I remember seeing the preview for Saw and totally loving the concept behind it: two men chained to floor of a room with a dead body and no idea how they got there or how to get out. It has the claustrophobia that fuels most of Cube. The kind of ‘two guys in a shithole’ that makes a great play.
The story opens up beyond the room but stays pretty engaging, veering off into sadistic territory that made Se7en such a great morality play.
Eventually the story gets a little too lose and is less taut which was a shame because it maintains a manic sensibility out of the gate. Great surprises all around, though.
Note to sister: rent this and The Grudge.
Update: Ebert’s review sums up the film’s weaknesses nicely:
A movie that conceals the identity of a killer is of a lower order, in general, than one that actually deals with him as a character. To get to know someone is infinitely more pleasing than to meet some guy behind a hockey mask, or in a puppet suit, or whatever.