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Saw... what to say about Saw? Well, Saw follows the story of Adam (Leigh Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes). The film begins with the two awakening in a small, rather filthy room where they're chained to one side of the wall. They don't know each other, how they got here or why they're here. All they know is that they're here and they both have a tape. What they learn from their tapes is that they're both part of a game, held by a mysterious serial killer known as the Jigsaw killer. The aim of this game is for Adam, who's on the opposite side of the room, to be killed by Lawrence, or else Lawrence's family will die.
To my surprise, Saw actually tries to be a good film. The Saw franchise is notorious for being a violent, gore-fest of death traps and nothing more. That's why I was surprised to find that the first film actually wants to be a half decent movie. James Wan and co. actually look like they care about what they're making, and their passion and hard-work can occasionally pay off. The film isn't by any means a great movie, but they're trying to be entertaining and it actually was! If they succeeded at that then this film is a success in my eyes.
Saw is full of fun and inventive death traps, which is really the sole purpose of this franchise. Although the sequels are bound to pointlessly up the gore, I'm sort of interested in seeing them just so I can see how creative their traps are. That's all this franchise wants to show, or at least all that the sequels want to show, as I said the first one actually tries. The traps in this film make this film as entertaining as it is. They'll have you cringing, but never looking away. They're genius, disturbing and inventive all at the same time.
Of course, this film's most iconic moment is the famous reverse bear trap scene, which seems to be the main selling point of the re-release advertising campaign. This scene, oddly enough, isn't even an important moment in the film, nor a necessary one. Although, the traps in this film are far from necessary as most of them appear in flashbacks, but hey, that's the movie I came to see and that's the movie I got. The scene was wickedly fun and incredibly entertaining.
Little does this film realise is that the scenes with the two main characters, Adam and Lawrence, are the more enjoyable moments in this film. It sets up their story and their problem, but then continuously sidelines them to show flashbacks of previous victims, pointless narration and an overly complex backstory. The scenes with them in the room are far more investing than the outside scenes, which all drag on for a little too long.
Although the mystery initially set up is intriguing, the acting and the dialogue made it challenging to get into. This film has a decent concept, it's a worrying concept, but it's a decent one. It sets up the mystery well, and this is also maintained for the entirety of the film, but it just took a while for me to be fully into this movie. I was trying incredibly hard, but with all the clichéd dialogue and mediocre acting, this wasn't really working out. Once I could get used to it and I had accepted that this was what I'm in for then I begun to enjoy the film a little more. Not a lot more, but a little more.
I technically can't comment on if the film's final twist came as a big shock as I already knew what the twist was prior to starting the film, but I can say that it's executed well. The film pulls one final cat out of the bag within minutes of the credits beginning to role, and throughout the film subtle hints are placed here and there. Perhaps knowing the twist was a good thing as I could appreciate the effort made to make it seem plausible, but yet again, the twist is illogical, despite being pretty neat.
To sum up, Saw took a while for me to get into due to the clichéd dialogue and mediocre acting, but once it gets going and the mystery is set up, Saw manages to thoroughly entertain thanks to its inventive death traps and engaging story.