Let the games begin
SAW (29 October 2004)
Dir. James Wan | Story by James Wan and Leigh Whannell
Unashamed fan of Saw right here! Particularly of this first movie, which was so revolutionary and one-of-a-kind when it first came out back in 2004. Now, of course, the franchise is familiar and controversial in its own right. But as for the situation 14 years ago, James Wan and Leigh Whannell (who I recently found out is also the director of my favorite movie of 2018, Upgrade) were simply delivering audiences a low-budget horror film (Wan’s directorial debut, in fact) as a relatively unknown filmmaking duo. They had no idea the franchise this tense, shocking first film would spawn in the years to come. The original Saw movie had a very warm reception at its Sundance premiere and has since gained cult following. Reviews from critics were less enthusiastic (49% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 46 on Metacritic). For me personally, I enjoy everything about this first foray into the cruel world of John Kramer and find these first two victims, confused and laid bare on a dirty bathroom floor, the most interesting characters in the franchise. The one downside to the movie, which I literally bring up during every re-watch, is Danny Glover’s cringe-worthy performance. He’s a great actor, don’t get me wrong, but man is this particular persona hard to watch.