What film the 29 voters on IMDB ‘saw’ is beyond me- Lions Gate Film’s Sundance 2004 acquisition of James Wan’s Saw is by far Lions Gate’s most brilliant decision in the companies entire history- next to making American Psycho and releasing House of 1000 Corpses. Saw is one of the most intense films I’ve seen in years and almost effortlessly crosses over two of my favorite genre’s- horror and crime-thriller. If you’re a fan of David Fincher’s 1995 classic Se7en, then you’re in for one hell of a treat, plus some!
The film opens with two men, Adam (played by Leigh Whannell, who is also the writer) and Dr Gordon (Cary Elwes), chained by their ankles inside a dirty old bathroom with the lights out. There’s a disgusting smell lingering heavily around both of them and once the lights go on, we find a man who has shot himself in the head lying in the middle of the bathroom. In one hand the dead man has a gun- in the other a tape recorder- the plot thickens as we find out the goal of the killers game. He has been dubbed ‘Jigsaw’ by the police, and has quite a history of murders. The plot of this game is that Dr Gordon must find a way to kill Adam by the time the long hand of a clock hits six, or Dr Gordon and his family will die. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Believe me its not- but I promise you that by the end of the film you will understand everything completely to a “T”, there is no bullshitting around the way the story plays out. As the film progresses, we get a detailed description of the killers history as the police, played by Danny Glover (you got it, Sergeant Roger Murtaugh!) and Ken Leung, attempt to hunt him down. The plot is continually thickening as more and more details are revealed and once the movie is completely finished, you will find yourself smiling with a certain sense of satisfaction in the realization that you may never see something like this unfold again.
Like I said, Saw reminds me of Se7en, in about 100 different ways. The film is very dark and gritty- the stuff nightmares are made of- the camerawork is intense, there are scenes caked in blood, the soundtrack sounds like a Nine Inch Nails score, the editing is extremely tight and ‘Jigsaw’s’ motive is awesome. The editing mixed with the score and directing made this film ultra intense. I couldn’t help but glance over at SuperHeidi as she jumped out of her seat like 300 times. Seriously, the film is ultra intense; the factor of time is used very well in the tension building. We get to see a bunch of Jigsaw’s games played out, and you BEG for the victims to win- but here’s the kicker- when someone wins, someone has to lose! One of the games played out in the film is now one of my all-time favorite scenes in a film- EVER! Just wait until you see this sucker, you will be in the theater the next night with more of your pals checking it out again and maybe even again after that.
Lionsgate is on a horror rampage- I was pretty gutsy and called Haute (High) Tension the best horror movie of 2004 before the year even started, but now that it has been pushed back to 2005, and that Saw is now coming out this September, I dub Saw the best horror movie of 2004 and I feel pretty confident that nothing will be better than this beauty. Just about every single factor I can think of in Saw is perfect: the editing, the transitions, the directing, the acting, the gore, the score, the plot, the way the plot plays out, and the character building. I guarantee this to be one of the most kick ass movies you’ll ever see, on September 17th, prepare to kick start the Halloween movie run with James Wan’s amazing Saw.