'Saw' cast see movie as a cut above other films

October 29, 2004|by

A serial killer has a creepy sense of humor in "Saw." An obese man has to avoid being buried alive by forcing himself through flesh-cutting wires. A talkative woman has to get a key from a man's stomach so her jaw won't be yanked off by a steel trap strapped to her head. And a surgeon has his leg chained to a wall and the only escape is to cut his way out with a handsaw.

The idea for the story about the serial killer known as Jigsaw came from two film school friends in Australia: James Wan, who directed the movie, and Leigh Whannell, who also stars in the film.

"We wanted people to put themselves in those situations and wonder how far they would go to survive," says Wan.

"It's the unknown factor that is intriguing," adds Whannell.

The biggest unknown is whether Lions Gate could trust the guys to spearhead a horror project that has attracted known actors such as Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter and Shawnee Smith. The film got rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival - and screams, too.


"I was screaming when I watched it for the first time at Sundance," says Smith, of TV's "Becker." She's the one with the trap over her mouth who has to cut open a man to get a key in order to save herself.

"It was scary, really unnerving, I jumped out of my seat - and I knew what was going to happen."

The complex mouth trap was designed by Wan, who sketched out most of the production design for the film. He filmed a 12-minute section of the movie using the trap and that's what attracted the other actors to the project.

"I saw their short version and said, 'Who are these guys?' and I wanted to work with them," Glover tells

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