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It was one of the biggest horror movies of the 2000s and created an entire style of film-making on the cheap for such studios as The Asylum and Blumhouse. So that should mean its good, right? Wrong. Saw stinks on ice. Happy 300th episode to us, I guess.
Where to begin with the problems of the film? Well lets actually start with a compliment. It only cost $1.2 million. Could they have used the money more wisely to make a better film and still raked in the cash? Absolutely.
First there is Cary Elwes, who astounds at his lack of nomination in the Razzie awards. Rest assured, when we get our time machine built and right the wrongs of crappy movie award history, Mr. Wesley will be getting a big ol' SMABFA for either best or worst bad actor. He stinks. Then you've got Danny Glover working in mostly ADR in his usual befuddled whisper talk. It's a shame the two didn't get more screen time together because wow...So the acting is atrocious.
Then there is the story. Oh wait. Sorry. I mean the concept. There is no story. Just a concept of two guys stuck in an icky bathroom with a mystery to solve and limited tools to do so. That sounds nice in concept but then you've got to write something around it, otherwise you'll little film will be only 15 minutes long. However, what they packed around this thing is pure garbage. The killer's only motivation is.... nothing. Truly nothing. He has brain cancer and Cary Elwes character told him about it. So even if he had done so without bedside manner, why the hell did he murder all those other people who have no connection to anything. I'll tell you the connection. Why bother writing consistently when you can crank it out in an hour and not have the majority of people notice. Then there's the worst cop ever in Danny Glover's Tapp. If police of the world were like this, crime would run rampant as there would be no judge in the world that would allow any evidence this moron collects to be admissible. Then he ends up getting overpowered by a feeble hospital orderly who weighs 1/2 as much, is a foot shorter, just got whipped by a suburban mom and has a damn pair of scissors in his leg. WTF?
Lastly and most painfully, the film is impossibly boring. There is so much flashback and broken narrative to try to establish some context to the concept that gets mixed up, jumps timelines, has no perspective and still doesn't make any sense which is common in crappy films but this one delivers its inane ramblings via jumpy camera work, shakey editting, Rob Zombie style editing and the general post production distraction dumpy studios try to make to hide their awful film.
- Not a good movie
- Made the worst style of horror telling for the next 10 years
- Painfully boring
Yup, this box office smash stinks.
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About Saw - Movie Information
Sam's Boring Bullshit
Though it is easy to come up with valid criticism and objection to Saw as a film and the franchise it spawned, it should also be recognized as the achievement of dreams. I doubt if in the same situation I would do anything differently than what Writer/Director James Han and Writer/Actor Leigh Whannell (both would serve as producers) brought us with what has become one of my least favorite horror films, if not my most hated. They came up with an idea that was able to connect what would have been an anthology of nightmares one or the other had while sell said idea to a major studio via the production of a short film, get the film made economically (shot in 18 days) and then make all the cash.
The franchise would turn to the gold standard of what is labeled as torture porn. The first film is not so much, at least in it’s final incarnation. Some of the scenes were toned down to remove the NC-17 rating, but Wan has stated that most of the focus was on the reactions of the characters and not the gore itself, even in the original cut. For the most part this film hits you with the ideas rather than the visual, which I generally hold in the highest regard for horror strategy. However in this instance, I think the rest of the film is such a damn mess that it doesn’t matter.
Wan and Whannell would go on to bring us Insidious 1 & 2 as well as The Conjuring 1 & 2. They would also produce a variety of sequels to said projects and unrelated films in the same genre. I don’t blame them, because, you know, cash. Wan has been brought on to direct Aquaman and he had previously directed Fast 7 which hasn’t dissolved the partnership, but has ended the near exclusive nature. Thought they still do better than 90% of the genre, when and if they reunite for a major project it would be nice if they attempt to master the genre now that cash isn’t so much a concern.