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2004 / Horror
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7.8 / 10
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Directed by James Wan
Written by Leigh Whannell
Starring Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover and Tobin Bell

Two strangers, who awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, soon discover they're pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

The following tags are associated with this movie: Survival, Mystery, Torture
Saw (2004)
Review by Bradley Frohloff

8 / 10
This was a fairly unique experience for its time. Unlike many movies, Saw manages to continually advance its plot whilst successfully making it to the conclusion without its audience likely having guessed correctly who is behind it all before the reveal. It is also one of the few movies which has some substance to its use of torture sequences as opposed to the myriad of sequels which add layers of plot twists to an ever-growing convoluted mess of a storyline all so they can continue to show people getting fucked up through various forms of torture.

Overall, Saw is an exciting watch for first-time viewers with good twists and turns.
Saw (2004)
Review by Michael Mahoney

10 / 10
So it should come as no surprise that, to me, Saw is a very special movie. I don't deny it's dated in some aspects, nor do I deny that some of the performances aren't quite up to snuff, but even with those issues, I can't help but see this as an almost perfect movie.

A big part of this, to be sure, is nostalgia. When I first saw this film on Showtime or HBO, I had absolutely zero idea where it was going or how it'd end. I'm sure I had heard vaguely about the film, but I didn't really know going in exactly what it was even about. And then, come the conclusion, I was blown away, and how.

To this day, that's one of my favorite finales. Sure, the quick recap, giving us short clips, is a bit much, and one of those dated aspects I mentioned, but despite that, it possesses such a depressing and hopeless aura to it, what with the screaming for mercy while the door is being slid shut. It's just beautiful.

What's also beautiful is the whole concept of Jigsaw. Throwing people he deems unworthy of the gift of life into torturous, yet beatable traps (in theory - that broken glass trap with the safe looked pretty close to impossible) is a fun concept to mess around with, and I thought they did a good job here, especially since, unlike later movies, this one doesn't rely too much on the carnage and gore of the traps, but of the mystery surrounding the situation Adam and Lawrence find themselves in.

I think most people can see that Leigh Whannell's performance is a bit off. He certainly cracked me up at times, and of all the characters in the film, he's probably the most sympathetic, but the acting isn't great. Luckily, it doesn't really make a big negative impact in my mind, because most everyone else does decent. I mean, hell, the cast is actually pretty solid, with such names as Cary Elwes, Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon series), Michael Emerson, Tobin Bell, and Ken Leung (who randomly popped up over ten years later in the ill-fated MCU series Inhumans). All of them bring something to the table, and it makes the story work beautifully.

Personally, there are some films that aren't easy to put into words just the amount of impact they make on me, and Saw is a good example of that. On almost any horror forum I've joined, my user name's always been some variation of 'Jigsaw,' and though I can certainly see some flaws with additional viewings of the film, none of that can change the fact this movie as a big reason why I became such a dedicated fan of the genre, and I don't really hesitate to give it the highest props possible.
Saw (2004)
Review by Alex Martel

7 / 10
By far the best movie in the franchise, Saw left a huge impression when I saw it as a teenager, but it hasn't aged that well in hindsight.

Some of the acting is amateurish, and the plot has many elements that can very generously be decribed as "extremely convenient".

That being said, it was a wildly intense and original film at the time it was made (though the wave it created quickly became tired and stagnant), the torturous traps are used to much better effect than in any of its follow ups, and it helped to jolt some life back to the popularity of the horror genre.
Other Mystery movies that you may enjoy

Searching (2018)

Summer of 84 (2018)

Secret of the Blue Room (1933)

The Nameless (1999)
More releases from 2004 for you to check out

Salem's Lot (2004)

Satan's Little Helper (2004)

Seed of Chucky (2004)

Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004)

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