Saw, American movie (2004)

And…..we’re off! This is the first part of The Countdown to Halloween special feature,  where I review a classic horrorfilm of a franchise that has at least had 5 or more parts. The Saw movie franchise has a terrifying reputation, and admittedly it deserves this. Decribed by many as torture porn, the films feature increasingly brutal and horrifying ways where people get maimed and killed. I can’t really argue with that, but more on that later. But what a lot of people don’t know, or might even have forgotten, is that the first Saw film did not really focus on this. It certainly contained horror elements, but it was more of a thriller along the lines of movies such as Silence of the Lambs and Seven. And even more important is that it featured a very good script, with some nailbiting sequences.

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Erm……yeah you don’t have to look so surprised. This movie is called Saw. 

Just imagine the scene: the lights turn on and reveal a very filthy room where two men are chained by their ankles to the wall. In between them lies the corpse of a man who seems to have committed suicide by blowing his brains out. Who put them there, and more importantly: why? It soon becomes clear that the pair have become the victims of the sadistic Jigsaw serial killer. Although technically he can’t really be called a killer, as all of the people he kidnapped eventually killed themselves. Every single person that has been captured by him, gets put into a situation where they have to complete certain things in order to save themselves. But these are no ordinary things, and often involve really stomache churning traps or tasks they have to perform in order to escape. The men in the room have to start working together if they have any chance of getting out of the room alive. But trust is hard to come by, and there seems to be more of a connection between the two than either of them realise. With time running out, will the two of them become the next victim of Jigsaw, or will they be able to solve the puzzle……?

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This takes shutting someone up to the next level. 

One of the hardest things to realise in any movie is a good ending. I have seen plenty of films that got ruined by a horrible finale that truly made the entire movie a waste of time. Saw however, has a twist at the end that you will never see coming. I remember my jaw dropping to the floor the first time I had seen that ending. Yes, it really was that good, and it still ranks as one of the best endings that I have ever seen for a movie. And trust me when I say that I have seen quite a number of films. As mentioned this first Saw movie really is more of a thriller and doesn’t feature the gore that the franchise became so infamous for in later installments. There are certainly a couple of bloody scenes, and this is where the horror elements come in, but it never gets especially horrific. That is why this film can be enjoyed by people who like thrillers, but don’t like being grossed out by a lot of ketchup that splatters everywhere.

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Sometimes you just want to lay down and die. 

The actors in this film give decent enough performances though none of them are Oscar worthy. But they are good enough, and that is what counts. Veteran actor Danny Glover, who most people will know from the Lethal Weapon series, plays the part of a cop that has become obsessed by finding Jigsaw. So obsessed in fact that he pretty much loses all sense of everyone around him, and almost doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. Actor Tobin Bell plays Jigsaw, and that role could not have been cast any more perfectly. His natural creepy charisma, together with his chilling voice, give life to a terrifying but equally fascinating movie villain. Though his part in this first movie is admittedly minimal, a fact that would change in the sequels.

The Saw franchise

As with most horrormovies sequels are hard to pull off, especially if the first one was such a strong movie. It also usually involves turning the things that made the original such a great watch, into something more bloody and gory. And never was this any more true than with Saw. The first sequel kept things relatively mild, but with part 3 things really went downhill…..fast. After the first part, Saw spawned 6 sequels with the last installment dating back to 2010. One of the strongest points of these movies is that the twists at the end were still usually very cool. Except for the last part which was really a horrible film, and had an ending that you could see coming from a mile away. But I won’t lie to you, the sequels are downright nasty. They feature seriously gory scenes, and I can understand that most people get turned off by them. For me the entire franchise is a bit of a guilty pleasure. I liked the traps that got more eleborate with every sequel made, and I still enjoyed most of the scripts for the films.

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This image sums up the feelings most people have for the sequels. 

 

This year Saw returns with part 8, and it will be interesting to see in what direction the franchise will go. I personally hope it returns to the thriller aspect of the original and will feature less gore. The first trailer, which I have included down below, looks promising enough, and I guess we just have to wait and see if this will turn the series back on the right track.

