Okay. I saw the horror/thriller movie Saw this past weekend. I dug it. I saw it with a friend. He dug it too. There was another friend there. Can’t really tell if she liked it.
But everybody else I’ve talked to who saw Saw hated it. I don’t get it. It was a solid little thriller and I bought what it was selling and it satisfied me.
Look at this. Just look!
I have more to say about it, but it’s critically important that you don’t keep reading if you haven’t seen Saw. If you saw it and didn’t like it, I`d like to know specifically why. I`m getting a lot of “I just didn’t like it,” which is unsatisfactory. If you saw it and liked it, I`d love to hear that I`m not insane.
But please be careful in your posts not to give anything away — Saw’s ability to keep me guessing was one of its greatest strengths.
But one more time — if you haven’t seen it, don’t. read. this. Go see the movie and then come back. Okay?
Okay. Here we go. Highlight to read.
Here’s the truth: this movie BLEW MY MIND. It was the best thriller I’ve seen in years, and the most satisfying experience I’ve had in a theater since Big Fish. If the last two minutes of the movie hadn’t been there, I still would have liked it plenty. But the last two minutes WERE there, and I nearly died of perfect glee.
Remember when I saw The Village and thought it would be cool if somebody set up a story to have anachronisms and inconsistencies and stuff, and the audience would chalk it up to bad filmmaking, and then you find out later it served a purpose? That’s what Saw did.
Let me get out of the way the things about this movie that weren’t perfect:
- 1. The nu-metal video sped-up film effects, like 1) when the chick from Becker is escaping from her chair and 2) when Danny Glover is having his car chase with Zeb (Zep?). My moviegoing partner said it reminded him of a “f*cking Slipknot video.” But I feel like it was a red herring — like, ooh, nu-metal, this movie is going to be conventional and have Angelina Jolie in it. But no.
- 2. Cary Elwes` acting at the very beginning and the very end. At the beginning he’s kind of stiff, but he’s a surgeon chained to a pipe and how the hell would you act in that situation? It could be interpreted as fake-brave. And at the end it’s just a little much, like Jack Dawson freezing to death + 20%, but again it didn’t bother me, and I felt a real connection between his character and Adam and all was well and it sealed the deal on the movie. I really felt like whenever Cary Elwes was doing B acting it was on purpose, like the nu-metal stuff — to set you up not to expect too much from the movie. So the end could kick your ass.
- 3. There were some script supervision problems. Like when Cary Elwes first opens the locked little box, there is one cigarette in it. One. Then another one shows up. And then a third. That was just silly.
- 4. Danny Glover and his partner go where they suspect the killer is living/working. They don’t get a warrant. Fine. They don’t go with backup. Erm. Okay. They park right outside the place, apparently without staking it out. Boo. Once it’s obvious this *is* the killer’s hideout, they don’t call for backup. Boo-oo-oo. Roger Ebert complained that when the killer shows up he’s wearing a robe that conceals his identity, but that sort of makes sense since he, uh, prolly saw the car outside and stuff. And he prolly knew he could escape and stuff, so he didn’t care if he was caught.
- 5. They don’t really explain how the killer is singlehandedly kidnapping all these healthy adults. And maybe hiding out in someone’s apartment isn’t the most efficient way to do that. But that doesn’t bother me, because the dude is big and scary and has a brain tumor so pfft.
I will kill him… with a vicious toasting!
That makes it sound like this movie was bad and I`m in deep denial. Oh no. Let’s talk about the stuff that kicked ass.
- 1. The fractured timeline made the suspense even better. For example, Cary Elwes says something like, “I keep thinking of the last thing I said to my daughter,” and then it cuts to the daughter in her bedroom. And it’s just her for a while. So you start wondering, damn, is this really the flashback to the last thing he said to her, or is this the current time and she’s fixing to get kidnapped? And then she stares into the dark in the corner of her room, and it is dark as hell (excellent use of dark in this movie, too, by the way. Black ass dark dark.)
- 2. The one surviving victim was grateful for being victimized. Messed up. And genius. And expertly acted. Chick from Becker totally hanged ten in every one of her scenes. I can see her wearing that big device on her head and staring at the TV with big wet scared eyes and all I could think was how I really really wouldn’t want to be in that situation. Effective as hell. And she doesn’t get it off until the last minute and it’s very upsetting. And she kills the shit out of that dude. Damn.
- 3. When Zeb/Zep is messing with the tied-up mom and daughter, and the mom is furious screaming at him through the gag but there’s nothing she can do — that made me tense as hell. (My moviegoing partner mentions that if Zeb/Zep is not the real killer, then why is he so sadistic with these two? I could be making this up, but I think in the scene that introduces Zeb/Zep, in the last shot of him, where the Chinese medical student is making eyes at Cary Elwes, he cuts her a look like he’s got an issue with women. So that’s what I`m thinking. Also maybe the stethoscope issue is part of how he’s a wannabe doctor. I dunno.)
Okay — and when Zep/Zeb comes in and the mom has untied herself but is acting like she hasn’t, that was some ultimate suspense for me. I started making noises. And then she’s got the gun on Zeb and I was groaning and growling and why doesn’t she SHOOT why won’t she SHOOT??! This movie had me in the palm of its hand and that can’t be bad.
- 4. Example of plot point disguised as bad filmmaking — when Cary Elwes is calling for security in the nasty-looking parking garage, my moviegoing partner said “that’s a pretty sh*tty parking garage for a hospital.” (My moviegoing partner is more obscene than my heckling partner. No value judgment there — it’s just true.) But later you find out it’s not a hospital garage — it’s a seedy hotel garage. Genius.
- 5. The movie gave me two guys with opposing objectives and had me rooting for both of them. When you don’t know what you want to happen, you sure as hell don’t know what’s *going* to happen.
- 6. Saw gave Danny Glover enough of a subplot so that when he struggles with Zeb I really thought that was the end of Zeb. But no. That was harsh as hell.
- 7. Maybe you noticed this one — the ENDING. God. Damn. If Cary Elwes had just sawed off his foot, that would be enough. If Adam had just beat Zeb to death with the toilet tank lid, that would be enough. And then… owowowowo. I can’t even talk about it.
Some of these losers who didn’t like the movie still said they really liked the ending. Here’s a thought though — how can you possibly like the end if you didn’t like the rest of the movie? How could you buy the twist? I poop on all these haters.
I think that’s all I’ve got. Whaddaya say? Did you buy what Saw was selling, or no?