Devil's Advocates


September 18th, 2011

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Like all game changers within the horror genre, SAW was an independent success, a low-budget champion that flourished without the patronage of a big studio. Not bad for the most successful horror franchise ever, which has spawned subsidiary media and masses of merchandise, including a theme park rollercoaster ride. What is it about SAW that attracted such a following? In his contribution to the "Devil's Advocates" series, Ben Poole considers the SAW phenomenon from all aspects of film and media studies – from its generic pedigree in both literature and film, to the visceral audience pleasures ("what would I do?") of the text, to the contrasting representations of men and women and the film's implicit criticism of masculinity.

A welcome addition to the growing criticism currently building around Saw.... This book will become recommended reading for anyone writing on the franchise.

The Gothic Imagination

[Saw] provides an in-depth mix of synopsis, history, criticism and analysis.... The Devil's Advocates truly are a lovely series of books – a welcome addition to any film fan's collection.

Horror Talk

Undeniably, Saw stands as an important entry in the horror cycle of the 2000s and Poole's monograph is an indispensable resource in understanding the film's traumatic power.

Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

Author Information

Ben Poole teaches film and media in Cardiff High School, Wales.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
The Horror Film and the Studio System20
Textual Analysis36
Narrative in Saw44
Themes and Issues Arising62
Saw and Sequels90
Critical Reception106
Game Over108