So I seen Saw. The front pocket on my shirt loaded with wasabis and a big Arizona. I was pumped for some shock and awe. I hoped this movie would have the potential to leave some scars. Good bad memories that make me shiver everytime I think of them. The hook in Chainsaw. Henry and Otis house hunting. The last panic of Blair Witch. Or a moment like the curb job of American History X. The greatness of true of terriblicity. Unfortunately Saw left no scars. In fact it really never even threatened me. Well it sort of did but it was more like a leprechaun with a Richard Nixon mask stabbing at my foot with a pair of safety scissors. Ow. Yawn. Maybe I'm just too jaded for this sort of bogus dread but this film really struck me as the fake deal. Far, far away from the real deal. The real deal was locked away in some other room somewhere off screen. Growling. Waiting....
Judging by the previews I was heading into a artsy movie that pushed the boundaries of 'worst case scenerio'. Instead the movie itself turned out to be closer to worst case scenerio. I wanted the characters to suffer... bad. I wanted to watch their sanity slip away. I wanted the rawest of raw human emotion. The dreaded appeal of survival at all costs. Instead I got none of the above.
Saw starts off perfectly pleasing. Two guys wake up chained to pipes in some super grody bathroom somewhere. They don't know how or why they got there but they soon realize they're part of some sicko game. I would have been perfectly happy to stay in that room for most of the movie watching them grow more desperate and crazy. But most of this flick takes place outside of that room. Dwelling in run-of-the-mill flashbacks and junky cliche insight into who these characters are. Nobody came across as real except for a little girl in the movie who was somewhat believable as little girl actors go.
On the upside I wasn't really bored at all during the movie. I was curious to know where it was going. I did make an effort to keep my head in the game but there were yellow cards all over the field with bad dialogue, rolly eyed plot twists, and forced acting. Lines like, 'If you lay a finger on her... I swear to god I'll kill you....' I mean please... lay a finger? Yellow card. The movie was done on the cheap but at times it didn't have to look so friggin cheap. Like in one scene they were sitting in a doctors office. The closed door had a big clouded glass window and the doctor's name all big spelled out backwards on the door- like a friggin private eye from the 30's. Does anyone have a door like that anymore? Yellow card. An hour into the movie I realized I hadn't even swallowed hard or shivered once. Yellow card. Nothing was hitting me on any level the way I had hoped. I couldn't feel the characters. They were actors in a movie and not even good at that.
On top of it the director was all overstylee with stuff. I expected Reznor/Manson video fun. Instead it was more along the lines of No Doubt video gimmicks with like choppy cuts and bouncy sped up film. In a movie like this I don't think it needed all the fancy razzmatazz. Just give me long lingering. Patience. Silence. Breathing. Those people are trapped in the room. Trap us too! Let us relax, feel at ease and then lets lop off a foot or whatever. But get me to relax first. Bring me guard down. Get under my skin. Let me get into their heads. I wanted to be trapped in the room and chained up just like those guys. I wanted to feel the panic. The 'I can't believe this...Do I really have to do this!?.' Instead I was just sitting watching a missed opportunity hoping that eventually this movie would just put me out of my misery.
Three Good Things About This Movie
- Some of the killers setups were creatively awful.
- It was kind of interesting watching all the problems this movie had with itself.
- It had some good imagery now and then and a few decent shockseconds.
Three Bad Things About This Movie
- Some of the acting was so bad I had to turn my face from the screen like it just
farted at me.
- The more I thought about it, the more it made zero sense.
- When it was supposed to be pitch black dark it was way too light.
All in all this movie may be a decent video rental sorta. But the truth is-- all the good stuff has been stuffed into the preview. The preview is far better than the movie. In its defense, the movie did seem to work for alot of people in the theater who seemed kind of juiced up as they walked out. I envied them. I wanted to be juiced too. But I guess I'm just too jaded to feel juiced from a flick like this. I'd say it evoked as much dread as Phone Booth did.... and that movie sucked dog balls.
PS. Poke around with this. Save yourself the trip...