Genre: Horror, Mystery
Release Date: October 29, 2004
“Live or die, make your choice.”
In 2004 this movie changed horror. It combined great elements of horror and blended in just the right amount of mystery and suspense. It also didn’t skimp on the gore. I don’t mean that this movie was novel in some of that combination as Se7vn had already done a similar thing. This came about nine years after Se7en and took what made that movie great and made it a gory horror movie. After this movie a slew of movies dubbed “torture porn” began to rise to popularity, though many don’t consider the original Saw in that genre.
Often when watching a horror movie, we want to feel like there is at lease a sliver of hope the protagonists will make it out. One of the beauties of this film is that notion becomes bleaker as time wears on, not the other way around, as is traditional. The film also does an excellent job in playing up the mystery aspects and really making the audience feel the need to know. The twist is that we don’t necessarily need to know “who” as that is less important than our need to know “why” and “how.” When watching a slasher movie we can easily say the “why” is because they are a psycho, but this film made me feel different. Sure, they guy was a psycho, but why was he doing things in such a particularly drawn out way? I have loved many horror movies over my nearly 40 years of watching them, but this was one of the few that changed how I looked at the genre. This movie defined horror for an entire decade.
Rewatchability: Very high