 

The verdict

The first Saw movie is just simply put, a classic in the horrorgenre. Every fan of horror or really good thrillers should see this film at least once in his or her life. While it certainly won’t please everyone, I do think that most people will enjoy the film, and don’t get me started again on that twist at the end. So, I guess that’s it for part 1 of this special feature. The next movie in this 5 part series will be the original Friday the 13th film. And now it’s over to you! Have you seen the first Saw movie? What did you think of the franchise in general? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading, and see you next time!

I give Saw a 9 out of 10 score.

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91 thoughts on “Saw, American movie (2004)”

  1. I have most def not watched this xD also i didnt know saw and jigsaw was the same thing! I was thinking of watching the new one bc its new but based on your thoughts i feel like i should at least watch the first one. Im not a huge fan of super gorey stuff bc i want to be scared when i watch a scary movie. And thriller sounds more scary than gorey

    Cant wait for the rest of the countdown!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha, thank you for your comment and enthusiasm, appreciate it 😊 You can safely watch part 1, it’s not super gory at all, there are a few (very short) bloody scenes, but that is about it. Even part 2 is still not going overboard, but part 3 is where things spiral out of control.
      I have no idea what is in store for is in this new movie, but from the look of the trailer, it might head back into thriller territory which is a good thing 😊 Hope you will enjoy the first part😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I can truly understand that. As mentioned Saw really went completely in over the top territority with part 3 and beyond, but I promise you that the first part really can’t be compared to what the franchise evolved into. Thanks for your comment and ofcourse am glad you enjoyed the look : always appreciate it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a hell of a review. I am very looking forwatd to other review series as I am not such a big horror expert and it’s very interesting to resd anyway. Good job, really! You should write more things like that.

    As for the franchise – the first film was really amazing. I just love it. And like you pointed out, it wasn’t a horror in first place. Then…they just wanted to earn some cash, I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, thank you very much for these incredibly kind words of praise. They mean a lot 😊 Well, I plan to continue this series in pretty much the same format as this one, so I hope you will enjoy the next few posts as well.
      Yeah….I think that is pretty much what it was. The original was just a very string movie, with a great script, a few horrorscenes, but nothing really gruesome. But the sequels….at times just went way too far. But as mentioned, it is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine this one 😊 Thanks again for your comment! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😊 exactly! Finally, we don’t have time to watch everything, and when I have long franchise like that I prefer to watch 1-2 movies (only if it is not some franchise I really love!) and then spend time on something else…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have gone back and forth over whether I wanted to watch this so many times, but I think you’ve just convinced me Michel. I love watching and reading horror this time of year, and while I think the rest of the franchise might be a little too much even for me, this first movie definitely sounds like my cup of tea. Thank you for this awesome and honest review!😊

    1. It’s words like these that really put a smile on my face. It’s really amazing to me that I cam convince people to watch a movie. I can’t think of any higher praise. So really, thank you for that 😊
      As for the movie, yes, it is really a great thriller, and a good film, very much unlike the sequels which are an acquired taste can’t put it any other way 😊 Hope you will enjoy it, and if you do manage to see it, would love to hear your thoughts for it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Never seen this,not sure I ever wanted to. But if it isn’t torture porn, like the sequels, I “might” think about possibly giving it a chance.

    How does SAW compare to say Cube in terms of violence and hopeless despair?

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    1. You are defintely safe than. The first part really isn’t gruesome, and besides a few very short bloody scenes (but not any more violent or horrifying than Cube to answer your question), this one is a real solid thriller with just a couple of great twists and thriller scenes. The second part isn’t too bad either, but part 3 is where the real torture porn starts and where things go into incredibly violent territory. If you do eventually watch this one, I would love to hear your thoughts for it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol, fair enough 😊 And I truly understand that as well. The original Saw certainly own;t on that level: yes there are some bloody scenes, no denying that, but no over the top or really insane violence. I hope you will enjoy it 😊

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  5. This first movie is pretty good, though I think I don’t like it because it actually is kind of creepy and shudder worthy (I think I prefer my horror more over the top and laughable to be honest). Still, the story and concept work really well here. It really didn’t need a thousand sequels each one trying to be more bloody though.

