Twisted, inventive and gleefully disturbing, Saw proffered last year's most diabolic pitch: two strangers (Cary Elwes and co-scripter Leigh Whannell) chained up in a grimy bathroom basement with instructions to kill each other or die. They both have hacksaws. Which aren't for the ankle-cuffs...

Shaking out this killer set-up through a jagged patchwork of flashbacks, Saw unfolds as a startling sub-Se7en fear-factory in which smart plotting is rapidly backseated in favour of some truly terrifying set-pieces. Motored by Whannell's script - - by turns macabre and maniacal - - and director James Wan's energetic verve, it's a teeth-grinding slalom between lockjaw tension and sadistic horror. We also get B-grade turns from Elwes and Danny Glover and it's convoluted as hell. But by the time Saw hits a climax of pure, delirious frenzy, you'll be too scared to care.


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