A new take on horror, okay, not all that new, but whatever!
Written By: Leigh Whannell
Directed By: James Wan
So, this is the film that spawned one of my least favorite franchises of all time, interesting. I should let it be known right off the bat that while I am an avid horror buff, I absolutely abhor torture horror or torture porn as so many like to call it. Surprisingly enough Saw is not torture porn, even if people would like you to believe so and even if all the sequels are. There are moments where Saw is very violent or bloody, but I was never bothered by it, never am really, and in Saw it seemed to serve a purpose and therefore I wouldn’t label it as torture porn.
There certainly was a great idea behind Saw and at times I found myself being taken by that idea and by James Wan’s fruitless attempts to make that idea more than it was. There are moments where Saw builds the suspense to a satisfactory level and the twist is a decent twist, at least until you start to really think about it. When one starts to use their mind Saw falls apart and flaws I was willing to ignore because I enjoyed the concept quickly become more obvious and I am less forgiving of them. Perhaps a better screenwriter and director would have helped, but the movie does rely on that twist so much that I don’t know if any change actually would have made a difference.
About those flaws, you can’t say contrived ending without thinking of Saw. It’s not half bad as a twist, but when you stop to think about what needs to happen to make that twist the least bit plausible your head will explode. This of course causes all the other little plot holes to mount up and you are left with a sad shell of a film. Add in some of the truly horrendous acting, mainly from Danny Glover, and you are left with a mediocre film.
As time has gone by Saw has developed into the horror franchise of the new millennium, and I wonder why? If the rest of the Saw franchise had followed suit with the first entry and been a bit more complex and not just torture porn informercials I might see some reason for the cult that is Saw. But, that is neither here nor there in regards to the first film. I can’t recommend it, but I can tell you that if you absolutely must see a Saw film make it this one and avoid the rest like the plague. I wish I could do the same, but my roommate’s kid loves the series, so I will suffer for you over the coming weeks, oh, how I will suffer!