Now, over the last couple of years, I have really gotten into horror films. I like them with a bit of humour like American Werewolf in London or Shaun of the Dead, some with a more psychological effect like The Shining and sometimes the occasional gore fest like Re-Animator and Evil Dead. But what I have never liked is violence. Violence and gore to me is totally different. I don't really like intense peril where there seems to be no hope of escape and to me, that was what Saw always seemed to be like to me.
But I was wrong.
In a sense at least. It was intense peril and it had a very down ending but it was just absolutely fantastic, edge-of-your-seat filmmaking. It was far less gory than I expected, it focused more on the trauma of the situation and the confusion and distrust rather than the shock tactics of sawing limbs off. Even in the climactic scene, you barely see much more than the initial laceration. The acting is great from both leading men (Leigh Whannell, also the writer, is particularly convincing whereas Cary Elwes goes a little OTT near the end) as well as the supporting cast. The whole idea is very original, one of the most inventive and disturbing concepts of a horror film in a long while. Maybe because it's so real, it could happen to you. It's clever how the serial killer, never actually murders anyone and he himself wants his 'victims' to live. The twist at the end was magnificent, I don't care about all the people that apparently saw it coming, I could barely get my head round it when he was standing up! I remembered people saying they couldn't believe who Jigsaw was and there was me, thinking I was so clever that I figured it was Zepp when I first laid eyes on him. More fool me. And finally, the direction is very effective, erratic in once scene then hauntingly static in another. It's an outstanding breakout film for the young Aussie filmmakers.
I won't deny the fact that there are several plot holes in the movie, things that just don't really make sense. The one that irks me the most is the key. If Adam was supposed to have the key to be able to undo his chain, why was he chained up in the first place? Why were there two saws? How the hell would Dr Gordon have ever shot him if he could freely move around? That doesn't make sense to me. I'm still very curious to know if Dr Gordon survived. Sure, he probably bled to death or Jigsaw got him on the way out but you never know. I'm sure they will probably acknowledge it sometime in the near future.
The next day, I decided to watch Saw II but ended up watching III and IV as well. But I will do that in another blog so as not to clutter it up.
Overall: A very well done horror film and one that I would happily watch again and again. If that makes me sick then so be it!
I also want to get the special edition DVD as I have heard that the commentary is very entertaining.