Newest Review: ... to go too much into the plot, because it will really ruin this film, but suffice to say this film's plot is something of a rollercoast... more
I never SAW it coming......
Member Name: Kat1987
Advantages: Good plot, more psychological than gory.
Disadvantages: The acting.
Released: 2004, Run time: 103 minutes, Genre: Crime, Horror, Mystery.
Film only review.
In a dingy unused public bathroom Adam Faulkner-Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) awakens to find himself chained, by the ankle, to a pipe. At the opposite side of the room Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) finds himself in the same bewildering position. Neither men have any recollection of how they got there or why they are there. In the middle of the bathroom lies a corpse soaked in blood and clutching a gun and a tape recorder. Eager to figure out what is happening to them the two supposed strangers begin to look for any clue as to what is going on. They find two rusty saws, neither of which can cut through their chains and each of them finds a tape personally addressed to them from the 'Jigsaw Killer'. The tapes inform the duo that they are 'players' in the Jigsaw Killers game. Dr. Gordon is given a time limit in which he must kill Adam. If he fails to kill him within the allotted time then Dr. Gordons family will die.
Faced with this terrible dilemma, what will Dr. Gordon do? What would you do? Will they escape? Why were they chosen and who is this mysterious Jigsaw Killer and why is he wreaking havoc in such sick and disturbing ways?
Okay, so I'm about eight years to late to this particular party but when Saw first came out I was a 14 year old girl who was terrified of everything. Fast forward several years and I'm still scared but I do enjoy a good challenge and this is where Saw comes in. The reputation of the Jigsaw Killer really does proceed him. I have been told by everyone who has seen it just how inventive his methods of killing people are and I was expecting to see a lot of gore. My initial expectations of the film was that it would be a typical 'slasher' film with lots of blood and not an inkling of plot. I was wrong. Very wrong.
The level of gore was much lower than I expected, the film opted for a more subtle approach, choosing to infer what was happening rather than showing it. This might have been a forced decision due the reported low budget but I quite liked this as it added to the psychological aspects of this film that are largely underplayed. I can't believe in the eight years it took me to sit down and watch this film no one mentioned the great psychological storyline. I was impressed by the plot of this film. It has many twists and turns, some you definitely will not see coming. I was certain on several occasions that my inner 'Poiret' had got it all figured out but I hadn't. The motivation for the killings is explored in minor detail throughout this film. The reasons for the murders are not mindless as I anticipated they would be, they are well thought out and certainly get you thinking and I think this is the scariest part of the whole film-the thoughts it promotes.
The film is enjoyable to watch as a whole but it leaves enough of an open ending to encourage you to watch at least the second film, I'm not sure if the plot can work over the many sequels that have been produced though, but I am definitely wanting to know more about the Jigsaw Killer. I hope it's as interesting as this first film sets it out to be. So, the plot has impressed me, the gore levels and ingenuity have surprised me and the acting....well the acting has disappointed me.
Leigh Whannell and Cary Elwes put in what can only be described as mediocre performances. Whilst the scenes in the bathroom portray a level of suspense, desperation and horror it is by no means outstanding. It is rigid, boring and lacks realism. It is a good job the plot out shadows the acting or this film would have been a disaster. Even Danny Glover as the slightly unhinged Detective Tapp doesn't add much in terms of acting finesse to this film. Having said that though the bad acting didn't prevent me from enjoying the film and I am unsure whether a higher budget and a better calibre of cast would have made this film better or destroyed its charm.
And so, in conclusion I sat down to watch what I thought was a generic 'slasher' horror but I actually sat down to watch a low budget well thought out psychological thriller. The outstanding quality of this film is its ability to get you to think about life, how you value it and how far you would go to stay alive. I would recommend watching this film for yourself and not listening to what others say (except me, of course!) as the reputation of the film didn't match what I saw. I rather surprisingly thoroughly enjoyed it.
Summary: It's not a slasher, it's a story.