Sub-Genre: Torture Porn, Survival.
One of the most influential movies of the New Millennium, this little Torture Porn gem, which cost $1.2 Million to make, launched a near-billion $$$ franchise, and kick-started the careers of two of the Genre's brightest talents, in James Wan and Leigh Whannell.
Saw was dismissed by most critics as being infantile, contrived, cliche', and even dumb. Then again, these are the kind of people that say Rock n Roll is nothing but noise, and who would probably rather watch a dry, lifeless English Period Piece while they weep gently into their handkerchiefs, wishing for a life in which they still had a pulse.
What Saw really is, is a smart, bold movie that dipped its toe into the Torture Porn waters (later sequels just said "Screw it!" and jumped full on into the pool) while at the same time, giving us an effective mystery to chew on. Plus, the traps. And that brilliant ending. And the Horror-return of Shawnee Smith.
Did Saw actually create the Torture Porn sub-genre that's still going strong today, or merely bring it into the mainstream like no other movie before it ever had? Probably the latter, but either way this was an important, and enjoyable effort that managed to make Horror feel fresh and disgustingly new again in 2004.
However you'd like to dissect it, Saw is a modern day classic.
See you tomorrow with #12!