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*** Official SAW Review Thread (1 Viewer)

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1999
Horrible movie, don't waste your time on it, if you are on the fence to see it. The 3rd act is so bad, it's laughably bad, and bewildering. I feel bad for most of the cast in this movie, I'd be embarrassed if I were Cary Elwes, his acting was so over the top and horribly inconsistent. Danny Glover needs to find a new agent if he's being reduced to do movies like this.

I give it 1 star, or a grade of D.


Jul 25, 2003
SAW could possibly be the best horror/crime/thriller movie since the magically works of David Fincher when he created Se7en. SAW delivered in every way possible, from the intriguing plot, to the gruesome scenes of torture, to the moderately good acting. Did it live up to the hype? It did more than you ever thought.

Right off the bat we get into the problem where Adam (Leigh Whannell) wakes up in a bathtub in the dark chained up with Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) chained up on the opposite side of the wall already awoken. The room is a rundown, drenched, shabby bathroom with a dead body lying in the middle of the room with a gun in one hand and a tape player in the other. Both men discover a tape in there pockets, and when they play them, the message says either to play my game or face both men discover tapes in their pockets, and the message is: Play my game, or face a grievous repercussion. Let the game begin!

The plot was something very fresh and unique. We haven’t seen this kind plot in a very long time. The man behind all of this, which has been named “Jigsaw,” is a one of a kind mastermind that puts his victims in a set scenario that makes them give up something for their life. It was highly enjoyable to see how Jigsaw came about with using flashbacks of his previous crimes, all remorseless in there own way.

I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but the Muppet did have a symbol behind it, which is like Jigsaw is the Muppet Master and all the victims he picked are his Muppets. So in a way he controls them by giving them a choice to make, which is basically live or die.

What I can say made SAW standout was the setting. Everything was perfectly set so you could feel the dark, gloomy, creepy setting. In that bathroom, you actually felt like you were in another world, in another dimension, if you way. The whole movie felt dark, which created the perfect atmosphere throughout the whole movie, so you never actually felt like smiling during the movie.

The acting was far from perfect. An underused Danny Glover, who played the part of Detective David Tapp, didn’t help the acting situation either. However, it was decent enough to get by in the movie, and the rest of the good things in the movie helped out cover the bad performances.

SAW in the end works out to be a very disturbing film that delivers in more ways than imaginable. SAW took us to a place where we haven’t been in a long time, and it was refreshing to see a film with the likes of Se7en being made. SAW had one hell of an illogical ending, but I just didn’t care, because it all made scene in the end. James Wan gave us one hell of a twisted movie, and after it was all said and done, SAW kills.

Story: A+
Acting: D+
Visuals: A
Cinematography: A
Overall: A- (Not an average)

Robert Crawford

Senior HTF Member
Dec 9, 1998
Real Name
This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Saw". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.


Josh Pounds

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 31, 1999
I can't see any accurate comparisons drawn between the (good) films Se7en and Silence of the Lambs, and this (poorly done) film.
Sep 25, 1999
Oftentimes you watch a movie and can easily tell that it was inspired by current events. Obviously Saw wasn’t ripped from the headlines of yesterday’s paper, but I think a recent, amazing story of survival may have sparked the filmmakers’ imaginations. The event I’m referring to is when Aron Ralston cut off his own arm with a pocket knife after being trapped under a rock for 5 days. There are no trapped mountaineers in this film, but a couple of guys are chained to a wall with nothing but a hacksaw that isn’t sturdy enough to cut the chain. Hmmmm…. How are they supposed to escape?

Saw tells the story of two men who awaken to find themselves chained to opposite sides of a nasty bathroom with a dead man face down in blood between them. The dead man is holding a gun and a cassette player; each of the two men wake with a tape that gives them clues on how to survive the day. One of the men, a doctor, is given a few hours to somehow kill the other man or his wife and child will be murdered. The person responsible is a twisted serial killer who rather than killing his prey, sets up elaborate traps where the victims either kill themselves or someone else. I don’t want to give away too much because I want you to be as intrigued as I was while watching. It’s not often that a thriller works so well for so long, but I was completely enthralled by the story and the setup. There are only a couple things that keep this movie from hitting the bullseye: acting, and uh, overacting.

Sure this is a low budget movie, and it isn’t packed full of familiar faces. The problem is that the guys we don’t recognize do a fine job, while a couple of “old faithfuls” are all over the map. Not only is Cary Elwes all over the map, he’s all over the desk next to the map; he’s across the street in the map shop looking for a map large enough to contain his awkward performance. Elwes plays one of the two men trapped in the bathroom. He’s a doctor who recognizes what is happening because he was once a suspect in the search for the vile, but creative, serial killer. The good news is that he doesn’t come across as a total and complete hack. He’s believable for the first half of the movie, but whenever he has to show any sort of emotion, he crumbles. Acting classes should be forced to watch his performance to see the perils of overacting. He looks more like an actor trying to portray anger, than a man whose unusual circumstances have driven him into a panic. It’s a terrible tragedy when the audience is laughing through the climax of a film because the actor can’t carry the part. His performance is so over the top – so completely distracting – that the film really suffers.

The usually steady Danny Glover is also inconsistent. He plays the lead detective investigating the serial killer, nicknamed “Jigsaw.” His character is very emotionally driven but not enough time is given to his development. The audience can’t help but question his motivation and many times the logic behind some of his decisions. The part was never fleshed out and because of this, Glover’s performance is weak. He just didn’t have enough to work with.

The supporting actors fare much better. Monica Potter is good as the doctor’s wife, and Makenzie Vega is quite good as her daughter. The most pleasant surprise was the performance of Leigh Whannell, also one of the screenwriters. Whannell plays the other man who finds himself chained to the wall in the bathroom. There were a few weak moments, but overall his performance was solid.

A lot of hype has been given to how shocking, disturbing, and scary this film is. Let me set the record straight. Saw isn’t scary, but it is suspenseful. It’s much more of a thriller than a horror movie. There are a few surprises, and a few truly disturbing sequences, but as hard as it tries, Saw doesn’t achieve the atmosphere and feel of Se7en. That’s not to say that it doesn’t successfully create a disturbing mood. A couple moments really worked for me. There is a creepy moment with the young daughter of the doctor (Makenzie Vega) staring at a mobile in her room, wondering if the boogie man is there. Another sequence with a man using a camera as a flashlight also worked well. In fact, the first three quarters of the movie successfully draw the audience into the story and the characters. But then it starts to fall apart.

The final act of Saw feels like a different movie. The tone seemingly changes, and the film relies on clichés and coincidences to drive the story. It becomes a cookie cutter thriller straight from the Ashley Judd school of predictability. But then everything changes again.

Ok, the ending is great. The movie had hit rock bottom and there were no explanations for the actions of the characters. Then there is a twist and everything makes sense. As great as the twist may be, I’m not sure it makes up for the previous 15 minutes of the film. It’s hard to forgive what the movie does to the audience during that sequence. I felt detached from the film and I felt the story had let me down. Still, I don’t often fall for surprise endings, and this one got me good.

Saw is an uneven but satisfying film. It isn’t the best thriller you’ll see this year, but it may just be the most intriguing. The premise is great, but the acting detracts. It’s an UP and DOWN experience[/] – See Saw - I recommend it.

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