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Saw (2004)

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

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As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw's brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Adam Faulkner-Stanheight
... Dr. Lawrence Gordon
... Detective David Tapp
... Detective Steven Sing
... Kerry
Mike Butters ... Paul
... Mark
... Zep Hindle
... Brett
... Amanda
... Diana Gordon
... Alison Gordon
... Jeff
... Carla (as Alexandra Chun)
Avner Garbi ... Father
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Storyline

Waking up in a undisclosed location in a unknown room two men, adam and gordon are trapped into a single room with a dead body. Given random tools with riddles hidnen around the room. Wondering who could have done this there are clues to who might of done it; the jigsaw killer. The question is not just who but why would a serial killer leave two men in a room. Both adam and gordon hiding secrets they must trust and work together to get out or die...can they survive Jigsaw's game or die trying? Written by badassgeek-59310

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How much blood would you shed to stay alive? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jigsaw  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,276,468, 31 October 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$56,000,369

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$103,911,669
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | | (5.1 surround)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original draft, Zep (Michael Emerson) was to do strange acts with Alison's underwear in her drawers, but Leigh Whannell cut it out as he thought it was a bit "too far," and it was re-written, instead Zep held a gun to Allison's head while he listened to her heart. See more »

Goofs

(at around 37 mins) When Gordon is about to leave after tucking his daughter in and his wife is confronting him, the lack of a ceiling and unfinished wooden rafters are visible in the set of their otherwise elegant home. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Oslo Fright Fest 2010 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Stürm
Performed by Front Line Assembly
Written by Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber
Published by Nettwerk Songs Publishing (SOCAN) / Zomba Songs, Inc. (BMI)
Courtesy of Metropolis Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The game begins
3 November 2008 | by See 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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