Game Changer: The Legacy of Saw (Movie Review)

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

PLOT: A look inside the success of the SAW franchise. The film features several interviews with the filmmakers behind all seven films, with a heavy emphasis on the original. 

REVIEW: In 2004, a little horror movie from a fresh young director helped usher in a brand new type of horror. James Wan and Leigh Whannell created a low budget story of retribution, that quickly thrilled critics and audiences alike. And as we all are aware, the character of Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) became a modern day horror icon. And now, with the iTunes release of SAW: UNRATED and SAW: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, fans are given a special treat this Halloween with an interesting look into the powerhouse that is SAW. GAME CHANGER: THE LEGACY OF SAW offers several interviews with key members of the franchise as they discuss the high and lows of the film series.

This 3-part, 77-minute retrospective is featured as an extra on the SAW: UNRATED release on iTunes. The interviews include James Wan, Leigh Whannell, Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Cary Elwes as well as producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules. Aside from the original film, the other six movies are represented by interviews with Darren Lynn Bousman, David Hackl, Kevin Greutert, Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston. The stories they share about working in the SAW universe are enlightening, humorous, and a little bit heartbreaking as they discuss the tragic death of producer Gregg Hoffman. You also have a bit with Eli Roth and the friendly rivalry between SAW and HOSTEL. If you are a fan of all things SAW, this is well worth your time.

Horror franchise documentaries have become big business, and it makes sense because we as horror fans love to hear about the behind-the-scenes of our favorite movies. GAME CHANGER is a nice, albeit short, featured extra that doesn’t necessarily go as far as say the recent FRIDAY THE 13th experience of CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13th. This new feature is exactly what it is, an special feature and not its own separate entity. The interviews are mostly engaging, and it does shed light on a number of aspects of the film series. It would have been nice to see a little more behind-the-scenes footage from the film, but other than that, there is a lot to like here.

The best part of this is to watch both James Wan and Leigh Whannell talk about their little film that could. It is exciting to see these two very successful talents look back at their early work, and the huge effect it had on the horror industry. It was also quite fun to listen to Darren Lynn Bousman, Marcus Dunston and Patrick Melton talk about their experiences. The love they have for the genre is infectious, and it is clear that whatever the outcome, their hearts were in the right place. Yet, the two most interesting segments involve the reaction to the term “torture porn” – which is mostly looked down upon – and the wonderful tribute to producer Gregg Hoffman who passed away on December 4, 2005.

The SAW franchise, like any other, has it’s ups and downs, and this is touched on throughout. However, considering they have so much material to work with, it would have been nice to see more in regards to the sequels. As a fan, I still appreciate what filmmaker Bousman brought to the films. As much information as there is included here, there is definitely a larger story to tell. Perhaps we will see this later on, after all, there are a ton of rumors abound about an upcoming SAW VIII.

For what it is, GAME CHANGER: THE LEGACY OF SAW is able to do what it sets out to do. This is a fun and informative extra on the SAW: UNRATED release on iTunes. It is a series of interviews that shed some light on SAW and all those involved. Considering the massive success of the franchise, it is clear that we have not seen the last of Jigsaw. Perhaps then we will get a more extensive look at what made the success of this series connect fully with audiences. Until then however, this will certainly please fans of the original film.






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JimmyO is one of’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.