Saw (2004) Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Tobin Bell, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Shawnee Smith Movie Review

Saw (2004)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Cary Elwes in Saw (2004)

First Piece of the Jigsaw Puzzle

Adam (Leigh Whannell - Insidious: Chapter 2) wakes up confused, the last thing he remembers is being in his shithole apartment and how he finds himself in another shithole, a filthy washroom where he is chained to a pipe. Adam is not alone as Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes - Kiss the Girls) is in the same predicament, chained to a pipe on the other side of the room, unaware of how he got there. But slowly as they discover clues around the room they understand that they are part of some game which they are going to have to find a way of working together if they are going to get out of there with their lives. The question is who is doing this and why?

I actually can't remember the first time I watched "Saw" yet having read the review I wrote at the time I am guessing that whilst I had mixed feelings I was generally impressed by the movies creativity. Revisiting it over a decade later I strangely found myself a little bored by the things which once impressed me and that says more about how horror movies, including the various "Saw" sequels", upping their game over the years than the movie itself. But it does lead to me reassessing how I feel about "Saw" and where I once rated it quite highly that is frankly no longer the case.

Leigh Whannell in Saw (2004)

Now I still like the set up to "Saw" as whilst are introduction to the movie takes us in to this filthy washroom with Adam and Lawrence chained to opposite sides of the room with a bloody body in between them there is more going on. As such whilst half of our focus is on the events in the washroom as the two victims slowly discover why them as they try to escape we also get back story including a detective, played by Danny Glover, on the hunt for a serial killer known as Jigsaw who sets up sadistic devices and puzzles for his victims to try and escape from before they run out of time and die in a bloody manner. What this means is that by the time "Saw" ends the story starts to make sense of what is going on, when various events happen and why certain people are involved. Yet is leaves enough questions unanswered to pave way for a sequel which as I write this not only turned into a successful franchise but is about to return after a few years absence.

But let me be honest because whilst all those involved in the writing and production of "Saw" have done a nice job of delivering plenty of intrigue the thing which stays with you long after the movie has finished is the gore. Whilst the gore in "Saw" now feels almost tame compared to the level of violence which other movies followed this with. But that creativity is still there with not just the torture devices such as the reverse bear trap helmet and cage of barbed wire but the surprises which reveal themselves still having the desire impact. And it has to be said that when it comes to creepy the Jigsaw doll still sends shivers down your spine.

What this all boils down to is that "Saw" is one of those movies which had a huge impact when it was released but when re-watched many years later it has losses some of the power it once had. But it is still an impressive movie with a wonderful layer of creativity and one scary doll.