Saw

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?

I`m serious.

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?

Tory

Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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29 Responses

  1. Alena says:

    I did not see Saw (ha ha, see-saw), however, I did see The Incredibles and I came here to tell you to see it, too. Gud times.

  2. Tory says:

    I am ridiculous for not having seen The Incredibles yet but I am on that like wite on rice.

  3. shestumbledin says:

    I haven`t seen “Saw” (that does sound ridiculous) but I was reading someones blog yesterday and they said it was a really great thriller, not so slashy as you would have thought from the ads. They compared it to “Seven”. (I`m not down with the HTML) On another note I`m glad you`re still here. I was beginning to think you`d taken up expat status. 😉

  4. theweeone says:

    It was very thrillerish indeed, and it reminded me a lot of Seven also. I can`t say why without risking spoiling it for…others…hahaha. But the ending was great. I loved the whole movie (with the pigwolf mask omg) and then the end and OMG. Great movie.

  5. heckling partner says:

    Thank Jebus you saw this without me. It gimme the jibblies just to read about it. OMG Westley don`t saw off your foot GAH MY EYES.

  6. Tory says:

    I miss you all so bad! I am stealing a fragment of time to drink deep your sweet sweet validation. I am a time bandit. Oh yes. I`m glad I`m not the only one who dug the movie and I feel 20% less insane. Also I`m going to be in the Triangle over Thanksgiving and Xmas and maybe have enough time on my hands to return but e`er so briefly to my decadent life of leisure.

  7. bob says:

    dihgdskfiuaisdhtguodtghofuhgiufxcgkbvj nbvufdhgukdnflbjk oupnuogbjdnvlk ondjos uogn sa fg sfd h gfsh df hgdfjyfd gj h hkf hkhsdjglk j lsfhu ddsghsh o hdfhdhfdh oiho gs h hghg sgffduhdsguhsg s gs g s gus sshfduhshuguuhgdsdfoh sgf ohfdh gfuhgsdfggfhdguhgfuhfggf ugfgfuhgfhufggfhfguhgf hfggfgfhogsfowgfohfgdshhogdoh;dho;dgsoh;gfoh;fgo;ihfdsihoh;fdiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii udfudsfuiuiosrhodgohpdsupiotijrgfigfjofsdgiupophtyehrhoiasoihgfpohrphotgsperwohpghpofpodshphogsdpf pphpfdshpdhpwpd p pfhpph fwphohpgf phfphf hdfh pof hps fp phofsdpsfsdhpdsfpgfph pdfphhpgpfgpphgspfdodfdp p8hophhof pusgp u sfgp upfpudguphosr8ujgdifuljsdnluofus h

  8. sarita says:

    has nothing to do with saw, but thought you might appreciate this: http://sorryeverybody.com/

  9. Incog Neato says:

    I wanted to see Saw. I have now seen Saw. I am glad that I saw Saw. I think that all should see Saw.

  10. Blue Simian says:

    I watched `Saw` and was very disapointed with it. It had no similarity to Seven, (which I liked) other than being poorly lit and having some inane pseudo-pyschological bullshit put in to make you think it was deeper than it was. Both main characters were assholes, and I personally couldn`t wait for either of them to die. Why did Cary Elwes character wait – how many hours?- before deciding to do something? I mean his wife and kid are in mortal danger, and doofus just sits there, arguing with doofus #2. If it were me, I would be figuring out a way to get out. Heres an idea: use your shirt to reach the gun, (like the other guy did to get the tape recorder) load it and SHOOT THE DAMN CHAIN!!! Do something! How many hours were they in that room? And he doesn`t even notice the time?! What was he thinking? “Gee, there was something I had to do around sixish, what was it?` The ending was interesting, I`ll give you that, but by the time it came around, I really didn`t give a shit anymore

  11. Blue Simian says:

    I watched `Saw` and was very disapointed with it. It had no similarity to Seven, (which I liked) other than being poorly lit and having some inane pseudo-pyschological bullshit put in to make you think it was deeper than it was. Both main characters were assholes, and I personally couldn`t wait for either of them to die. Why did Cary Elwes character wait – how many hours?- before deciding to do something? I mean his wife and kid are in mortal danger, and doofus just sits there, arguing with doofus #2. If it were me, I would be figuring out a way to get out. Heres an idea: use your shirt to reach the gun, (like the other guy did to get the tape recorder) load it and SHOOT THE DAMN CHAIN!!! Do something! How many hours were they in that room? And he doesn`t even notice the time?! What was he thinking? “Gee, there was something I had to do around sixish, what was it?` The ending was interesting, I`ll give you that, but by the time it came around, I really didn`t give a shit anymore

  12. Blue Simian says:

    I watched `Saw` and was very disapointed with it. It had no similarity to Seven, (which I liked) other than being poorly lit and having some inane pseudo-pyschological bullshit put in to make you think it was deeper than it was. Both main characters were assholes, and I personally couldn`t wait for either of them to die. Why did Cary Elwes character wait – how many hours?- before deciding to do something? I mean his wife and kid are in mortal danger, and doofus just sits there, arguing with doofus #2. If it were me, I would be figuring out a way to get out. Heres an idea: use your shirt to reach the gun, (like the other guy did to get the tape recorder) load it and SHOOT THE DAMN CHAIN!!! Do something! How many hours were they in that room? And he doesn`t even notice the time?! What was he thinking? “Gee, there was something I had to do around sixish, what was it?` The ending was interesting, I`ll give you that, but by the time it came around, I really didn`t give a shit anymore

  13. Peevegrider says:

    Dude, Saw was a fuckin badass movie….It was totally twisted from beginning to end, and so what if some little things were fucked up in it, every movie in history has those…..I`m deathly afraid of razors and getting cut, so you can imagine the razor wire part on me….whooooweee

  14. Anonymous says:

    “I poop on all the haters” has got to be one of the best things I`ve read in a long time.

