Forget the horrible horrible franchise it became for a moment, and think back fondly if you can on your first experience with SAW.
It really was revolutionary for it’s time. The year that saw…well, SAW, was spotty at best for horror.
Although we got the delightful Zack Snyder DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, we unfortunately also got an atrocious RESIDENT EVIL movie, and the Horror/Comedy SEED OF CHUCKY.
This was the second true horror film of that year, and it was a big one. While DAWN OF THE DEAD was more of an extroverted film (you got more involved with the characters on screen) SAW was more of an introverted film…and an intense one at that. In other words, this movie took people out of the traditions of horror where they jokingly would debate what they would do if Jason was chasing them, and changed everything. For the first time, a movie really made you think…”Holy shit…I don’t know if I could do that.”
You really put yourself into the film, into the games, the fear, the pain…everything. This movie scared the shit out of you because you couldn’t be sure of what you would be capable of to save your own life.
A true psychological horror film, expertly pieced together by a couple of film students. It really shocked people, and it still does.
I mean, look at how far the franchise devolved, look at the terrible “torture porn” schlock that it inspired…and look how it still manages to rise above it all and stand out as not only a good horror film…but a good film in general.
It’s really hard for me to write about this film and not gush like a fanboy…and it’s also hard to write about this film and not fan-rage about the terrible sequels (I’m saving that for my SAW 2 review)…which makes this really hard.
The merits of the film speak for itself really. The social commentary, the clever writing, effect on its audience…it’s really a film that everyone needs to see at least once.