#5: Saw (2004)

I have a confession. I’ve never seen the Saw franchise movies. Not one. I’m a huge fan of James Wan and Leigh Whannell. Enjoyed all of the Insidious films. Yet, Saw (2004) came at a time when I wasn’t watching many horror movies. All has changed. Saw wasn’t anything I presumed and everything I crave in a horror movie.

Lots of people have benefitted from attending film school. However, James Wan and Leigh Whannell are the exception. They met and formed a friendship that has transformed the horror movie industry. And it began with a short film titled Saw.


Whannell penned a riveting full-length feature horror film based off of the short. Two men (Cary Elwes and Leigh Whannell) awaken in an abandoned building. These seemingly strangers backfill their stories to show how intertwined their lives truly are. But the audience is focused on the handsaws. As with Whannell’s characters in Insidious, the characters are fully visualized and haunting. The ending sets up the sequel—one I look forward to viewing.

Saw is a certified blockbuster. Filmed on a shoestring budget of $1.2 million, it earned over $103 million worldwide. If the storyline didn’t warrant a sequel, the ticket sales certainly did. Six films later and audiences still watch as the body counts increase.

Saw is rated R for grisly violence and language and runs one hour and 43 minutes.