Directed by James Wan
Starring Cary Elwes
Dina Meyer Ken Leung
One of those low-budget horror films that just swept the Sundance film festival, "Saw" was one of the best fear offerings of 2004. With an opening a little reminiscent of "Cube" – two men awaken in a room with no idea how they got there or how to get out – it drifts into "Seven" territory, with a serial killer obsessed with killing off his victims, apparently because of the sins they've committed in life.
While "Saw" isn't as unique as the biggest Sundance horror sensation, "The Blair Witch Project," it's nonetheless an absolutely solid thriller. It's formulaic for the '00s – with a nonlinear storyline and a standard double-twist ending – but so what. When a low budget horror film hits the mark, it's always something worth celebrating.
Wannell and Elwes play a photographer and doctor respectively, who find themselves together in a room, chained to pipes. They don't remember how they got there. In the center of the room, a dead body brandishing a pistol has been spilling blood everywhere. The first question that comes to their mind as they wake up to this mess is: What the fuck is going on?
The two men are also given saws, obviously to saw off their limbs if they ever want freedom from their chains. Hence, the title of the movie. Tape recordings tell the men they might be able to escape if they meet the killer's demands. The mission assigned to the doctor is to kill his new roommate.
Through a series of flashbacks via the doctor's memory – it just so happens he was the suspect in a murder case once – we learn that a serial killer has been taking cat-and-mouse play with his victims to a new level, by putting them in impossible situations where they have to make outrageous moral choices to survive. Usually he forces his victims to kill someone else or die. He put a bizarre jaw contraption on one woman that would blow her head wide open if she didn't find the key to unlock it – inside the guts of another man. Stuff like that. Adding to the "Seven"-esqueness of the flick, Danny Glover plays a cop who has been on the trail of this killer for a long time. In fact, he's become downright obsessed with him – to the point where he's been dismissed from the force. The killer taunts police and its victims by using a clown-like doll to communicate to people. In one excellent scene, the doll shows up riding a tricycle.
The nonlinear approach to storytelling works pretty well here, although the concept of this killer and what he does is a little far fetched – too far fetched for a police drama, which this movie tries a little bit too hard to be at times. There's also some bad acting. Not a problem if a film isn't taking itself seriously, but "Saw" is very serious.
Even so, the film is solid, and a sign that R-rated indie horror still had teeth in a decade that saw an increase in big-budget PG-13 fear fare. It was director Wan's first feature film.
-- Review by Lucius Gore
Posted by Ramona on January 8, 2008David M. is a poser a little Bitch.
Posted by David M. on January 8, 2008Yes i am a poser and a little Bitch and i hope my boyfriend will screw me next weekend.(My boyfriend is also myboss.
Posted by k+l on May 5, 2009great movie ! seen them all!