Directed By: James Wan
Release Date: October 29, 2004
Starring: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Tobin Bell, Danny Glover
Two men - Cary Elwes' Dr. Lawrence Gordon and Leigh Whannell's Adam - wake up chained to opposite sides of a grimy bathroom with no memory of how they got there, only to discover that they're now part of a game designed by the mysterious Jigsaw Killer, a psychopath under the belief that he's teaching his victims to appreciate their lives by putting them in life-or-death scenarios. Under the gun of a ticking clock, the goals they are tasked with are simple: Adam's aim is merely to find a way to escape, while Dr. Gordon's is to kill Adam before time runs out or let his kidnapped wife and daughter die if he fails to do so.
Such is the simple premise for James Wan's little horror film Saw, and I don't think anyone could've anticipated the pop culture phenomenon it went on to become when it was released back in 2004. Aside from spawning six sequels - with a seventh on the way next year, bringing the series back to the big screen for the first time since 2010 - it gifted horror fans with a new genre icon on par with Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger in Jigsaw, the series' devious mastermind.
I have to admit off the bat that I have somewhat of a soft spot for the Saw franchise. I didn't see the original film until several months before the release of Saw III in 2006, but once I did, I immediately consumed Saw II in order to prep myself for III. After that, it became a yearly tradition among my friends and I to binge the entire series in anticipation of the next sequel. In many ways, the Saw franchise, with its tightly-knit narrative continuity and annual releases, was our modern day Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street series; that is, a yearly horror event to look forward to to see what would happen next with Jigsaw and all those caught up in his grand design.
Though the series only became increasingly ridiculous the longer it went on, particularly in terms of the over-the-top traps most people undoubtedly associate with the franchise, I can't say I wasn't entertained for most of it. That said, my interest in the series still rests more with the earlier films, which often embraced the power of psychological tension more than the violence inherent in elaborate traps, a fact no better demonstrated than right here in the original installment.
Hello, everyone. Just wanted to update you all on the lack of actual updates. I'm currently on hiatus until Tuesday, October 18th. Posting will resume the next day, so mark your calendars. I haven't gone anywhere! (Just taking some much-needed vacation time for myself.)
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