SAW. 2004. DIRECTED BY JAMES WAN. STARRING CARY ELWES, LEIGH WHANNELL, TOBIN BELL, DANNY GLOVER AND KEN LEUNG. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.
I wasn’t crazy about this film. Yes, yes, I know it’s one of the biggest horror movie franchises to come out of the ‘Noughties. Yes, and that it spawned a load of gory, blood-and-gutsy copycat films as well. I just don’t ‘dig’ the whole concept of the film, and if you’ll all hold off on loading up your shotguns for a minute, I’ll tell you why…
What is the concept, anyway? Most people probably know by now, but for the benefit of those who don’t, it’s as follows. A couple of guys, strangers to each other as far as we know, wake up in a dump of an old toilet to find themselves chained to the pipes. On the floor between them is a corpse lying in a pool of blood, clutching a revolver and a tape recorder in his cold dead hands.
Long story short, one of the guys, Adam, a photographer, learns that if he doesn’t find some way to escape the bathroom, then the bathroom will be his tomb. The other guy, Lawrence, a fancy doctor, learns that if he doesn’t kill the other guy, then his wife and daughter will be killed instead.
And how are the two lads supposed to free themselves in order to carry out these gruesome tasks, by the way? Why, they’re meant to saw through their feet, of course, with the thoughtfully-provided, titular ‘saws.’ So then it basically just comes down to how much each of the men want, or need, as in the case of the doctor whose family is at risk, to live…
Yes, I’m sure it’s a clever, fancy-pants concept and all that, but it’s just one big long game at the end of the day, isn’t it? Everyone in the film is engaged in playing one big long stupid pointless game of someone else’s devising.
Someone, I might add, who clearly has way too much time on his/her hands and, to be perfectly honest, by the time we see any actual ‘sawing,’ I was so bored I didn’t really care about how the two lead characters ended up. Or any of the rest of them, for that matter.
I liked Lawrence only because he’s played by the cute-as-a-button Cary THE PRINCESS BRIDE Elwes. I liked Detective Sing because he’s played by Ken Leung who turns up three years later in my favourite TV show of all time, THE SOPRANOS, in which he played a mental patient banged up alongside Uncle Junior. These two actors, Elwes and Leung, are pretty much the only good things about the film for me.
And, you know what? Not to give away the ending or anything, but you’d think a man dying of cancer would have a million better things to do with his time than… Well, okay, I won’t go there. But seriously, what a snooze-fest. And to think it has about eight sequels! The mind boggles…
I don’t much care for computer games, or jigsaws (snigger), so maybe that’s why I don’t like this film. Like I said, it’s one big long pointless game. I know that many people will disagree with me and that’s fine. But please don’t kill me for what I said. I have a family…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at: