This so-called horror film starts with an interesting enough premise and then gradually becomes one of the year’s worst films. Two men (Cary Elwes and Leigh Whannell) awaken in a dingy room to discover themselves shackled to pipes. There’s a dead body between them and a couple of saws too dull to cut through pipe, but sharp enough to serrate flesh. A rather creative serial killer has put them in this predicament, and we find out that the "Jigsaw Killer" has committed quite a few complicated crimes before this one. His crimes involve Seven-like sadistic scenarios and rather elaborate scares involving puppets. (Don’t ask.) As the tension mounts, the story begins to unravel, as does Elwes’ performance. The normally reliable actor scores many an unintentional laugh in this film’s closing moments, as does Danny Glover as a curious detective. The final revelation is a howler, and it’s a wonder that this film managed to skirt direct-to-video status. It is reprehensibly bad.


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