Macabre...ish Horror Review: Saw



Saw, 2004/ 103 min. The scene opens on a dark room, a dilapidated public restroom and inside it are 3 men, one seemingly deceased from a head wound and Lawrence (Cary Elwes), an oncologist is chained to a pipe and Adam (Leigh Whannell) a photographer, also chained by the leg, across the room. They do not know each other, where they are or how they got there. Both men find tapes in their pockets and the corpse has a mini cassette player in his hand.



Once they get the player, Adam’s tape tells him to escape, Lawrence’s tells him to kill Adam by 6 or his family will be killed and he will be left to die. In the toilet tank, Adam finds 2 hacksaws and after unsuccessfully trying to use them on the chains, they realize they’re meant to use them on their legs. Lawrence realizes their captor is Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) because he was once suspected to be him. And to him, this is a game.



Meanwhile, Lawrence’s wife and daughter are being held captive in their house. And  Adam and Lawrence are being watched from behind a mirror in the restroom. And watching Lawrence’s house is Tapp (Danny Glover), an ex-cop obsessed with capturing Jigsaw. He was wounded and lost his partner Sing (Ken Leung) in a trap in a warehouse. He believes Lawrence is guilty and intends to catch him. 



They try to figure out why they are there and flash backs help piece the story together. Lawrence was accused based on his pen light, found at a crime scene and once he was cleared, he was shown footage of a survivor, a drug addict (Shawnee Smith), who escaped and she sees Jigsaw as her savior. 



Back in the restroom, they fail to stage Adam’s death and he is electrocuted through his chain. Suddenly he remembers his abduction and being attacked by a person in a pig’s mask. 

At 6, Zep (Michael Emerson), the man holding Lawrence’s family moves to kill them but Alison (Monica Potter), the wife, escapes and fights back. Tapp heard the commotion and rescues them, then follows Zep and is shot in the chest. At the same time Lawrence saws off his foot in desperation, to rescue his wife and daughter,



leaving Adam behind, he promises to bring help. Zep arrives in the restroom and Adam beats him to death with the toilet tank lid.



Suddenly the corpse rises, Adam tries to shoot it but he’s electrocuted. The corpse is Jigsaw, one of Lawrence’s patience. It is revealed Zep is another victim in the game, the key to Adam’s chain is in the bath tub but went down the drain earlier. As he leaves the room, he says, “Game over.”, turns off the light and closes the door. Leaving Adam to die.



I love this franchise, good story and concept with a cast to match. It’s creepy and keeps you on edge, right up until the end. It’s graphic and bloody in all the right places and leaves me wanting more story. For as many parts and pieces as their are, the story is solid and not too ‘ambitious’. The cinematography has that great gritty feel that clues you in too how bleak it’s going to be. Very well done.


A warning, there are hints to suicides all through this movie. So be aware if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing. 


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