This item is available because of the Add-on program
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Obsessed with teaching his victims the value of life, a deranged, sadistic serial killer is abducting morally wayward people and forcing them to play horrific games for their own survival. Faced with impossible choices, each victim must struggle to win back his/her life, or else die trying.
Adam (Leigh Whannell) wakes up in a dank room across from Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) and the body of a guy who has blown his own brains out. Not a happy place, obviously, and it gets worse when both men realize that they've been chained and pitted against one another by an unseen but apparently omniscient maniac who's screwing with their psyches as payment for past sins. Director James Wan, who concocted this grimy distraction with screenwriter Whannell, has seen Seven and any number of other arty existential-psycho-cat-and-mouse thrillers, so he's provided Saw with a little flash, a little blood, and a lot of ways to distract you from the fact that it doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense. Wan and Whannell (who's not the most accomplished actor, either) pile on the plot twists, which after some initially novel ideas become increasingly juvenile. Elwes works hard but looks embarrassed, and the estimable Danny Glover suffers as the obsessed detective on the case. The denouement will probably surprise you, but it won't get you back the previous 98 minutes.--Steve Wiecking
- Audio commentary with director James Wan and writer/actor Leigh Whannell
- Fear Factory's "Bite the Hand That Bleeds" music video
- Making of "Bite the Hand That Bleeds"
- Making of Saw
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The way this movie plays with human's psychological nature is SO well shown. This movie isn't gory, it doesn't show much physical torture, but more of the mental torture all of the characters go through. This movie takes plenty unpredictable turns, and the ending all by itself is worth watching the whole movie. If you're looking for a movie that messes with the characters heads, as well as yours, you've come to the right one.
This is where Saw gets my praise for being very original. It's certainly scary at times and packed with grit, but it also has a side of it that makes you think. Kind of a mystery to be solved, and when the answer is revealed in the heightened climax, its quite rewarding cause no one could have ever seen it coming. The story uses flashbacks and pieces them together like a puzzle up til the very end, and just when you thought you knew what the puzzle is going to look like, it turns out to be a whole other picture. The traps in Saw also carry originality, putting people in near impossible situations to escape, but not impossible. Our villain Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is no murderer, but he finds ways for people to kill themselves - which is usually the case. The reason for the traps is explained as a game you must play (in Jigsaw's eyes) to test and see how much you desire life. Generally those placed in the traps are not grateful to be alive, and these horrific games quickly put things in perspective. Once you see these scenes, its enough to say "Yes I am grateful."
The cast is an interesting mix for a horror film. Danny Glover is probably the most famous actor associated with the film, but the script is somewhat limited for his role that any actor probably could have pulled it off. Cary Elwes is also an interesting addition when I think back to his roles in Princess Bride and Men in Tights...his character is the main focus in this film and his acting may have been better suited in non-horror films. Tobin Bell, while he gets very little screen-time as Jigsaw and even then he is usually wearing a cloak, he feels like a perfect cast (though I say this after watching the Saw sequals where he gets a lot more screentime). Tobin Bell is to Jigsaw like Anthony Hopkins is to Hannibal Lecter - you see the actor's face and that's the role he was born for.
Overall, Saw brings a variety to a horror film, though really its much more than your basic horror film. It focuses less on scares and more on what's truly scary - very disturbing scenarios that ask a simple question, and the mystery of events that is impossible to solve.
Acting - 3
Characters - 3.5
Horror/Gore - 4.5
Story - 4.5
Overall - 4
If you liked SE7EN, you might like this too. That's the movie it's most often compared with, but that's not quite fair. It's seedy, like much of SE7EN, but it doesn't have a Hollywood gloss on it. For all it's deranged ideas, SE7EN had a sheen of respectability brought to it by the presence of Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow...all comfortable, well-known, attractive actors. Not much of that in SAW!
It deals with a serial-killer who isn't really. The crazy person in this film concocts extremely elaborate ways to get his hostages to kill themselves. One victim, for example, is told she can save herself by unlocking the huge device on her head, which, when a timer goes off, will essentially rip her head in half. To unlock the device, she must retrieve the key from her cellmate. Or rather, her cellmate's stomach.
The killer watches all the shenanigans from lots of hidden cameras and such, and communicates in taped recordings that distort his voice. We've seen all that sort of stuff before. The cop who is chasing the bad guy (Danny Glover) is obsessed with his work, to the point where his sanity loosens and he loses his job. Hardly original either.
What DOES work in the film is the central scene (which feels almost like a play) where two men wake up in a most horrifically filthy abandoned public restroom somewhere. They are chained around the ankle to thick pipes and cannot reach each other. In the middle of the room lies a previous victim, a man who has apparently shot himself in the head and left quite a mess on the floor. Each man discovers a taped recording with instructions, telling them how to survive. The main character, played by Cary Elwes (oh, how far the star of PRINCESS BRIDE has fallen), is a doctor who has been told that his wife and daughter are being held hostage, and that they can only have there freedom if Elwes kills his cellmate. Oh, and each man has a hacksaw...not strong enough to cut the chains, but perfect for sawing off a foot to get free of the chains. Nice, huh?
Well, I have to admit that as the men acted out their little scenario throughout the film (the rest of the backstory is told in flashbacks) I was intrigued. It carried a lurid fascination. And the resolution of the film, while a bit pat, was surprising and twisty. We think we know who the villain is...but do we?
So, the pluses are there: it's a compelling story (although we feel a little unclean watching it), has some surprises and has an over-the-top art direction and cinematography that is admirable in its fearlessness.
On the down side: the acting is pretty uneven. Glover really has nothing to work with and poor Elwes...in the past, he has done an American accent quite convincingly, but in this movie, it gets away from him time and again...lapsing into British pronunciations just enough to be quite distracting. The young man who is the doctor's cellmate is played by screenwriter Whannel, and he comes across as a guy who's maybe done a little acting in college for fun...he's got energy, but no subtlety. Monica Potter plays Elwes wife, and she's a cipher too. The movie isn't terribly interested in its characters...just its situations. And for the most part, that's good enough. This is no SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. If the filmmakers aspired to that...they missed the boat. If they aspired to achieve everything that the execrable FEAR DOT COM missed, then I think they did okay. The movie shows some originality, but it feels a bit rushed. No doubt the filmmakers were given a pretty tight budget and schdule. Parts of it feel scotch-taped together...tug too hard and it'll all fall apart. You don't want to think about this one too hard.
Who to recommend it to: filmgoers who don't mind being a little uncomfortable in exchange for some serial-killer / sicko thrills. If you like stuff like SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, SE7EN and that ilk, you'll probably be okay with this film. If you're squeamish, like your murders tidy, then stay away. And again, if you're a parent, please keep your young kids away. When I saw the film, there were about 10 little children in the audience, and I felt bad for them. They'll remember (and dream about) the disturbing images...but won't actually understand what happened.