Directed by: James Wan
Written by:James Wan, Leigh Whannell
Starring: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover,  Ken Leung, Monica Potter
Released: December 2, 2004
Grade: B

A love of movies and a little luck can be all you need.  Australians James Wan and Leigh Whannell met at University in Melbourne and developed the idea for a low-budget thriller.  After Australian studios balked at the idea, these two inexperienced youngsters took their screenplay to the States on a budget of just over $1m, they have crafted a cult thriller.

Not only did James and Leigh sell their script, they sold their other talents as well.  James is the film’s director and Leigh is one of the lead actors.  It’s exciting to think that two unknown Australians can do so much with their very first film.  For any budding filmmaker (myself included), you’d love to be in their shoes.

Their film is set largely in one room.  Lawrence (Elwes) and Adam (Whannel) wake up and find themselves chained to the piping in a well-worn bathroom.  A dead body with a gun in his hand lies between them.  They have been kidnapped by a sick mad-man who has a unique way of selecting his victims.  Once his captive, he allows them to choose their own fate.  To live though, they will have to complete a challenging task before the clock runs down.

Some of the elements to the story are quite gruesome and those a little squeamish should attend only under advisement.  I however, liked the approach taken.  These scenes are in the film for more than shock value and you’ll understand this when profiling the kidnapper.

After establishing a high level of interest and intrigue, the film’s finale is too unbelievable and spoils all the good work which precedes it.  It’s as if the story took the wrong fork in the road and ended up somewhere it should.  It just doesn’t work and a few other dissatisfied patrons in my cinema agreed.

Ending aside, one should see-Saw.