Saw ★★★½

Cleverly conceived to both dramatically cut costs from the production and hold its audience attention all the way through just from a simple, provocative puzzle. Slightly uncommonly for the genre,it's a movie that heavily banks on its script to succeed, even more than Wan's kinetic, showy detours, or the surprisingly sparse gore, or any quasi-jumpscares. Because of it, and how the procedural stuff was conducted, it all often seems like a third-rate 'Seven' cash-grab clumsily re-engineered to fit the twisted game inside of it, yet that doesn't prevents this resourcefully edited film from being entirely engaging. The lead performances are really rough, though.

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