Ooo! A new Halloween-time spooky movie! I hope there's candy!
Hello friends, I would like to begin this review by apologizing ahead of time for what would seem like a large amount of puns that seem to exist within this writing. You see, with a title like Saw, it is nearly impossible to not sound like you're making a joke when you mention it's title. If one simply asks, "Did you see Saw yet?" may sound as if I was referring to the popular park-dwelling attraction, the seesaw. Also, if one of your friends asks, "Guess what I saw yesterday?” it may seem as if a bad pun was delivered.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy bad puns as much as the next annoying guy who likes/makes bad puns, but please be aware that any puns in this review will NOT have the title of Saw in them. Thank you, and remember; making bad puns is lots of pun! Ugh... ok, even that one was too awful for me.
As most movies in the genre, Saw opens up with opening credits. These credits are spooky and blue, letting you know that the movie you're about to watch contains spooky letters and perhaps the color blue. The first thing we see is the character Adam (Leigh Whannell, who also wrote the original screenplay) in a bathtub with a spooky blue floating thing above him. This made me happy because my previous hopes of seeing something spooky and blue had been fulfilled, and every one likes being right.
Soon after, Adam wakes up all scared because he's underwater, and most people don't wake up underwater unless you're like Ben Affleck in the movie Daredevil or you somehow fall asleep swimming. As he panics and tries to climb out of the tub, the drain cover comes out and the spooky blue thing goes down the drain. Adam is in total darkness, and realizes that his ankle is chained to something. He screams for help and a calm voice answers, "There is no need to yell." Yelling, to Adam, seemed more like an option than a necessity, so he continued to yell stuff about turning on the lights. The lights turn on and Adams sees that he is in an abandoned bathroom chained to a pipe opposite another man chained to a pipe. In between them is a dead body, holding a revolver in one hand and a small tape player in the other.
The other man introduces himself as Dr. Lawrence Gordon, and they discuss how neither of them has any idea how they got there. After much arguing and such, Adam finds an envelope in his back pocket containing a small tape. After using his shirt and the plug from the bathtub as a grappling hook of some kind, Adam retrieves the tape player and plays his tape. The tape addresses Adam by name and says some things about him. At first I thought maybe it was some sort of self-help seminar by Dr. Phil, but then the tape says, "This might be the room you die in, now are you going to do something about it?" At that point I knew it wasn't Dr. Phil because the tape didn't say anything about Adam being overweight or not loving his wife enough.
Dr. Gordon also finds a tape, in his envelope, but also there is a key that doesn't unlock anything and a single bullet. Dr. Gordon's tape tells him that he has until 6:00 to kill Adam, or his wife and daughter will be killed. It also mentions that everything they need is hidden in the room, and that his favorite kind of puppy is the cuddly kind.
He can't reach the phone!! Maybe he should use the saw?
"Only if it's Connect Four!"
Saw continues though the story of Adam and Dr. Gordon, but also follows what's going on with Dr. Gordon's wife and daughter, as well as two cops (Danny Glover & Ken Leung) as they attempt to solve the mystery of the Ivory Eagle... I mean, of the Jigsaw murderer. You see, this apparently wasn't the first "game" the Jiggy has been playing. The movie shows a few other things that Jiggy's been up to before buying an underground bathroom. At this point the movie gets pretty disturbing, as the games are pretty sick. The one that actually had me a little uneasy was a woman strapped to a chair in a room with an enormous contraption connected in her mouth and around her head. A video comes on nearby telling her that when the timer goes off, the bars in her mouth with separate opening her mouth so wide it explodes. "Think of it as a reverse bear-trap" a spooky mannequin says on screen. He also informs her that the key to the device is inside the stomach of her dead cellmate.
Adam wonders why his pants are so dirty.
There are a few more that are looked back on in the movie, but I won't tell you them here because then you can't see them for yourself! That's how nice I am.
While the movie at this point retains it's disturbing flavor, soon into it the film begins to unravel too complexly for it's own good. Instead of filling the audience with wonder and suspense, director James Wan decided to just put things in a confusing order. The movie purposely misleads you, and uses some cheap tricks to do it. And while the different "forms" of the antagonist are very cool, there is hardly any mention of motives and we never really get to see inside the mind behind these sick acts.
Adding to the lost realism of the movie are a few holes that will poke and bother a lot of people who otherwise enjoyed the movie. One particularly huge one alters the entire movie completely, and for myself ruined the spooky feeling you get after watching this type of movie. And while the movie doesn't really end open, it makes you wonder things like, "What ever happened to that one guy?” and "Why doesn't he just do this?" as well as, "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?" The only problem is we can't find out just by asking Mr. Owl. Unless there is a sequel involving some of the same characters, which I doubt, the world will never know.
|Originality||Fairly original concept. Could have played out better though.||3.5|
|Acting||Cary Elwes (Dr. Gordon) is very inconsistant, but everyone else in the cast is good.||3.5|
|Soundtrack||Spooky music, I'm glad it's not generic nu-metal.||4|
|Effects/Presentation||Cool effects to show the panic that the characters would be feeling.||4|
|Storyline||A lot of potential in here, but because of some rather large holes and other just annoying possibilities, it's not as great as it should be.||3|
|Spooky Factor||Good amount of spookiness!||4|
|Final Verdict: 3.67|