  15. Thymine says:

    1) Lack of character development, on Danny glovers part. Uhmm, unless all cops are that attached to their partners when they die. 2) Cancer, i`m guess the guy was getting treated for it, afterall he was in the hospital and they were doing tests on him. If he was getting chemotherapy he would not be walking out and about. He would not have the strength to take out people, he would be throwing up and laying in bed! 3) Uhmm, would`ve been nice about how they were knocked out. where they just hit on the head really hard or drugged or what? 4)Uhmm, if you get low budget, and you can`t afford to make a bullet hole exit wound, then don`t use an angle that shows where the exit wound would be! Thats pretty much, it cancer patients would not be able to do these kidnapping, let alone for the 2 years or so the movie spans. Though I`ll say it was rad for the first 3/4th of the film! Nice ideas, but he had to leave it open for a sequel.

  16. SmartAlec says:

    Want to see it, but I don`t think it`s playing in theatres anymore.

  17. feesh says:

    hey this website rocks, hardcore! ah and saw was indeed kick-ass! although some parts were kinda bizarre, like the pig mask and freaky clown-on-a-trike, and Danny Glovers`s obsessiveness, overall the movie had me yelling (out of sheer terror) and scared the whole time cos of its twisted crazyness! =)

  18. Jordan says:

    The movie was good! It was a little too freaky for my taste but my adrenaline was sky high!

  19. Myala says:

    I didnt like it because of the acting. The characters. They didnt draw you in. It takes away from the movie if you hate every single of of the characters in the movie and you have no one to connect with. This has been the only movie where I didnt connect with anyone. Too many twists. There were so many that after awhile you started thinking hey I bet hes not really who you think he is. ANd you ended up being right. And I really didnt like the cinamatography. It made me sleepy and sometimes hurt my eyes. Im not going to give this movie more then it deserves because of its low budget.

  20. Mab says:

    The part that bothers me about this movie is the writing was amateurish it had a clear view from beginning to end what was going to happen and the “hints” that were left around were clearly visible. It was like watching Sixth Sense all over again, not 10 minutes into the movie I turned to my boyfriend and said “Oh it`s XYZ that`s going to happen” he says “no way” we watch the two hour movie and at the end he curses me for being psychic.

  21. supremegoddessofall says:

    Lee and I just watched this, and I must say, we ended up at the end of the movie like “holy shit, did that just happen?” seriously awesome. seriously, seriously awesome, although some of the acting felt really, really stiff. and cary elwes isn`t hot anymore. a shame.

  22. patrick says:

    i totally bought what saw was selling. sucked me in from beggining to end. althoug im a little dissapointed. who the killer/kidnapper was but thats just because every one else had more in depth subplots. but hey what do i know i don`t make movies i just watch them.

  23. Kara says:

    I am a HUGE horror movie buff. Over the years there has been some horrible scary (if that`s what you wanna call them) Movies…I have been dissappointed time and time again. SAW absolutely thrilled me, I thought…finally someone knows how to freak out some of the more intellectual people,ya know?Some more really good ones to check out if you don`t wanna be dissappointed are: -The Ring -The Ring 2 (March 25th) -Saw….Of Course -The Grudge -The Excorcist (1st one) -Creep I could go on for a while with the classics..but ya gotta find out what scares you the most! ME..Blood,gore,some sexuality,and deffinately..psychological factors!! Thanks

  24. ellis says:

    a little late but here`s my 2 cents. the acting sucked. cary couldn`t figure out if he was british or american and then he over-acted half the movie. especially when he said, “you stay here, i`ll get help.” everyone in the theatre laughed. it is a phenomanal story and i loved all of THAT … but the acting was horrendous and that made the whole experience a waste of my time.

  25. tansi11 says:

    re: the saw. what happened at the end. would someone please tell me? thank you.

  26. allie ruff says:

    I have seen saw and it was the greatest thriller I`ve seen in a while. I loved it and I`m going to buy it soon so my boyfriend (who loves movies) can see it. I really didn`t expect the ending. It was a great movie overall.

  27. ted says:

    Lame when he did not use his shirt to get the cell phone at the end. You know that when they were writing the script they did not like this weakness. For all the twists and thinking about plot, they couldn`t figure out all they had to do was make the room a little bigger and/or put the cell phone a little farther away. That wrecked the movie for me. Maybe they could get George Lucas to go in a fix that up.

  28. Saz says:

    Ok so i my bf went 2 c SAW at the cinema then rented it out and i watched it with him. I aint into these types of films but ive gotta admit….this film was really good!! I love the ending about how the guy likes front row seats to his adventures….was a good ending and, like you, without the last 2mins it would still have been brilliant. Saz -x-

  29. Tory says:

    This weekend, I renewed my commitment to cultural literacy and read “Watchmen.” A whole post is due on it. But what cannot wait is the realization that Saw cold stole the whole “you`re shackled, here`s a hacksaw, it`s not for cutting the shackles” concept from all of three frames of “Watchmen.” Maybe they`re unrelated. Maybe “Watchmen” wasn`t the first. It still nearly made me fall off the couch. Nostalgia!

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