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    1. Haha, yeah it is certainly both creepy and shudder worthy. You won’t get any argument from me for that. But yeah it’s still a great film. The sequels are for me a guilty pleasure as mentioned, but I can also understand how a lot of people don’t like them and get turned off by them. I hope the new one will go bsck to what made the original great, and from the look of the trailer it might just to that.
      Well, if you like your horror over the top and laughable the next part for this series (friday the 13th), should be right up your alley 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome write up! I absolutely adore the first two Saw films but definitely agree that they just turned into shock-horror, I think the point where it ‘jumped the shark’ was with that guy drowning in pig fat in Saw III. The the series is my guilty pleasure too, the devices are so crazy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so much, appreciate it 😊😊 But yeah you are so right, that scene was certainly gross…seriously you have to have a really sick mind to come up with things like that. (Although the trap in this film with the guy getting all his bones turned in incredibly gruesome directions is also pretty sick lol).
      But yeah, the devised are the things (however twisted that sounds) the fun things for me in the films 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh yeah that one is one of the few that made me queasy! The other one that always gets me is in the second film when that girl puts her hands through the blade trap to try to get to the antidote and she can’t get back out!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, yeah I remember that scene…that was seriously terrible and disturbing. But I guess that is also what they want to achieve with these movies ( except with the first one, which was still a very good thriller); time to get queasy again with the new one….which is right around the corner at the end of the month 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. After going back and watching them all back to back myself a while back I actually ended up liking this one the least. I liked them better when they just became all about what crazy device they could come up with next and it all became so implausible and over the top that it was just funny. Meanwhile the original tried so hard to be serious competition for the likes of Seven and just wasn’t on that level. And that twist at the end…it was surprising, but when you stop and think about it it didn’t really make sense.

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    1. Hmm, yeah true I guess. It might not have made a lot of sense when you start and analyse it, but for me it was still a great and fun twist that I really enjoyed. The fun things about movies for me in general are how everyone experiences a film differently. Some people might enjoy something that others hate. Which is why I love blogging and discussing things with people. I agree with the devices being the best things in the sequels. The traps at times were so inventive (and at the same time twisted and sick lol😂😂). Thanks for your comment! 😀

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  8. Thank you for reminding me about this great thriller! Saw was one of the first horror movies I ever watched.

    I was 14, and watched it with a group of old friends after band practice one Friday night. I have yet to watch it a second time… Which, shocking as that is, is truly great because get this, I don’t remember the plot twist!
    Now i want to watch it again.

    One of your best reviews I’ve read. Your command of English, despite it being your second language, is truly impressive. Good work!

    Like

    1. Man, it’s comments like these that really make my day. Thanks so much for this, and the really kind words, that is so awesome to read.
      Well, it’s very cool that you don’t remember the twist (although maybe when you start the rewatch it might eventually just pop up again). But I completely agree: it really is a great film, and a terrific thriller. I hope you will enjoy it as much as the first time. Thanks again for your comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, excessive is pretty much an understatement 😂 But true, they really went completely crazy with them, and at times seriously going to far. The first one though is still absolutely amazing 😀

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    1. Well, there is always a first time 😀 I think you will get a kick out of this one, especially knowing your taste in anime. Thanks for the kind words, appreciate it! Oh and off topic: keep an eye on this blog on the 8th of October…..😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, no if you are not into over the top gore than I really think you are not missing out on much 😊 But I can also understand it completely. The first saw was a very clever thriller with a few horrorelements, but never going over the top, the sequel also did not really feature much gore, but after that things got out of control. The original for me will always be the best 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The original was one that I saw in the cinema during one of my rare trips, which added to it for me I think. No though, OTT gore doesn’t really do it for me in horror. There are some that I make exceptions for, like Nightmare on Elm Street, but I tend to prefer something either clever or creepy.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. That is a loooonngg review! And I agree with you on almost everything. For me the 1st Saw movie was the best and after that especially after part 3 I just wasn’t interested anymore. The 4th one was the last one I saw (no pun intended :p )

    To think that it only took them 18 days to film the entire movie is insane. I mean real kudos considering the movie was very well received. Even with a low budget some people can create miracles!

