Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, and soon discover they're pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

Director:

James Wan

Writers:

Leigh Whannell, James Wan (story) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
360 ( 143)
8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leigh Whannell ... Adam Faulkner-Stanheight
Cary Elwes ... Dr. Lawrence Gordon
Danny Glover ... Detective David Tapp
Ken Leung ... Detective Steven Sing
Dina Meyer ... Kerry
Mike Butters ... Paul
Paul Gutrecht ... Mark
Michael Emerson ... Zep Hindle
Benito Martinez ... Brett
Shawnee Smith ... Amanda
Makenzie Vega ... Diana Gordon
Monica Potter ... Alison Gordon
Ned Bellamy ... Jeff
Alexandra Bokyun Chun ... Carla (as Alexandra Chun)
Avner Garbi Avner Garbi ... Father
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Storyline

Waking up in a bathroom, two men, Adam and Dr. Lawrence Gordon, discover they have been captured by the infamous Jigsaw Killer. The men must escape before time runs out, otherwise, they will face the deadly consequences. Written by Rebekah Swain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Let the games begin! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong grisly violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the official "Saw" website, in a still image used in one of the flash scenes, Adam's last name is "Faulkner". However, it was revealed in Saw V (2008) that Adam's last name was "Stanheight", as indicated by a document observed by Agent Strahm. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 13 mins) After the first call Lawrence gets on the cellphone, a boom mic shadow is visible on the bathroom door. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Adam: Help! Someone help me! Is someone there? Hey! Oh shit, I'm probably dead.
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Crazy Credits

The opening title ripples like it was underwater. See more »

Alternate Versions

The German Collector's Edition by Kinowelt contains both an R-rated version (with commentary and English DTS-ES sound) and an uncut version (labeled "Director's Cut", with a music video and a soundtrack CD). The Saw I + II steelbook edition includes what is labeled the "U.S. Director's Cut" of "Saw". This version also replaces the logos (new Lionsgate logo and the Twisted Pictures logo instead of Evolution Management logo) at the beginning and removes some moments between Adam and Dr. Gordon at the end of the film. See more »

Connections

References Rear Window (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Hello Zepp
(a.k.a. Final Theme)
Composed by Charlie Clouser
Performed by Charlie Clouser
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User Reviews

 
The game begins
3 November 2008 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

Not since Se7en's John Doe has there been a serial killer with such a bizarre philosophy behind his actions (not that Jigsaw actually kills anyone; more on that later). Sure, in light of the increasingly deteriorating sequels it's hard to think of Saw as little more than a franchise- starter (something the writer and director never planned), but viewed on its own, astonishing merits, it's a good, nasty thriller, filled with solid scares and (especially compared to the follow-ups) quite well written.

According to the film's notorious back-story, it took only 28 days to shoot it. Not that strange, given most of the action takes place in just two locations: one is a bathroom where Adam (Leigh Whannell) and Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) fins themselves with their feet chained to the wall, with no recollection whatsoever of how the hell they got there; the other is the lair of the mysterious Jigsaw, a serial killer whom Detectives Sing (Ken Leung) and Trapp (Danny Glover) have been tracking down for weeks.

The two facts are linked in a most ingenious way: Jigsaw doesn't really kill anyone, but "plays a game" with his victims. In the case of Adam and Dr. Gordon, as the tape recorder found in a dead man's hand tells them, each of them has two hours to free himself and kill the other, or they will both die. Problem is, the only way to get rid of the chains is to saw your foot off. And so, while the two unfortunate cell-mates have to choose who gets to live (that's Jigsaw's perverse logic: he offers you a choice), the police close in on the elusive psycho, whose previous deeds and MO are shown in flashbacks.

Whereas the subsequent Saw films use the messy chronology just for the hell of it (though they do get away with some neat narrative tweaks thanks to it), the first installment takes advantage of its non-linear storytelling to increase the suspense and provide some valuable clues to how everything fits together. It is to James Wan and co-writer Whannell's eternal credit that they, like Se7en writer Andrew Kevin Walker, went beyond slasher clichés and came up with something more. Okay, so Saw's philosophical undertones aren't entirely original, but what the heck, they do manage to keep the audience interested in what's going on. In addition, adding a little more depth to the killer ensures that the movie's more gruesome parts (and there are a lot of them) don't come off as gratuitous bloodletting (for an example of the latter, look no further than the countless sequels to A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday 13th).

Furthermore, the intelligence behind the film's structure might also have had a positive effect on the performances, given the acting is more convincing here than in most post-2000 shockers: Elwes and Whannell's desperation is conveyed with an intensity that's almost too painful to behold, Glover plays the aging cop role resisting the temptation to do a Lethal Weapon in-joke (you know, the "too old for this sh*t" gag) and when Jigsaw himself appears... well, it's the horror equivalent of Keyser Soze - chilling and impossible to forget (and, for once, not played by Kevin Spacey). Just like the movie.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jigsaw See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,276,468, 31 October 2004

Gross USA:

$56,000,369

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$103,911,669
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby | DTS (5.1 surround)| Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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