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Saw - Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, James Wan

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Every piece has a puzzle.

A young man named Adam (Leigh Whannell) wakes to find himself chained to a rusty pipe inside a decrepit subterranean chamber. Chained to the opposite side of the room is another bewildered captive, Dr Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes). Between them is a dead man lying in a pool of blood, holding a .38 in his hand. Neither man knows why he has been abducted; but instructions left on a micro-cassette, order Dr Gordon to kill Adam within eight hours. If he fails to do so, then both men will die, and Dr Gordon's wife, Alison (Monica Potter), and his daughter, Diana (Makenzie Vega), will be killed.

Recalling a recent murder investigation by a police detective named Tapp, Dr Gordon realises he and Adam are the next victims of a psychopathic genius known only as "Jigsaw". With only a few hours left to spare, they must unravel the elaborate puzzle of their fate in the midst of mounting terror. The killer has provided them with only a few clues and two handsaws - too weak to break their steel shackles, but strong enough to cut through flesh and bone.

Theatrical propaganda posters

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Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film horror serial killer thriller murder kidnap trap death machine crime police

Persons of interest

  • Leigh Whannell .... Adam
  • Tobin Bell .... John
  • Cary Elwes .... Dr Lawrence Gordon
  • Danny Glover .... Detective Tapp
  • Ken Leung .... Detective Steven Sing
  • Dina Meyer .... Kerry
  • Mike Butters .... Paul
  • Paul Gutrecht .... Mark
  • Michael Emerson .... Zep Hindle
  • Benito Martinez .... Brett
  • Shawnee Smith .... Amanda
  • Makenzie Vega .... Diana Gordon
  • Monica Potter .... Alison Gordon
  • Ned Bellamy .... Jeff
  • Alexandra Bokyun Chun .... Carla
  • Leigh Whannell .... Storywriter
  • James Wan .... Storywriter
  • Leigh Whannell .... Screenwriter
  • James Wan .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Saw started life as a two-handed thriller with the protagonists locked in a room, telling each other lies. That's a great way to start a thriller. Then the story grew and grew and grew and became the little Aussie film that could (even though it's made in the USA). That's a great way to finish a thriller. Australian films are inherently darker than their Hollywood counterparts and a film like this needs all the darkness it can get. There is a sense that the "external" scenes (ie those not in the bathroom) have been tacked on as they don't tell you anything about Adam and Lawrence that Adam and Lawrence don't tell you themselves, but it's ok because there is lots of violence and gore and shooting. I like violence and gore and shooting.

The final twist is awesome. I won't go into it any more than to mention that it exists but it knocked my socks off. Well done, boys. Get a dog in ya.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen
  • Special features:
    • Commentaries: Director James Wan and writer/co-star Leigh Whannell
    • Featurettes: Sawed off behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of the movie with cast and crew interviews

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (High level violence)

Surveillance time

103 minutes (1:43 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 2 December 2004
DVD rental: 25 May 2005
VHS rental: 25 May 2005

Cinema surveillance images

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