Take this Saw Quiz to find out which character you are. We update the quiz regularly and it’s the most accurate among the other quizzes.
“Saw” is a well-crafted thriller, cheerfully gruesome, and ultimately not quite worth the ordeal it subjects us to. It’s a fictional machine that combines sadistic horrors with merciless choices, so the question becomes: Do we care enough about the characters to share what they’re going through? I didn’t.
I was with characters in two recent films, “Touching the Void” and “Open Water,” who went through almost unimaginable ordeals of pain and despair, and I was with them every step of the way, not least because I understood how they got themselves into their terrifying situations, and how they hoped to escape.
“Saw,” on the other hand, is based on an unusually devious and ingenious villain who creates complications for the sake of the screenplay. He’s been dubbed “The Jigsaw Killer,” and he joins that stalwart band of movie serial killers who have time on their hands to create elegant puzzles for their victims and the cops. Sometimes it works, as in “The Silence of the Lambs,” and other times we just feel manipulated. Having said that, “Saw” is well-made and well-acted, and it does its job about as well as it could be expected to. Fans of horror may overlook its contrivances. Also, you must try to play this Saw quiz.
The film begins in a locked public restroom. The time is 2 o’clock, according to the wall clock. Two men are chained to opposite walls by leg irons. A corpse lies in a pool of blood in the center of the floor. A revolver, a tape recorder, and a saw are found near the corpse. Adam (played by Leigh Whannell, who also co-wrote the screenplay) and Dr. Lawrence Gordon are the men (Cary Elwes). For a long time, the corpse remained a mystery, but the tape recording is useful: it informs both men that Dr. Gordon must kill Adam by 6 p.m., or his wife and daughter will be murdered.
In a parallel story, two detectives are attempting to track down the Jigsaw Killer, who has issued such lethal ultimatums to previous victims. (One involves a machine bolted to the victim’s head, with a mechanism inserted into the victim’s mouth that is timed to rip the victim’s jaws apart after the deadline. I despise it when this happens.) The detectives are David Tapp (Danny Glover) and Steven Sing (Ken Leung), and they’re racing against the clock. Also, you will find out which Saw character are you in this quiz.
Who is the Jigsaw Killer, and why has he gone to such evil lengths to create such cruel situations? You may inquire. Of course, the answer is that he is a plot device lowered into the film with a toolbox full of horrors, dangers, and unspeakable choices. He exists not for his own reasons or motivations (although some are assigned to him, sort of as a courtesy, at the end). He exists because he goes to great lengths and expense to create a situation that the film can exploit for 100 minutes. And he’s almost certainly not who he appears to be, thanks to the screenwriting workshop rule that a false crisis and a false dawn must precede the real crisis and the real dawn.
About the quiz
Elwes and Whannell, chained by their ankles in the locked room, must not only act their socks off but possibly their feet as well. Actors like roles like this, I suppose, because they can vibrate at maximum intensity for minutes on end, screaming and weeping, issuing threats and pleas, and basically running through the gamut of emotions by leapfrogging all of the hurdles. You hope they have a hot shower, a change of clothes, and a chicken dinner waiting for them at the end of the movie.
The (possible) Jigsaw Killer, on the other hand, is only seen in passing in some kind of techno-torture lair, doing obscure things to control or observe the events he has painstakingly fabricated. We also see another, more annoying version of the killer: Jigsaw (or someone) disguises himself as a grotesque clown-like doll riding a tricycle. Uh, huh. I always wonder why a movie shows me obscure, partial, oblique, fragmented shots of a murderous mastermind, or gives him a mask. Why not just show us his face since the camera is right there in the lair? The answer, of course, is that he is deliberately obscured in order to save him for the big reveal at the end.