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(Review originally written at 8 October 2005)

"Saw" is an unlikely little masterpiece. It's low-budget, mostly set in one room and at first wasn't even supposed to get a theatrical release. As a matter of fact, I believe it wasn't even released in every country but went straight to DVD instead, in most European countries anyway. But "Saw" is a surprisingly near perfect thriller/horror movie that you'll not forget easily. It's truly the biggest movie-surprise of 2004.

I have to admit that at the beginning of the movie I was skeptical. I wasn't quite fond of the way the story was told and the way it used some visual tricks. However as the movie more and more progressed, I got drawn into it. The movie has more than enough surprises in it and has a unforgettable ending which I hereby vote the best movie-ending of 2004.

The movie has a very tense and at times almost unbearable tension and chilling atmosphere, which are supported by some gory and original moments. The combination of the highly original thriller and horror elements are what make "Saw" an unforgettable movie experience. It makes "Saw" an absolute must-see, especially for the fans of the genre of course.

Unfortunately the acting isn't always top-class. Cary Elwes simply isn't a good main-lead actor. He is always at his best in roles such as he played in "Glory", "Days of Thunder", "Shadow of the Vampire" and "Twister". At times in the movie it gets obvious that James Wan is just a beginning director that still has to learn some things when it comes to storytelling and actor-directing. Still of course, this movie remains an impressive theatrical debut for this young director and fellow screenwriter Leigh Whannell, who also portrays one of the main characters. I'm looking forward to their new projects.

The biggest surprise of 2004! An absolute chilling, tense must-see, already for the last 30, or so, minutes alone.

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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