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2004, Lions Gate
Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover, Monica Potter
James Wan
MPAA Rating:
[R] strong violence, language
October 29, 2004

Interview with actor Leigh Whannell and
director James Wan on the making of Saw

Synopsis (provided by Lions Gate)

Watch the trailer for Saw

How far would you go to save your own life? Prepare yourself for a gut-wrenching trip into the heart of terror with Saw, Lions Gate Films' gripping psychological thriller starring Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter and Leigh Whannell. Obsessed with teaching his victims the value of life, a deranged, sadistic serial killer is abducting morally wayward people and forcing them to play horrific games for their own survival. Faced with impossible choices, each victim must struggle to win back his/her life, or else die trying...

A young man named Adam (Leigh Whannell) wakes to find himself chained to a rusty pipe inside a decrepit subterranean chamber. Chained to the opposite side of the room is another bewildered captive, Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes). Between them is a dead man lying in a pool of blood, holding a .38 in his hand. Neither man knows why he has been abducted; but instructions left on a microcassette order Dr. Gordon to kill Adam within eight hours. If he fails to do so, then both men will die, and Dr. Gordon's wife, Alison (Monica Potter), and his daughter will be killed. Recalling a recent murder investigation by a police detective named Tapp (Danny Glover), Dr. Gordon realizes he and Adam are the next victims of a psychopathic genius known only as "Jigsaw." With only a few hours left to spare, they must unravel the elaborate puzzle of their fate in the midst of mounting terror. The killer has provided them with only a few clues and two handsaws--too weak to break their steel shackles, but strong enough to cut through flesh and bone...

Gritty and terrifying, Saw is a taut, squirm-inducing thriller packed with moments of indelible horror. Director James Wan expertly spins this intricate tale, creating a chilling landscape of dread where nothing is quite as it seems. An edge-of-your-seat ride bristling with emotional intensity, Saw will keep you guessing until the very end.

Our Mini-Review of Saw
Contributed by Michael Lee (September 2004)

Delightfully wicked and often extremely brutal, Saw has frequently been compared to the classic thriller Seven. While both films share the element of a deranged sociopath forcing people into elaborately lethal situations (fueled by somewhat unbelievable underlying motivations), Saw has a more upbeat pace than Seven that keeps the action in steady supply. On the downside, the film occasionally plays like a Marilyn Manson video, complete with sped up video accompanied by a lot of noise. But on the upside, the story is full of interesting twists and turns, some incredible visuals, and, of course, inventively violent moments. In one scene, the Jigsaw Killer forces a man to crawl through an impossible labyrinth of barbed wire, and in another, he attaches a young woman's jaw to a device designed to snap it open (which he vividly describes as a "reverse bear trap").

Set for a Halloween release date, Saw is an ideal movie for those looking for a demented psychological thriller that is heavier on the thrills than the psychology. If you're in the market for such a film, we eagerly recommend it.

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Related Material
Movie Coverage: Saw 2
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