Growing up, I was always hesitant to watch Saw because of the perceived gruesome and graphic content that is displayed. After my first full viewing of this film last night, this is what people were up-in-arms about?
For context, this film came out in 2004 but there were plenty of other films out there, at the time, that had more violent content than this movie.
It is confusing to nail a quick plot for Saw but it is about two men who are chained inside this nasty, grotesque room with a “dead” body and have to figure out how to escape this room alive. Along the way, these men start asking each other how and why they ended up here, which leads to confusion and distrust that hinders their teamwork in trying to survive.
We find out that the killer, known as Jigsaw, kidnaps his victims who he believes are ungrateful to be alive. Our two protagonists, Dr. Lawrence Gordon and Adam Stanheight, have some issues in their everyday lives that involve infidelity and voyeurism. In this room, both men come clean and admit their faults but that ends up not being their ticket out of there.
Jigsaw uses this horrifying puppet as his moniker to intimidate his victims and play his tapes to the victims where he explains the reason why they are trapped and how they can survive.
I do enjoy the suspense that comes with these two men surviving but the movie sets them up as bad men so you do not really care about their well-being or not. In the third act, Dr. Gordon’s wife and daughter become a part of Jigsaw’s “game” and that is when you start to care for him, which leaves Adam and there is really no reason to get behind him.
Other than the ending moments of suspense, I was not invested in this movie.
I was interested in the sick and twisted traps that would lead to some fairly gruesome kills but it never happens in this movie. Every scene involving a trap is either a flashback where we know whether or not this character survives or it shows the aftermath of a trap. It was really disappointing to see that because this movie advertises itself as this shocking and disturbing psychological horror film.
In my opinion, Danny Glover’s, Michael Emerson’s, and Ken Leung’s talents are wasted. They are not involved enough in this film and they are given very little to work with in terms of writing.
It is hard to figure out why this movie has the legacy it does. I thought it would be for the visual shock value that I expected to be on display, but that is not the case. I do not care for this film and will most likely not come back to it.