It's hard to believe that it's been almost two decades since Billy the puppet wheeled his tricycle-loving self onto the big screen and into horror fans' hearts. The original Saw just celebrated its 18th anniversary. What some might forget, thanks partly to the deluge of inferior sequels with ever more convoluted plots, is just how innovative and stripped-down that first movie was. There's a reason, so many years later, that its is still considered one of the best horror films of all time, and that's because of the attention to detail director James Wan and writer/actor Leigh Whannell put into their 2004 thriller hit. And this weekend, the two took the time to celebrate the milestone.
James Wan took to his Instagram to post a throwback photo of him kneeling and posing in front of the original film's poster. The Aquaman director poked fun at his early 2000s look while celebrating the film's pop culture longevity:
A photo posted by on
I agree with the director. With that hairstyle, he looks like he would make a great addition to the K-Pop band BTS. However, the painfully 2000s leather jacket would be more fitting in an episode of The Sopranos than for performing "Black Swan."
Saw was a stepping stone for James Wan, as it helped him launch the mega-successful Conjuring horror universe, which has a fourth film on the way. It also landed him high-profile jobs directing the DC Movies Aquaman and its upcoming sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. It's great that the director respects his horror roots though, even if he doesn't have much to do with the franchise these days.
Saw series co-creator, co-writer, and actor Leigh Whannell (who played Adam) turned to Twitter to share his fond memories of the movie. Check out his post:
Well well, Wan and I’s little baby is all grown up and legally able to drink…in Australia at least, where it was born. I have so much affection for this film and how it changed my life. When anyone talks about Saw, I don’t think of a franchise. I think of this original film. https://t.co/weVKJiIl4pOctober 29, 2022
It's nice to see that Leigh Whannell has so much affection for the long-running series, even if he stepped away from Saw for a hilarious reason. It changed the man's life because he parlayed the success of the 2004 movie into a booming writing and directing career. He recently directed the critically well-received Invisible Man reimagining for Blumhouse, and his take on the Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling is forthcoming.
Like the two creators' careers, the long-running psychological horror franchise shows no signs of slowing down. A tenth movie is set to hit theaters on Halloween 2023, with the series' original Jigsaw actor, Tobin Bell, set to return. This character's resurrection seems somewhat tricky, considering he has been dead since the third installment. Still, Bell's iconic portrayal of John Kramer is as much to thank for the original movie's success as its creators. So, if the filmmakers deem it appropriate to bring the villain back, I am here for it.
Like so many others I'm truly pleased that James Wan and Leigh Whannell's film has stood the test of time. If you want to honor the 18th Anniversary of Saw's release with a rewatch, or you want to see it for the first time, it can be streamed with a Peacock subscription. Also, be sure to keep up on news regarding upcoming horror movies.
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Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing.