Monday, 3 August 2009

Saw (2004)

With the annual churning out of films in the Saw franchise (i hate that term almost as much a quad/quin/sex/septilogy) it is easy to forget how it all started. If I were to pick a film to review without spoliering it would NOT be Saw as a huge amount of the plot lies on the final twists which to be brutally honest are magnificent.vlcsnap-2009-08-03-19h56m15s143

Saw follows the story of two men trapped in a room and chained to pipes. They are being toyed with by the serial killer “Jigsaw” whose aim in life is to make people respect their existence. He pushes them to their absolute limits to make them realise just how blessed they are to be alive. Don’t write it off as a sick slasher movie however. Although gore is the staple of the Saw films I have still seen far worse and the inevitable leg sawing scene is mostly implied rather then explicit. What Saw actually is to me is a very clever thriller seemingly making no sense whatsoever until those final pieces click into place and you finally see the big picture.

A big surprise for me on this viewing (this is the first time I have revisited Saw) is just how poor some of the acting is, even Danny Glover seems to be struggling and Richard Emmersons character, although excellently portrayed, suffers greatly from his inevitable comparisons to Ben in Lost. As far as Lost actors go this is a (p)reunion of sorts which also sees Ken Leung (Miles) also appearing in the cast. As far as the acting goes these are the standout performances not forgetting the little we see of Tobin Bell of course and if it wasn’t for this even the presence of Danny Glover wouldn’t have saved the acting on show here.vlcsnap-2009-08-03-20h53m07s208

Saw is well worth a re-watch in relative ignorance of the sequels, blissful ignorance some may say as if you take them into account on viewing your brain IS likely to explode in a bloody mess of grey matter and skull shrapnel.

Maybe its  James Wans inexperience, attempt to bring his vision to the screen or simply a lack of budget but Saw never really feels hugely polished. Its a rough little gem and maybe this is why the effort was made to try to keep the story as tight as possible. Of course there are always the moments where things just seem to be happening at the right moment to the right people but this is oddly minimal particularly for such a complexly schemed plot and Saw hangs together amazingly well.vlcsnap-2009-08-03-21h02m22s132

One aspect that seems to have been missed is the taking of the jigsaw piece of skin, Jigsaws trademark. It appears that he does not necessarily revisit the scene and in some case couldn’t so when exactly does he take it and why, this almost seems like a weak attempt to justify the name and link the murders together. A shame really as the Jigsaw simile stands up perfectly well without this little bit of manipulation.

I quite enjoyed re-watching Saw and I’m sure you will too. Take a look if you haven't already and watch again if you have.

Paul out… and hobbling dreadfully.

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