Sunday, October 29, 2017

Movie Review: Saw

This clever horror film set off one of the more gruesome and disturbing horror franchise to date that found a  ton of success in its run and has sparked a new film to be released this Halloween. James Wan's gory mystery begins with two men waking up in a room with no idea how they got there. Adam Faulkner-Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) finds a tape in his pocket along with a dead body in the center of the room. He reasonably freaks out as his leg is chained to pipes. The other man in the room Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) is also chained to pipes and has a tape in his pocket. The dead man in the middle of the room has a tape recorder in one hand and a gun in the other. Adam drags the tape recorder and listens to his tape that tells him he is going to die. Dr. Gordon's tape threatens his wife and children if he does not kill Adam by a certain time.

Dr. Gordon knows of this modus operandi as he was the suspect in a similar murder case. Detective David Tapp (Danny Glover) and Detective Steven Sing (Ken Leung) investigate a string of brutal murders where the victims were forced to perform ridiculous tasks that usually resulted in them dying or being so traumatized that survival was difficult. Lawrence Gordon's penlight was discovered at a scene so he was brought in for questioning. The doctor had to admit he was having an affair to establish an alibi. He is kept on as a consultant and hears more about the sickening murders. The two men work to solve the clues they are given finding a pair of saws and more clues.

Dr. Gordon's family is kidnapped but across the street watching Detective Tapp who has become obsessed with finding the killer. Detective Tapp came close to finding the killer but he escaped killing Detective Sing in the process. The captured men find another clue that leads to a cell phone with no service and a cigarette. The man who captures Lawrence's family is Zep Hindle (Michael Emerson), an orderly at the hospital where Dr. Gordon works. The doctor pretends to kill Adam but the chain electrocutes him. Adam remembers how he got there as Dr. Gordon gets a call from his wife warning him not to believe Adam. It is revealed that Adam was taking pictures of Dr. Gordon for Detective Tapp. 

Time runs out and Zep attempts to kill Dr. Gordon's wife Alison (Monica Potter) but she steals the gun from him. Detective Tapp bursts and exchanges fire with Zep. The cop chases the kidnapper back to an abandoned warehouse as Dr. Gordon is shocked by the chain. The doctor decides to cut off his foot with the saw to escape the chain. Tapp catches but is shot in the fight over the gun. Free from his bond, Lawrence grabs the gun, loads a bullet, and shoots Adam. Zep comes in to find the carnage. He prepares to kill Lawrence but Adam is still alive and stops him. Dr. Gordon crawls out the room with his one leg promising to bring help back. Adam searches Zep's dead body to find a tape recorder. The dead body in the middle of the floor stands up to reveal Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) aka John, a patient of Dr. Gordon, who had been watching the whole time. Jigsaw leaves Adam screaming for help.

Saw has an amazing plot with tons of twists and one final one that shocked me the first time I saw it. It is a fun movie to revisit to see how the pieces all fit together. The first film does have some gore but does not buy into the same gruesome shock horror of the sequels. The film introduced me to James Wan who went on to make some of my favorite horror films. This first film was only the beginning but it is my favorite of the ones that I have seen. I look forward to revisiting the first few and finishing off the series before the new one in theaters. 

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