One of the fastest growing genres on television is the horror series. From The Walking Dead to Stranger Things the popularity keeps growing. Even satirical horror such as Ash Vs Evil Dead and Scream Queens have a place on television. The one franchise I want to see convert from the big screen is Saw. Hear me out on this one.
Saw hit theaters all the way back in 2004 and has multiple sequels since. There were even Saw comic books and video games. “If it’s Halloween, it must be Saw.” reminded fans each year of the new sequel that aired right around Halloween. Seven films later we still have as many questions as we have answers.
If movies like Fargo and Buffy the Vampire Slayer can make the transition to television, why not Saw?
Yes, the movies are an over-the-top exploitation of gore and torture. However, there are different elements to the films as well. Buried deep in the traps and sadistic minds of producers lies a police drama. How often do shows about investigations fail? Imagine a police drama on a much larger scale. Unfortunately for the series to work, it would need to be absolutely perfect.
Saw has the makings of an HBO or Netflix hit. Outside of network television, the show would have a bit more freedom to be dark and twisted. Conceptually, Saw would combine elements of Dexter, Criminal Minds, and House. Dexter to get inside of the minds of a serial killer who believes in the greater good. Criminal Minds to show the dedicated criminal profilers hired to investigate Jigsaw murders. House as an episode to episode arc to prevent different tortures/murders from happening. All those things tied together and it can be the next big hit.
If the show were to air on network television it would be an instant flop. Cable doesn’t have the freedom for creativity the way subscription services have. Not only do they have more control, Netflix and HBO typically keep seasons shortened to 10-13 episodes. While shows like Hannibal and The Following tried to take fans down this road fans quickly lost interest. With regular tv shows, a 21-23 episode story arc gets filled with filler episodes and lose interest. Shorter seasons would keep the show fresh.
Imagine the Saw theme music as The Walking Dead style intro to the show. The draw of the franchise is still there as it ramps up for its next movie release. Seven years since the last release and the studio brought them back. One of the most entertaining parts of the movie are the twists at the end. If they took the same ending and made it a cliffhanger for each season. People love horror movies as much as they love police drama. The market is there.