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Saw (2004)
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Review Date: October 22, 2004
Director: James Wan
Writer: Leigh Whannel, James Wan
Producers: Mark Burg, Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules
Actors:
Carey Elwes as Dr. Gordon
Leigh Whannel as Adam
Danny Glover as Tapp
Plot:
A young man and a doctor, complete strangers to one another, wake up in a dirty, warehouse chamber one day, chained to the walls by their legs with another dead man, lying on the floor between them. They are told that they don't have much time to live and will likely die in that room, unless they play the "game" correctly and survive. A really creepy movie ensues.
Critique:
I've seen my share of fucked up movies over the past few years, films that mess with the mind, twists things inside-out, pull the rug from under you with only a few minutes left, but SAW still managed to crank me into its vice, knock me over the head with its fascinating mystery and ultimately provide me with an all-around snuff-like atmosphere, complete with dreary sets, creepy characters and human torture disguised as entertainment. If you're not a fan of the macabre, if you didn't like films like SE7EN and THE CELL, if watching several people placed in incredibly deadly and comprising situations by one of the scariest puppets this side of my sock drawer ain't your idea of a gruesome fun ride, than skip this movie and rent SCREAM again for your "horror" fill. If, on the other hand, you want to watch a movie that delves into the dark side of the human psyche, allows you to question what you might do in a dire situation involving your own possible demise, those of your loved ones or a human being who you might not know, believe the disturbing images put forth via this film's extremely effective teaser trailers, bring your girlfriend along, a bat, some stale popcorn and have a blast! What surprised me the most about this movie, other than its C-list actors actually coming through in their well-written roles, was how the film's ending still managed to impress me, despite having seen so many movies of its type over the years. If you can still surprise and slap me across the face after all this time...you've written a solid movie that I would heartily recommend to one, and even, all. Another cool aspect of this film is its opening, which puts you right into the heart of the darkness as two complete strangers wake up to find themselves chained up in a room with a dead guy (like a weekend at the Arrow's).

It also reminded me of my favorite movie of the year so far, OLD BOY, which starts off with a similar premise, but deals more with the revenge aspect of the torture, as opposed to this film, which turns into more of a "game" for your life. I also appreciated the film's dark and grungy style, some of its super-speed sequences, which really give you a sense of the mind-boggling nature of the elements sprung onto these unsuspecting human beings, by an apparent psychopath of the highest level. The imagery in the movie isn't as graphic as you might think, but many of the sick ideas presented are gravely disgusting and sure to turn off anyone looking for a teen chick from the WB in a white tight tanktop. Director James Wan also manages to sustain a suspenseful pace throughout the film, with clues dropped in here and there, flashbacks providing more insight into the bizarre nature of the crimes (are you considered a murderer if you don't actually kill anyone, but get others to kill themselves?), as well as a great musical score that pulls you further into the film's shadows. The dialogue and performances by all of the actors provide further believability to the over-the-top happenings, especially Leigh Whannel (also the film's co-screenwriter) and an almost unrecognizable Carey Elwes. Danny Glover also works as the tenacious cop looking for answers. My favorite line from this movie, and maybe any film this year, was "Fuck this shit!!" Trust me, when you see it used in this picture, you will be 100% behind that sentiment. Fuck that shit, dude...like, seriously! At the end of the day, this film is a creepy, mysterious, novel addition to Lion's Gate's impressive array of horror acquisitions, and I would easily recommend it to anyone looking for something that will grate you the wrong way, rub you the right way and provide you with just enough goosebumps to add to the ones already present in your everyday life. And did I mention the creepy-ass puppet? Yipes!
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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11:04AM on 12/30/2005
This movie was not as f*cked up as I thought it would be, but it still sent shivers up my spine. What was supposed to be a horror movie turned out to be a very good suspenseful thrill ride that left me wondering what the hell could be next. This movie acts like a horror flick but instead just plays with your mind, especially the finale, much like Se7en, Usual Suspects and Memento.

It plays with your mind by mixing things up: employing such things as flashbacks, storytelling, gruesome &
This movie was not as f*cked up as I thought it would be, but it still sent shivers up my spine. What was supposed to be a horror movie turned out to be a very good suspenseful thrill ride that left me wondering what the hell could be next. This movie acts like a horror flick but instead just plays with your mind, especially the finale, much like Se7en, Usual Suspects and Memento.

It plays with your mind by mixing things up: employing such things as flashbacks, storytelling, gruesome & unbelievable situations. By the time the climax of the movie arrives, you're trying to analyze and come to some sort of idea of what's going on and what's going to happen. It's really very well done. And the ending is very unpredictable - my jaw was wide open at what happened and how it just progressed to be more amazing.

The dark look to the whole movie also added to the whole suspenseful aura and creepiness of what was going on here. Kudos to the director for not only co-writing this messed up movie, but also giving it the look and feel of a good horror flick. This guy uses all sorts of lighting and dark colors for different parts of the movie: it's main location, where the two main characters are holed up, is lit 99% of the time, while in flashbacks, almost every place is dark and creepy. Even Carey Elwes' house is a place I'm not sure I would want to live just by the look of it (in the movie, I'm sure it's a very nice house).

A few problems I had with the movie: there were a few instances where the movie was slow and uninteresting; it did leave for some thought on who the bad guy was and what was going on, but, still tangent thoughts probably aren't good for the filmmakers while watching a movie. I also felt there were a few plot points as to why some of these people were chosen for torture. There were reasons explained for some of the past victims, but not the main characters (at least none that I noticed and the conclusion occurred rather rapidly).

But still, a very well made psychological suspense (okay horror too) movie. It leaves you (mostly) interested throughout and the ending you'll never see coming and will probably leave you talking about it afterwards. It's not the best acted film, but I've seen worse - (lot of recognizable faces too - Monica Potter, Dina Meyers, and that blonde Asian guy from Rush Hour). Not as good as say Memento or Se7en, but it comes close.
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9:57PM on 11/21/2005

This Is On of The Best Low Budget Movie Ever

This Is The Absolutly In My Top Ten Horror Movie Collection. Great Acting,Great Writing From Leigh Whannel And Great Directing From James Wan
This Is The Absolutly In My Top Ten Horror Movie Collection. Great Acting,Great Writing From Leigh Whannel And Great Directing From James Wan
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7:36PM on 11/14/2005

See Saw? Do that shit!

Disturbing scenes, disturbing actors and disturbing writing - in a very good, disturbing way!

"Fuck this shit!" Best. Line. EVER....
Disturbing scenes, disturbing actors and disturbing writing - in a very good, disturbing way!

"Fuck this shit!" Best. Line. EVER....
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7:38PM on 11/14/2005

See Saw? Do that shit!

Just watched Saw on DVD, and goddamn, I love this movie.

Disturbing scenes, disturbing actors and disturbing writing - in a very good, disturbing way!

That Jigsaw puppet, I'll be having nightmares about that little fucker, that's for sure!

"Fuck this shit!" Best line EVER....
Just watched Saw on DVD, and goddamn, I love this movie.

Disturbing scenes, disturbing actors and disturbing writing - in a very good, disturbing way!

That Jigsaw puppet, I'll be having nightmares about that little fucker, that's for sure!

"Fuck this shit!" Best line EVER....
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