Directed by James Wan
Written by Leigh Whannel
Story by James Wan & Leigh Whannel
Produced by Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules & Mark Burg
Cinematography by David A. Armstrong
Music by Charlie Clouser
Cast: Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Michael Emerson, Ken Leung, Tobin Bell & Leigh Whannel
2004/100 mins./Color/DTS ES
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/US/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Lions Gate DVD
Two complete strangers awaken in a dirty and very disgusting large bathroom in the middle of nowhere. Both are chained by the ankles and have no ideas why they are there. There's a dead man who has apparently blown his own brains out in the middle of the room with a gun and a audio tape player in his hands. Adam (screenwriter Leigh Whannell) is a young and arrogant man who doesn't say much apart from swearing while Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Carl Elwes), the other guy, handles the situation much better and hope to find out why and how he got there.
Soon, they start finding some clues that might help them discover the mystery behind their capture. After listening to the microcassettes they both had in their pocket they know that they each have a mission. Adam's is to get out of there and enjoy life for what it really is and for the Dr. Lawrence is to kill Adam before the clock strikes 6; otherwise, Lawrence, his wife and kid will die. Dr. Lawrence remembers stories about a serial killer named Jigsaw, well technicaly he never killed someone but forced his victims to do so by putting them in horrific game of survival hoping to teach them the value of life. From there the movie really starts building up and become one of the best genre film in years, mixing the style of David Fincher's classic SE7EN and Italian giallos from the 1970s.
Through flashbacks we see what happened to some of Jigsaw's previous victims as Detective Tapp (Danny Glover) investigate the wild, sick and crazy ways they died. The movie had me on the edge of my seat all the way 'till the end where the ending completely blew me away. Sure it was a little far stretched but well executed and it actually worked.
SAW cuts his way into DVD thanks to Lions Gate. Unfortunately, like most of their recent releases, this theatrical version was actually cut by 8 secondes for an R-rating. When will they learn that horror fans want their movies uncut, at least on DVD and VHS if not during their theatrical run. Anyway, it is still a must own for fans of the movie. The image is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is very nice with rich colors saturation and deep blacks but there's some grain certainly due to the budget of the movie. Don't worry, its nothing alarming and actually gives the film a creepy atmosphere. We get a kick ass DTS ES 6.1 and 5.1 Dolby Digital EX audi tracks. Both tracks are loud, crisp, clear and make amazing use of the directional capabilities of the Surround system. There's optional English and Spanish subtitles available... unfortunately there's no French track to be found. There's also an ok commentary track with director James Wan and writer/actor Leigh Whannel having lots of fun recollecting the events on the making of their great little movie shot only in 18 days.
Where Lions Gate blew it is in the special features deparment. This movie deserved a better treatment extra wise. I guess we can expect a special edition when SAW 2 HACKSAW will be release later this year. 'Sawed Off' is a very poor two minutes and a half mini featurette consisting mainly of scenes from the movie. There's three trailers and two tv spots available. Also there's a very poor music video by Fear Factory for the film presented in either a rated or unrated version along with a five minutes featurette on the making of the clips... who cares?! Finally we get a small posters gallery and nothing else. There is no booklet or inlay card. The movie is separated in 20 chapters, features animated menus, comes in a transparent keep case which is covered by a transparent plastic slip which makes a very cool packaging. The cover only has the title so we can see the actual disc which looks like a circular saw, very neat!
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2005. ©
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