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Movie Review: Saw (2004)

Creepy, dirty foot and hand.Summary:
Two men wake to find themselves chained on opposite sides of a worn-down, underground bathroom, the newest victims of Jigsaw.  Jigsaw doesn’t actually commit murder himself, but instead puts people into situations where they have to make horrible choices in an attempt to save their own life.  These men are told the only way out is for one of them to kill the other, and as their time limit ticks on greater amounts of information are revealed about the men’s lives and Jigsaw’s previous victims.

My very first comment as the end credits rolled was, “Holy crap, I can see why this became a franchise.”  The story is sufficiently complex to hold interest.  Jigsaw is incredibly creepy as he uses a voice distorted puppet to communicate to his victims.  Puppets are always creepy.  Bottom line.  I love the concept of a serial kidnapper/torturer doing so presumably to teach people a lesson as opposed to just really enjoying gore.

Speaking of gore, it definitely exists in the film, but the most gut-wrenching moments take place just off-screen.  Apparently this was re-edited as the original cut showed those moments on-screen, and the MPAA required the cuts for it to receive an R rating.  Personally, I think given their low budget, it works better letting the audience’s imagination fill in the worst moments.

Also, Losties will be pleased to know that Michael Emerson, aka creeptastic Ben, has a rather significant role in the film.  I loved his acting so much in Lost, and his work here is just as good.  I may have squealed a bit every time he showed up on screen.  One casting negative, though, is Cary Elwes, who plays one of the men locked in the bathroom, has the worst fake American accent ever.  He repeatedly slips in and out of it.  I have no idea why they didn’t either just let him be British or hire an American actor for the part.  Very odd.

Overall, this horror movie primarily gives viewers chills from the whole idea of such a situation far more so than gore.  If horror movies are your thing, you definitely need to give the Saw franchise a shot.  It became a franchise for a reason.

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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  1. jpetroroy
    December 14, 2010 at 11:20 am

    OMG I hated, hated, hated this movie so, so, so much.

    • December 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      I could see that. What I’m surprised at is that you watched it at all…..you don’t seem like the horror movie type 😉

      • jpetroroy
        December 14, 2010 at 2:42 pm

        I am not. At all. We were at a friend’s house and they decided to put it on. I spent the entire movie with my head in the crook of Brian’s arm. I like scary suspense thrillers, not gory grossness.

  2. December 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I like the franchise a lot, but this is my least favorite of the movies. Really don’t like the jump cuts/speed up motion and the surprise ending — though one of the later movies makes it more palatable.

    SAW II is my favorite.

    • December 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      I can’t wait to finish the franchise! I obviously can’t comment too much on this one compared to those until I’ve seen them. 😉

      Personally, I loved the surprise ending, but I’m also a major sucker for them.

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