31 Days of Horror: #9 – Saw
Directed by James Wan
Written by Leigh Whannell, story by Leigh Whannell & James Wan
Starring Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell & Danny Glover
There’s been few – if any – modern horror franchises that have had as much pop culture impact as the Saw saga. While its increasing emphasis on explicit gore-carnage might not seem to lend itself particularly well to the playfully ghoulish spirit of the scare season, the fact is that, for those who came of age during Jigsaw’s titanic box office reign, the Saw series simply is Halloween; mandatory viewing every bit as important as the likes of Night of the Demons, Trick’r Treat and the John Carpenter standard.
The operatic parts III and VI come damn close, but it’s The Conjuring director James Wan’s genre-busting original that holds the strongest. Slick and shocking, it’s an utterly compulsive, Se7en-on-steroids blend of suspense and visceral, grungy horror. Scripter Leigh Whannell and Cary Elwes star – in case any of you have been living in a cave for the past decade – as two men shackled in a dingy subterranean bathroom, the victims of an infamous puritanical psycho known only as Jigsaw. In there with them is a dead body and a hacksaw each; the latter of which isn’t for their chains…
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