Thursday, October 21, 2004

I saw Saw

My friend Greg is president of the U.W. Film Club, so I got to go to, and vaguely participate in, a screening of Saw tonight. I also saw the Q&A with director James Wan and writer/co-star Leigh Whannell afterward and even got to hang out at the reception afterwards.

The trailers definitely push a very Se7en kind of feel for this movie, which wasn't that appealing to me. I was trusting the buzz generated on horror and cult movie webpages about the movie. It turns out, happily, that the buzz was more right than the trailer - which does at least do an excellent job of setting a scary tone without actually giving away anything like too much - and the movie has much more of the feeling of the Argentos, Lynches and Cronenbergs mentioned by Whannell in the Q&A than the Finchers et al.

It is an especially good thing, since the Fincher-esque material doesn't, by and large, work that well, even measured by that yardstick. It was a strong script and would likely have been better served by a less frentic directing style. It's definitely intense and does indeed build some very strong, unironic suspense, which is still a rare treat in modern horror. I definitely recommend it.

I even more recommend the completely amazing movie I think they're capable of making as a follow-up. I do, however, solidly recommend this one.

I also recommend hanging out with Wan and Whannell. They were very smart and funny, and I had a really fun evening overall.

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