SAW (2004) Reviews and 4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital release news

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Saw, the original 2004 movie that kickstarted a franchise that has since grossed more than $1 billion from the box office and retail sales is being issued by Lionsgate as a 4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital release on May 11, 2021.

4K and Blu-ray Special Features:
Game Changer: The Legacy of Saw
Audio Commentary by Director James Wan, Writer-Actor Leigh Whannell, and Actor Cary Elwes
Audio Commentary by Producers Mark Burg, Gregg Hoffman, and Oren Koules

Blu-ray Special Features
Saw: The Original Short Film
Hacking Away at Saw
Alternate Storyboard Sequence
Theatrical Trailer

Here’s the new 4K trailer:

The release of the first Saw movie on 4K is undoubtedly intended to boost interest in the latest instalment, Spiral: From the Book of Saw, which will now be released on May 14, 2021.

Meanwhile, here’s our previous coverage of the original movie:

Saw is a 2004 American mystery horror film about two strangers that awake in a shabby bathroom with no recollection of how they got there. Soon, they discover they are pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

Directed by James Wan (The Conjuring franchise) from a screenplay written by Leigh Whannell (The Invisible Man), who also stars, from a story by Wan and Whannell. The Twisted Pictures production also stars Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung and Dina Meyer.

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles in 2003, Australian filmmakers Leigh Whannell and James Wan produced a seven-minute short film called Saw which they hoped to develop into a feature film.

The short was well-received the up-and-comers were also given an incredible deal to create a feature film version that included creative control and 25% of the film’s profits. The movie Saw went on to spawn eight sequels, video games, and even theme park attractions.


Photographer Adam Stanheight awakens in a dilapidated bathroom, with his ankle chained to a pipe. Across the room is oncologist Doctor Lawrence Gordon. Between them is a dead man. The corpse is holding a revolver and a microcassette recorder.

Both men find a tape in their pockets, and Adam retrieves the recorder. Adam’s tape urges him to escape, while Gordon’s tape tells him to kill Adam by six o’clock or Gordon’s wife Alison and his daughter Diana will be killed. Adam finds a bag containing two hacksaws inside the toilet which they try to use to cut through their chains, but Adam’s saw breaks.

Gordon realizes the saws are meant to be used on their feet and identifies their captor as the Jigsaw Killer—a serial killer testing his victims’ will of survival through murderous contraptions as “games”…


Saw’s corporeal rupturing and even the sadism weren’t new, but director James Wan’s presentation was: gnat’s eye close-ups of unthinkable suffering edited with epileptic energy, burrowing into viewer’s brains in earsplitting tune to the movie’s industrial metal soundtrack.” Mike “McBeardo” McFadden, Heavy Metal Movies

” …grabs your attention right from the start, continues down a scary and unpredictable path and delivers an impressive final sequence, clever and unbearably exciting. Some viewers will be turned off by the sadism, and the performances are effective but hardly outstanding. Still, the reality show elements of the concept are part of its appeal.” Hedmark Reviews

“New hooks are a premium commodity, so when someone like Wan finds one, it’s easy to overlook freshman mistakes. With its freshness and energy, Saw bucks the horror trend towards formula story-telling and proves that enough qualities in the “plus column” can overcome a weak ending.” Reel Views

Saw is an efficiently made thriller, cheerfully gruesome, and finally not quite worth the ordeal it puts us through. It’s a fictional machine to pair sadistic horrors with merciless choices, and so the question becomes: Do we care enough about the characters to share what they have to endure? I didn’t.” Roger Ebert

” …this one isn’t quite a horror film, it’s more of a mystery/puzzle box film mixed with police procedural (Cube meets The Usual Suspects as designed by Pinhead from Hellraiser would be the best description) […] It’s a watchable film and a bloody good try, just not a bloody good film, though Wan’s direction is rather nifty at times.” Shameless Self Expression

“With multiple twist endings, many of which require the characters to behave like idiots, Saw turns into an exasperating stunt a la The Usual Suspects. As usual, the twists exist for their own sake and aren’t grounded in character or theme. It creates an added layer of artistic pretension for a movie that should have stayed in the grindhouse.” Slant, October 8, 2004

“The plot has several flaws, for example, why do Adam and Larry work so well together, trusting one another implicitly, and yet remain unable to tell their full stories to one another until so close to the film’s end? On the whole, these are largely excusable as the pace of the film is so frenetic they barely appear noticeable. Perhaps the biggest letdown is the acting.” The Spinning Image

Saw is one of the more original serial killer movies to come down the pipe in a while and it plays out in such an unrelenting and bleak pace that you can’t help but appreciate the effort put into it by director James Wan and Whannell – unfortunately though there’s flaws poking their way in as the script throws in a few twists I didn’t agree with (mostly above Glover’s character)…” The Video Graveyard

“The horror is gruesome, inventive and sadistic, with twisted moral lessons, but the writing feels contrived and the horrors made complex just to entertain and surprise a bloodthirsty audience […] But details don’t face up to logic, and the main actor is painfully terrible.” The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre

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