Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Movie Review: "Saw" (2004)

Out of the woodwork, somehow, a movie just suddenly springs out of the darkness and grabs you by the neck and demands “Watch Me!!!” , Saw is one such movie.

Internet geeks from all over the world were raving in the message boards about how freaky and twisted this film was. I was very very intrigued. After having seen Miike’s psycho-feminist thriller Audition, I have gotten a renewed asphyxiation to the thrill and excitement derived from a good scare. Call it my next step to degeneration, heck I just wanted another dose of spurting blood and dismembered body parts!
The movie begins with Adam (Leigh Wannel) as wakes up in a bathtub full of water in the middle of the dark. He emerges from the tub as the water drains down and starts to shout for help. A voice in the dark emerges “ I’ve tried it, it doesn’t help”, it says. Then the lights turn on giving Adam’s barely enough time to contract as he squints into the light. Across the dirty, crusty, feces streaked tile floor from him is a sprawled corpse and pints of blood oozing from its head. On its right hand a tapre recorder, on the left a gun. Still further across from the room is a man, pale and tired. His hand was the one who turned on the light switch. He is chained to a large sewage tube. So is Adam.
Did I just spoil the movie for you? No. I just gave you the first 3 minutes. What follows is another 90 minutes of pure horror fan eye candy.
First of all, this movie is no Se7en. It is often compared to it. Even the local ads give a hint that these two protagonists have less than “seven” hours to fix their problem. Se7en is miles ahead of this one, though it IS in the same vein.
For the next two hours I was either giggling, surprised, at a point even shocked. But I was never terrified or disgusted (One scene involving Adam putting his hand in the diarrhea filled toilet was pretty close though). Cary Elwes as Dr. Gordon, the other guy chained to a pipe. was funny even in parts where he wasn’t supposed to be. I always remember him as Robin of Loxley in Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
Too much emphasis on the flashbacks and back story kind of made the story a little less appealing for me, although the story did depend on it. I didn’t mind hearing the two main characters talk for hours in the seedy room describing their back stories instead of a seiries of “off” flashbacks, which made the flow of the movie seem like a car go chitty-bangbanging as it ran out of gas.
I have to say that the concept is brilliant, though. Two men, being played by a psycopath in a dirty isolated bathroom for two hours can make for good arthouse fare. Sadly. This isn’t arthouse.
The finale execution redeemed the entire movie. A perfectly timed twist in the end, for a moment, made my already made preconceptions on the movie dissapear. I was very impressed.
All in all, I still, to this day can’t point my finger on it . But there is something off about this movie that’s keeping it from becoming a potential legend in the ranks of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Se7en. Other than that, go see it!

Click here to see the ultra cool "Saw" website.

Rocketboy's Rating: ** (2 out of 5)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm... sounds pretty interesting. i just need to drag someone to watch it with me. hehehehe.


12:07 AM

Blogger filmphiler said...

Can't wait for "Saw 2"!!!

2:04 AM


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