family and wants to share it with her friends. However, the weekend is relaxing, as the friends are constantly at odds with each other. We meet Jon first in a lucid dream involving forest sex. This dream is bizarre and leaves us feeling a little bit confused. We don't know what to make of it, but it seems like something worth exploring.

Jon wakes up in a seemingly single apartment and starts getting his things together as he's picked up by Frank, an old friend from school. Although they both enjoy hunting, it's not enough to make them feel closer or spend more time together on this journey.

Marge begins preparing for their arrival. Once the group comes together, we are treated to a great animated sequence that provides some essential exposition. There's a sense of urgency in this scene that's reminiscent of the reveal of the cursed children's story in The Babadook. It effectively establishes a history of bad things happening.

Everything seems to be going wrong in Jon and Marge's lives. Their relationship is falling apart, and Jon struggles to keep things together. Then, to make matters worse, Frank starts having hallucinations. The whole situation is incredibly stressful, and things are only getting worse.

Frank tells Jon to kill something to prove his masculinity. However, Jon ends up shooting and killing Frank in the process. When Jon returns to Marge to tell her about the tragic turn of events, he finds Frank alive and well.

The Groundhog Day motif is a popular device used in fiction to repeat a day or event. It's often used for comedic or dramatic effects and can be a way to explore the idea of déjà vu. From this point, the movie capitalizes on this heavily.

I was disappointed with the ending of the movie. I felt it was a missed opportunity. The buildup was significant but didn't deliver the satisfying ending I was hoping for.

The two main characters slowly realize that they are stuck in a nightmare scenario. There are moments of dark humor as they gradually discover what's happening to them. We also get visual references to The Evil Dead, some shaky camera running through the forest scenes, and a nice jump scare is a nice touch.

Ireland and Barton play their parts quite well and are believable, and Hamilton does a fine job though she has little to do.

Worth Watching? 

This movie wasn't as fun as I expected, and I think it could have used more of the dark humor teased in the trailer. Ultimately, it's a well-crafted and thoughtful film, but it didn't quite meet my expectations. However, even though it may not be exceptional, it's worth your time.

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