Director: James Wan
Screenwriter: Leigh Whannell

For about 97% of its running time, the Saw plays like a straightforward piece of hardcore horror. There's a killer on the loose, and, in the midst of setting up elaborate death traps for his victims to escape from, the villainous "Jigsaw" (only heard through voice and represented by a proxy creepy puppet) has kidnapped two unfamiliar guys (Cary Elwes and screenwriter Leigh Whannell), locked them in a dirty room, and only left them with a saw and cryptic clues.

As the plot unfolds, it's believed that Jigsaw is a weirdo hospital orderly (Michael Emerson), but then Jigsaw can still be heard after he's offed. So what gives? There's no way that the orchestrator of evil can be that bloody, lifeless corpse that's been lying in the middle of the two dudes' room the whole time, right? Yes, that's exactly the deal. The thought-to-be-deceased man (Tobin Bell) slowly gets up, walks toward the exit, and slams it shut, leaving Whannell's screwed character to sit there with his jaw scraping the floor. Can you blame him? —MB