SAW. 2004

Director: James Wan

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Two men chained in an underground room could possibly escape if one of them would saw off his own leg. From this thin but grizzly premise & with its finite set, a grand guinol is presented as from a stage.

There were long stretches at the beginning of the film when I was bored & almost gave up on it because of bad acting. A largely static one-room set required good acting if this was to work particularly well, & it wasn't looking like it was working.

But as the story spread out with more locations & more characters it finally got my attention. By the "surprise" ending it seemed a pretty decent if unpleasant horror-thriller, despite that the scenery-chewing dudes trapped in the bathroom continued to undermine both the suspense & the gross-out bits not merely because they overacted their roles but because they overacted them so badly.

It is finally assessible as poker-faced kitsch that might've been dreamed up by a couple smarter-than-average picked-on goth tweens hoping to gross out their parents, a healthier way to act out their loserly frustrations than to go Columbine on everyone.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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