common sense

NOT FOR KIDS 0
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Sex
2 out of 5
Violence
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5

"Torture porn" gore-fest is more grisly than scary.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Saw is the stuff of nightmares, even if a jaded horror aficionado might not find it scary. The images of torture and death are brutal and explicit, lingering in mind long after the movie ends. There are multiple on-screen deaths, a child's life is threatened, characters die, a father is forced to make terrible decisions to protect his family, and there are no scenes free of peril. There are also references to suicide, adultery, drug addiction, madness, and self-mutilation. There's strong language ("f--k," "s--t," and more), and characters smoke. Underlying the killer's motive is the notion that everyone deserves to be tortured and that there are no innocents.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the killer's motivation. How would you describe it? Do you understand it? Are the deaths consistent with that motive? What might the characters have done differently?
  • How do the gory images in movies like this impact viewers, especially young ones? Why do you think there's been a trend toward these "torture porn" movies?
  • Discuss the resonance (or lack thereof) of movies where characters face death and re-evaluate their lives and priorities. Do Lawrence and Adam become more appealing characters as you get to know them better and as their fate looks bleaker? Do their choices become clearer as they reassess their priorities? What do you think the "right" life would be like so as not to attract the killer's attention?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    48%
    reviews counted: 0
    see all Saw reviews
  • Audience

    63%

Audience Reviews

3 stars

not a fan of the gore fest horror films that this movie started generating but this was a decent movie. The twist to me was slightly unrealistic as how could a man alive lay there that long and not move once or show breathing . . .

- jmanard52, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

4 stars

A gritty, dirty, and intense horror movie with superb acting from Leigh Whannel and Cary Elwes as two men chained inside an abandoned bathroom, wondering how they got there and why they are here. This movie gets a lot of bad rep for ceaseless violence and excessive gore, and gets unfairly coupled with "Hostel" because of this. It is definitely violent and not for all, but in terms of how the simple story is given layers and handled meticulously with backstories and flashbacks, you can not deny it is a good idea handled exceptionally well. In my opinion this is one of the better horror films of the 00's, with a twist ending that will knock you out cold. The score is also phenomenal, as it continually amps up the intensity (especially in the final act) to almost unbearable levels. Highly recommended if you like horror films.

- fb619846742, Saturday, June 15, 2013

4 stars

A gritty, dirty, and intense horror movie with superb acting from Leigh Whannel and Cary Elwes as two men chained inside an abandoned bathroom, wondering how they got there and why they are here. This movie gets a lot of bad rep for ceaseless violence and excessive gore, and gets unfairly coupled with "Hostel" because of this. It is definitely violent and not for all, but in terms of how the simple story is given layers and handled meticulously with backstories and flashbacks, you can not deny it is a good idea handled exceptionally well. In my opinion this is one of the better horror films of the 00's, with a twist ending that will knock you out cold. The score is also phenomenal, as it continually amps up the intensity (especially in the final act) to almost unbearable levels. Highly recommended if you like horror films.

- fb619846742, Saturday, June 15, 2013