    Maybe one day I will watch the other Saw movies…but the older I’m getting the less I’m into the gore and how badly can we torture people genre, haha.

    Great review!

    Like

    1. Thank you very much, appreciate the kind words 😊
      Yeah the first film is, and always will be the best one. I’m kind of hoping this new one will go back to the roots of the original, in that it focusses more on the thriller aspects than the gore. The trailer looks quite promising.
      I would say if you are not into the gore, skip the films. They are truly gross at times, I won’t lie about that. For me the inventive traps were the things that made it fun (and I know how sick that sounds lol😂😂). Thanks again for your comment!

      Like

  10. Great review! I was blown away by the first movie and the way it makes the viewer question how far they would go to survive. This also shows that bigger doesn’t always mean better. A small intimate movie that can be terrifying. 100% agree with you about the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much: always appreciate kind words such as these.
      True enough: I have seen big budget films that I truly disliked, and where I wondered where all the money went. Small films can sometimes really surprise, such as this one, or the first Paranormal Activity and Blair With Project 😊 The ending for this one though….so cool! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed the first saw movie, and even liked two and three though I recall a lot of folks back in the day bashing the second one and then saying the third one took it back to its roots. I think they were being a bit literal…After that, I got bored with the franchise. The first film was clever, and the second and third films felt they were still pretty clever. After that it just felt like it was about gore, and whilst I am not squeamish I find gore for the sake of gore to be lazy. I know some folks will enjoy it the same way I might enjoy an action movie with a shedload of explosions for the sake of it, but gore doesn’t do anything for me. I think I saw all seven. The outcome of the last one I saw, well I spotted that one hobbling my way a mile off. Great post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand that, and I really know that a lot of people hate the films (and I can understand why). For me the fun (as sick as that sounds lol), was in the clever traps, but there wasn’t a single sequel that for me came even close to that first film. It’s really strange that they took the franchise into something that it really wasn’t in the beginning. I hope that this new film that comes out in a while will take it back to the things that made the original so mich fun. But I really don’t know if that will be the case. Thank you for your great comment and the kind words 😊

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  12. I love Saw 😀 I remember watching the first Saw, with my father when I was 12 (age ratings were only a suggestion to my parents and for cotton wool children). Glob, that feels like a lifetime ago. I think this film is where my love of gore began.
    However, I thought as the films went on, they won’t as good. The twists got better and more mind-blowing, but the films themselves seem to decrease in quality, as they go on.
    But, I still love the gore in them. hehe 🙂

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    1. Lol, age ratings were for cotton wool children, that really cracked me up 😂😂
      Well the first one doesn’t really feature much gore at all, but let’s not get started on all the gore after part 2 😂
      I agree, the twists were very strong at times (and a real hallmark for the series itself), but the thing I really enjoyed were the many twisted (and quite disturbing) traps that were featured in this one 😀😀 Let us hope the new one that is coming out in a month will bring us the best of both worlds 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, can totally see that. I do too by the way. Even though the others are a guilty pleasure of mine as mentioned, the first one is simply put an amazing film, and the best in the series. Jigsaw at least looks like it is going back to it’s roots. (hopefully).

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I haven’t seen much of Saw yet, to be honest. I know about how the first one goes, though.

    To be honest, I pressed play for the trailer to part 8 that you linked in your post, but I stopped literally one second in. Hoo boy.

    Thanks for the insightful review. I hope the Saw franchise steers away from its current gory form.

