SAW (2003 U.S. AUSTRALIA) D/W: JAMES WAN W: LEIGH WHANNELL P: MARK BURG/GREGG HOFFMAN/OREN KOULES
Doctor Cary Elwes and screenwriter Whannell wake-up to find themselves trapped in a derelict old restroom chained to pipes on the wall. There`s a dead body lying on the floor, and a tape recorder informs them that Elwes must somehow kill Whannell to save his wife and child, while Whannell must fight for his life to prove his worth. Endless flashbacks show this to be the work of a serial killer who has a history of putting victims through similar tests (Shawnee Smith appears to relate a girsly flashback within a flashback). Low on logic, cohesive storytelling skills and decent performances, and way too pumped-up on stylish overkill, this still manages to be an enjoyable and highly engaging thriller (expanded from a short film) with gimmicky twists and surprises (the big one at the end makes no sense if you let it sink in). You`ll forget it soon after, but you could do a lot worse than looking past the shortcomings and enjoying the ride of an evening. With Danny Glover, Dina Meyer, Ned Bellamy and Tobin Bell. The MPAA insisted on cuts for an R. A major hit, so endless sequels followed.

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