Horror Hour

Jaeden Capito reviews the original “Saw” movie.


By Jaeden Capito

Saw” movies are filled to the brim with gory traps, interesting characters, and lots of blood. This precedent it set with the original “Saw” movie and its multitude of traps both in the backstory and in the ongoing plot of the movie. The first movie in the “Saw” franchise is very interesting as it sets it up as more of a psychological horror movie, rather than a stereotypical slasher horror, akin to “Friday the 13th” or “Halloween.” The movies are most recognized by their iconic and intricate traps that the main antagonist, the Jigsaw killer, puts people in, usually to make them appreciate their lives more if they are able to survive his traps.

    Directed by James Wan, the first movie separates itself from the rest of the franchise, as it is mainly told in flashbacks and introduces the killer and how he finds ways to make his victims kill themselves rather than killing them himself. The main plot of the movie is set in a grimey, old bathroom with two guys mysteriously waking up in it at the start of the movie. 

Dr. Lawerence, played by Cary Elwes, and Adam, played by screenplay writer Leigh Whannel, find themselves stuck in the bathroom. They are chained to pipes in opposite corners of the room, with nothing else but recording tapes in their pockets and a dead body in the middle of the room with a gun and tape recorder in his hand. 

Although the setting of the movie is fairly stale, half of the movie is filled with the backstory of the killer and the two main characters and how their lives are somewhat intertwined with each other. This mainly includes the backstory of Dr. Gordon, as the killer has his wife and daughter held captive, and he has to kill Adam before the time runs out, or his family is going to die.

The movie has very interesting set pieces, which during the backstory segments, show some of the traps that the killer has put people through. Two of these traps are a maze of razor wire, and a room covered in shards of glass and flammable oil with a candle in the middle. These rooms show just how sick and twisted the Jigsaw killer really is, also revealing the fact that he watches the people die through cameras and peepholes. Along with the settings, the cinematography is very interesting in some parts of the movie, with cinematography director David A. Armstrong shooting the entire movie with an over-the-shoulder camera, instead of a tripod or dolly camera.

    With regard to the characters, there is ample backstory given for the two main characters, as well as the killer and one of the detectives stalking Dr. Gordon. Some of the movies following this one are not the greatest as the director of the movie was changed to Darren Lynn Bousman, and then to David Hakl, and then multiple other directors after that. Along with the change of directors, the movie genre just gets tale after the amount of movies that have come out in the “Saw” franchise, with a total of nine movies being made, including the original. Overall, the original “Saw” movie is an interesting setup for the future movies in the franchise, and allows for an insight into more of a psychological horror movie, rather than some of the other horror movies made in that same year.