Before it descended into pointless nastiness, the Saw series kicked off with some very good films. The first two movies were terrific, and my personal favourite is number one. Simply and provocatively entitled Saw (who knew what a powerhouse of a franchise that name would become), the film has echoes of David Fincher and Edgar Allan Poe.
The real talent here is the writing. The film could work as a stage play (you hear that – I said it first, Lionsgate), as the majority of the horror comes from the tense conversations between two men, trapped in one room in terrifying circumstances.
There are things I’m not entirely okay with (the focus on the suffering of a child is a little too strong), but this is still an intelligent and devilishly intense thriller and far better than the sequels that followed it.
Saw (2004), directed by James Wan, is available on blu-ray disc and DVD from Entertainment In Video, Certificate 18.