Day Eleven of Thirteen Spooky Movie Reviews: “Saw”


The puppet commonly used in the “Saw” series. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Caleb Webb, Sports Editor

The first movie to what could be considered an eight movie series, “Saw” (2004) was the start of an era. Directed by James Wan, who is also known for the creation of “Insidious” (2010), “Insidious: Chapter 2” (2013) and “The Conjuring” (2013), the 2004 release of “Saw” had only a budget of $1.2 million but ended up grossing almost 100x that in the box office at $103.9 million.

A uniqueness which I found compelling when watching this film is that it seemingly has no main character, rather the story is about the game itself rather than it’s participants. Although it falls into the horror and thriller genre, it gives off the essence of a psychotic murder mystery, where the viewer is left in disarray for a majority of the movie until the pieces of information align creating a still blurred picture.

Right away in the beginning of the film the viewer is thrown into the suspense. A man, later found to be photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell), mysteriously wakes up in a dirty bathtub only God knows where. When a light flips on, moviegoers see a second man in the opposite corner of the room, both of them chained to pipes. This is where the majority of the film is focused around, and also where their “game” begins, one they were forcefully thrown into by the curator of it all. A curator who is not identified throughout the entirety of the first film.

Each of his players arenas are thought out to perfection, any possible way to curve his rules has been baby-proofed. There is something intriguing (yet sickening) about the work that serial killers do, especially ones who take years to catch or are never caught.

It is no different for Jigsaw, the serial killer in this movie. There is a type of artistic perfection at work when he plans out his games. If a person does end up actually surpassing the challenges set before them, they really are changed.

His games are planned out to the extent that if he ever were to get caught, he could not be charged with murder. Rather, he would find a way for his players to kill themselves throughout the course. Due to him giving them a chance of escape, no matter if it’s a 1% chance, they still have a chance to survive.

I hate to say it, but Jigsaw has a really powerful meaning behind his madness. The repetitive theme behind the film is to “be grateful for the life you have.” And when it comes to those who actually make it out alive from the game, those characters are more grateful and no longer take things for granted.

This is personally one of my favorite introduction films of all time–the start of an amazing series of horror films. I appreciate that there isn’t an impulse amount of information thrown at the viewer right away, rather we get to discover it throughout the entirety of the series leaving us questioning whether we are thankful for the life we were given.

Rightfully deserved 11/10 Greenfields, for one of the greatest horror movies of all time.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Email Caleb Webb at [email protected] .