Jigsaw is a serial killer, although he has never killed anyone. He places his victims in situations and forces them to make a decision that will ultimately make them kill themselves. Dr. Lawrence Gordon and a young man named Adam both wake up chained to a wall in a rusty old bathroom and discover they are Jigsaw’s newest victims in his sick little game. With clues all over the room, the two discover the rules. Dr. Gordon must kill Adam by six in the morning or else his wife and daughter will die.
Detective David Tapp has been on the trail of the Jigsaw serial killer from the get go. After being discharged from the force and suffering a mental breakdown due to Jigsaw, he takes it upon himself to solve this case. Jigsaw is no ordinary serial killer, for he has never killed anyone. He likes to have front row seats to watch his victims kill themselves and he plays the game flawless. With the two newest victims chained to a bathroom wall with a dead body in the room from a self inflicted gunshot wound, they’re only hope of survival is to work together and figure a way out of this. Each one has been supplied with a tape. Dr. Gordon was also given a bullet with the message, “When there is that much poison in your blood, the only way out is to shoot yourself.” The game is simple for Dr. Gordon, kill Adam or your wife and daughter will die.
When I first saw the trailer for Saw, I thought that this movie was going to be extremely intense, however I had doubts for some reason. I guess it was because I knew that there is no possible way a film can be as good as this trailer was boasting. Well, after viewing it, I was left with a mixed feeling. I want to start off with the acting, the acting was not very good. Cary Elwes has never been a favorite of mine. The newcomer, Leigh Whannell did not do that great of a job either, however he wrote the script, along with the director, and that is where his talent lies.
Throughout most of the film, I felt a bit disappointed because it didn’t seem to live up to the hype. I did not like the fast paced editing that looked like a Marilyn Manson video during some of the torture scenes. I just felt that it could have been far more disturbing if they would have left that out and allowed the situation to sink into the audience a bit more. For instance, in the first trailer released, we see a girl with a device strapped to her face. If this scene would have been slowed down a bit, the bizarreness of the scene would have disturbed the audience a bit more. Maybe it’s because I have seen far too many horror films, but I just would have slowed down scenes like that.
The final twenty or so minutes of the film is where Saw truly shines. You get to realize just how perfect this killer is. The motive is simple, we do not enjoy living, but after we get a taste of what death is, maybe we will. I felt that this was an original concept and it has a great message. We’ve got morals in a horror film, and it worked! This brings me back to the torture scene of the girl in the trailer with the device strapped to her jaw. This character was played wonderfully by Shawnee Smith, of The Blob. Her choice was to cut the key out of the stomach of her dead cell mate, however he is still alive. She was a drug addict and never cared much for life, Jigsaw made it clear to her that life is something worth living and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Now, back to the final twenty minutes of the film. Jigsaw does not make mistakes, and it’s clear that this is a very well thought out serial killer film. It reminded me a bit of Seven, another amazing film, although Saw isn’t quite as good. However, after watching Saw, I let it sink in for a while and even while writing this, the final act of this film is a disturbing thrill ride. Now, I want to see it again! After the movie ended, a girl behind me said “What kind of sick individual would create something like this?” She obviously wasn’t much of a horror fan, but this movie is definitely a twisted film. Although Haute Tension is a bit more intense, Saw gets my vote for the most twisted film of the year. If you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out! I give it an 8 out of 10.