I avoided this film for a long time. It is on Netflix Instant, and I've had it on my list, but I couldn't make myself watch it. The phrase 'torture porn' kept running though my head, and I'm not a fan of gore. Honestly, I kinda despise it. Still this film is on so many lists and it's generally considered positively. Yesterday, my kids and I sat down to watch Ringu, and I slept through the whole movie. Waking up, I was still really groggy, so I decided I needed a movie to keep me awake. It was time to watch Saw.
And I am surprised at just how great it is. "Torture porn" is certainly not the phrase that would come to mind. Rather it is a psychological thriller, that amps up the tension about every ten minutes. It doesn't linger over torture. Frankly, it doesn't linger over anything. I was amazed at how fast-paced it was. It even eschews real-time speed when the action is a bit too drawn out. Having a fast drive between action? Just speed up the film, to get to the next action sooner. There is no filler in this movie, no time to really develop dread. Just intensity.
The whole time, as well, I thought I was smarter than the filmmakers. Nope. They played me every step of the way. It is a stunning, enjoyable film, and a great example of how entertaining and smart a horror film can be.