A diabolic serial killer tortures his morally wayward victims in order to teach them the value of life. Once captured, they face an obstacle course of difficult decisions in their abductors sadistic game of survival.
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Despite the fact that the rest of the series plays with the ultra-gore and torture porn shit, the first "Saw" remains a brilliantly written horror film, and one of the most terrifying experience that I had (don't watch it in the dark, a saturday evening)
What makes this movie interesting is also what keeps me from giving it more than 3 stars. It makes the viewer unconfortable by puting him/her as an observer of the games that the sadistic killer prepared. And by doing it, creates the trick of causing an identification with the killer, not the victims (or a hero that would save the victims - there's none). The problem is that it is a (sad) formula for entertainment.
Commits the two cardinal sins of horror flicks: it's not scary, and it's (ludicruosly) overcomplicated. It's a key example of the movie world's incompetent attempts to replicate the horror of the real world by way of substituting simple, dumb sadism for meaningful insight into what makes humans tick.
Still the ridiculously, almost laughably intense, gory, fucked and genuinely clever treat it was when I first saw it. The occasionally corny dialogue and acting only adds to the charm and fun. Often beautifully lit, shot and edited.
Great production design (it's like Se7en but more garish & cartoony) unfortunately, you do not give a fuck about the characters. Yes, that does matter in film where characters are tortured every couple of minutes.
More than a full-on torture movie - it has it's moments. A pretty decent screenplay, and consistently honest. However, this film is slow (not in a good way), as it tends to fade away from the matter at hand almost too much. A good experience. 3/5.
Really expected to hate this but despite some crap delivery of some crap dialogue, the plot and structure are totally solid. The pacing of the revelations in the film is spot on and the devices are appropriately terrifying (as opposed to later contraptions in the series that are just gross). That and Benjamin Linus is in the film which makes it worth a watch for the Lost-ies out there!