NOTE: In honour of Halloween, We're taking a break from the DPP list.
This week, reviewers were given a free choice of any horror movie.
Alternate Titles: N/A
DPP Status: Passed Uncut, 2005
DVD: R2 Uncut
I chose this movie for a review due to it being one of my favourite horrors. I'll admit I rushed my choice and forgot about 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'House of 1000 corpses' but hey ho, SAW it is.
I remember watching this movie in the cinema and feeling something I barely do watching anything - a lovely big shiver run down my spine when the end twist was revealed. It was so utterly wonderful because I never even begun to imagine the twist, it was so completely out of the blue, it floored me. I love that. Off the top of my head, the only other movie I remember getting that same rush about was at the end of 'The Usual Suspects' when Keyser Soze is revealed. I won't spoil the twist in either movies, in the vain hope that someone other than Will actually reads these reviews and hasn't seen either of these movies. Its rare I don't get the twist or see things coming a mile off, so to have that happen in such a big way was wonderful!
So why do I love SAW? Well admittedly I am a bit of a gore hound and enjoy things being taken to new lengths which I feel SAW pretty well for a mainstream horror movie (so many are 15 certs these days.. it kind of begs the question, why bother?). Apart from the obvious gore, this movie is clever, well thought out and is about so much more than the bloodshed. Without giving away too much about the movie, it reminded me a lot of Se7en (which I also love) but with a slightly more horrific edge. I suppose where Se7en concentrated more on the psychological effects of murders, SAW leans more towards the ick factor.
The basic premis of SAW is our murderer who is out to teach our victims life lessons, to make them appreciate the lives they have rather than take it for granted. He does this by setting up various 'traps' which our victims have to engineer their way out of. Escape usually means maiming, serious injury or doing something very nasty. Failure to escape means a horrid death. The hope is that if they manage to live, they will then not take their lives for granted. It makes them think about how much they appreciate their lives.
One trap includes a self harming drug addict who has a reverse-springed bear trapped anchored to her head and wired into her jaws with a timer attached to the back. She comes to in a chair with this contraption fixed and while she is trying to comprehend whats going on (and failing miserably) the TV to her side flicks into life and there's a scary puppet (Billy) used by our killer to explain. This is a part I love in every 'game', the killer in a disguised freakish voice telling our victim what the trap is, what is expected of them and what will happen if they don't 'win' the game. In this case it tells her that she is throwing her life away and taking for granted what she has, he wants to see just how much she want to live. She has a set time period to escape from the trap by digging the key to her trap out of the body lying in the corner of the room. If she doesn't manage it, the trap will spring open breaking her jaws and ripping her lower jaw completely off. F*** that she thinks and springs out of her seat, which starts the timer ticking. She runs over to the body (which she soon realizes is actually alive but is paralyzed by a drug overdose) and she must decide whether to dig into this poor guys intestines to find the key and save herself. I won't tell you whether she did or didn't but needless to say, its messy.
There are other wonderful traps including a razor wire pit , a drill chair, flammable fluid and a darkened room with only a candle to use as light. On top of these, we also have the bathroom setting with our main 2 kidnapped victims story unfolding, which also involves the infamous leg sawing scene.
I don't want to go into any more detail about the traps or the twist or even who the killer is or why, but needless to say its all wonderful, brilliantly thought out and doesn't disappoint anywhere. I LOVE this movie and have watched it over and over again, many many times. Even the theme music makes me tingle! I have sat through several poor sequels so much did I enjoy the first one, but to be honest, even though I know they weren't great, I still enjoy them to a degree as I love the idea so much.
If you haven't seen it, you simply MUST!!!
As this is a non-cannon review, it will not carry a "Reader Review" Page, you may add your own reviews in the comments section.