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    1. Haha, lol, liked that comment about how you quite after 1 second of the trailer playing (it gets better after that, trust me 😊). Seriously though, the Saw franchise certainly isn’t for everyone, esoecially the gory sequels. The first one though is just a very good thriller/horror movie, and I am honestly hoping that the franchise returns to that format, and does not head into the gory territory again that we have seen so many times now.
      Thanks for your comment as always! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much,always appreciate the kind words. Yeah, because of the sequels a lot of people tend to forget (or not even know) that the original movie is just a very decent thriller. I really hope the new movie will walk down that path again, and not goes into torture porn territory again.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You certainly do a good job of promoting the first movie! lol It makes me want to watch it, but I’m still very much on the fence. I definitely love good, creepy thrillers, but even without the gore, I think I still worry it will be enough to thoroughly disturb me, lol

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My wife and I tried watching the entire series back to back and it got to a point where we just couldn’t take any more. I love the over arching story of Jigsaw and part 1 is a fantastic movie but it’s hard to get through 8+ hours of ‘torture porn’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True enough. The first part was terrific, the second was still very good as well, but by part 3 it went into torture porn territory and just got messy. Fun in some ways, but I prefer the original much more instead of the sequels 😊

      Like

    1. I can really understand that. I like the first film the most myself as well. The second was still pretty okay, but after thing that came after that is certainly an acquired taste, and not for everyone. Thanks for your comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  16. “Hello Michel..I want to play a game”.. ( actually I would rather say..)..

    ..It’s great to come back to reading your posts once again. Despite having seen and felt enough torture to slightly leave me traumatised, I agree that the blood and gore is somewhat of a lighter ‘ketchup’ consistency in this movie.

    It plays out in a unique, tongue biting twist of emotions and scares which I really admired about the very first movie and the subtle funny but frightening conversation between Dr. Gordon and Adam- thinking his kidneys have been sold on ebay! You would almost think Jigsaw had a purpose. It felt like the ‘right’ amount of fear which I feel did tie up nicely in the second aswell.

    With Jigsaw you’re never his victim in a game..you are the a part of it and I very much enjoyed being one with this wonferful review.

    Game Over

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so nice to see a comment from you again on one of my reviews. It is an honor (an not a game that is for sure lol).
      As for this one: yes the ketchup has certainly been left out of it for the most part, which is what I think, the best part of it. Even though the sequels are guilty pleasures of mine, I will always remain a fan of this first part.
      And I don’t think the game is over just yet….oh no, it just started: que ominous music 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. On that ominous music..I quite like the soundtrack to the Saw movies..and thank you..you have been a wonderful friend and support not just on here so thank you with my all. I have found it difficult to back track to the earlier posts as I am still very ill but i shall do my very best to keep up as of late.

        (P.s I had e-mailed you awhile ago if you had received it otherwise it is fine).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If there is one thing I really hate: it is the new lay out for Gmail. I have missed seeing quite a few e-mails because of this, especially since I started my blog. I’m so sorry, but I did not see the email sooner. I promise to respond to it this week. I completely overlooked it.
        I think it is wonderful that you are back, and please no worries with keeping up to date. Just knowing you are back, really makes me smile, so that is truly enough 😊
        As for the saw music: could not agree with you more: especially the theme song is really cool 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh God, this franchise… I could never watch it xD But I’m actually surprised the first movie is way less gory and repulsive than its sequels. Hmm, interesting. I thought they were all pretty terrible in that department.
    I’m not sure if I know what the great plot twist at the end is… I’ll have to research it. But I know someone once tried to explain to me what these movies were about and about a minute later, I was already asking them to stop because it was making my stomach turn xD
    Glad it works for you, though, and I very much enjoyed reading your review, as always 🙂 (Big shout out to epic captions!! hahaha)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, well…I can definitely understand that. These films certainly are not the easiest to watch, and at times even I wondered who comes up with stuff like this. The first film though really is terrific, and simply put a very well put together classic with a terrific twist. If you like movies such as Seven or Dilence of the Lambs, you will likely love this one. If you don’t though, I would not recommend watching this one either lol.
      Glad you liked the captions. They are always difficult to do, and of course thank you for another great comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooh I never watched Seven or Silence of the Lambs… I saw ONE clip of Anthony Hopkins doing that awful slurping sound and closed my laptop, screaming “NOPE” 😂😂😂
        So yeah, skipping all of them until further notice hahaha
        Really? They sound super natural and like you came up with them effortlessly. Great job! ^^

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, so true 😀 The first one will always be the best one, but the others are just (very) guilty pleasures, and still a lot of fun too. It will be interesting to see what part 8 is going to bring us 😊

      Like

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