Directed by: James Wan
: Leigh Whannell, James Wan
Starring by: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Waking up in a undisclosed location in a unknown room two men, adam and gordon are trapped into a single room with a dead body. Given random tools with riddles hidnen around the room. Wondering who could have done this there are clues to who might of done it; the jigsaw killer. The question is not just who but why would a serial killer leave two men in a room. Both adam and gordon hiding secrets they must trust and work together to get out or die...can they survive Jigsaw's game or die trying?
Reviewed byMax_cinefilo89Vote: 9/10
Not since Se7en's John Doe has there been a serial killer with such a bizarre philosophy behind his actions (not that Jigsaw actually kills anyone; more on that later). Sure, in light of the increasingly deteriorating sequels it's hard to think of Saw as little more than a franchise- starter (something the writer and director never planned), but viewed on its own, astonishing merits, it's a good, nasty thriller, filled with solid scares and (especially compared to the follow-ups) quite well written.
According to the film's notorious back-story, it took only 28 days to shoot it. Not that strange, given most of the action takes place in just two locations: one is a bathroom where Adam (Leigh Whannell) and Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) fins themselves with their feet chained to the wall, with no recollection whatsoever of how the hell they got there; the other is the lair of the mysterious Jigsaw, a serial killer whom Detectives Sing (Ken Leung) and Trapp (Danny Glover) have been tracking down for weeks.
The two facts are linked in a most ingenious way: Jigsaw doesn't really kill anyone, but "plays a game" with his victims. In the case of Adam and Dr. Gordon, as the tape recorder found in a dead man's hand tells them, each of them has two hours to free himself and kill the other, or they will both die. Problem is, the only way to get rid of the chains is to saw your foot off. And so, while the two unfortunate cell-mates have to choose who gets to live (that's Jigsaw's perverse logic: he offers you a choice), the police close in on the elusive psycho, whose previous deeds and MO are shown in flashbacks.
Whereas the subsequent Saw films use the messy chronology just for the hell of it (though they do get away with some neat narrative tweaks thanks to it), the first installment takes advantage of its non-linear storytelling to increase the suspense and provide some valuable clues to how everything fits together. It is to James Wan and co-writer Whannell's eternal credit that they, like Se7en writer Andrew Kevin Walker, went beyond slasher clichés and came up with something more. Okay, so Saw's philosophical undertones aren't entirely original, but what the heck, they do manage to keep the audience interested in what's going on. In addition, adding a little more depth to the killer ensures that the movie's more gruesome parts (and there are a lot of them) don't come off as gratuitous bloodletting (for an example of the latter, look no further than the countless sequels to A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday 13th).
Furthermore, the intelligence behind the film's structure might also have had a positive effect on the performances, given the acting is more convincing here than in most post-2000 shockers: Elwes and Whannell's desperation is conveyed with an intensity that's almost too painful to behold, Glover plays the aging cop role resisting the temptation to do a Lethal Weapon in-joke (you know, the "too old for this sh*t" gag) and when Jigsaw himself appears... well, it's the horror equivalent of Keyser Soze - chilling and impossible to forget (and, for once, not played by Kevin Spacey). Just like the movie.
Reviewed byocelot-05Vote: 9/10
I have utmost respect for Wan. To my knowledge, he and his buddies were right out of film school. Instead of slowly building status by making mediocre films, he showed the world right from the get-go that he had something to prove.
Along with Silence Of The Lambs, Saw is the only horror movie that truly chills me. You see, I am not easily frightened by gratuitous bloodshed and screams that you might see in films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The plot has to be coherent, and there can't be anything ridiculous like a monster. Saw evokes strong emotions of terror and fear, all the while remaining plausible. Well, the story is actually unlikely, but everything in the film is physically possible.
The scenes that are meant to be frightening don't require things that jump out at you every two seconds, or cheesy orchestral flailings. The situation is what frightens you, not the presentation. Saw does have some second-rate acting, but then again it is a low-budget film and I suppose they couldn't exactly afford Robert De Niro. The script is not fantastic, but one true redeeming quality of the whole film is the story. It is dense, complex, but so captivating. I can only think of a few mystery plot lines that can even compare to this one. The Usual Suspects is probably up there, but Saw stands alone.
I strongly recommend this film who appreciate good stories, and aren't easily scared by the garbage you see in theaters like House Of Wax. For people who get squeamish, steer clear of this film. It is very nice graphic, and very sadistic at times. A brilliant debut, and a terrifying ride. 9/10.
Reviewed bylizabeth666Vote: 9/10
When two men, wake up and find themselves chained to a bathroom pipe, with a dead body lying in between them, they soon realize that they are prisoners, in the secure lair of a serial killer, nicknamed 'Jigsaw'.
This film was, in my opinion, exciting, thrilling, and an overall entertaining film to watch. It delivered the necessary chills, to keep its audiences fully awake, and engaged. This was an enormous achievement for Aussie newcomers ? James Wan, and Leigh Wannell. The two have created a well-deserved horror/thriller, without the necessary clichés.The film is not too scary that it becomes unwatchable, so the full potential of its enormity will not be missed. definitely two thumbs uo for me.