With “Spiral: From the Book of Saw” available to home theaters, now is a great time to take a look at the first film in the horror franchise with its recent release in ultra high definition format.
Specifically, Sierra: Unclassified (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, unrated, 1.78: 1 aspect ratio, 161 minutes, $ 30.99) offers 2004 director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell’s grotesque mystery thriller to remind fans of the creative origins of a pair of splatter horror masters.
The story explores a mysterious assassin nicknamed Jigsaw, fascinated by testing human beings’ appreciation for life and survival instincts by using devious puzzle traps and delivering a twisted mark of moral justice in the best traditions. from Dr. Phibes (Vincent Price’s iconic revenge killer).
That translates to a pair of potential victims, oncologist Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) and photographer Adam Stanheight (Mr. Whannell), chained to pipes and trapped in a dilapidated warehouse bathroom with a corpse bleeding between them. and each was asked to do so. Find clues to kill the other while playing a deadly game.
As the pair are trapped in an impossible-to-win situation, viewers go through flashbacks to reveal the backstory linked to former detective David Tapp (Danny Glover) obsession with finding the killer after his partner is brutally murdered.
Pop connoisseurs should pay attention to the appearance of Tobin Bell (central to the success of the series “Saw”), Dina Meyer (“Starship Troopers”) as Detective Allison Kerry, Ken Leung (“Lost) and Michael Emerson ( “Evil”) as hospital orderly Zep Hindle.
Although “Saw” helped define a new genre of sadistic horror in movies, eventually labeled torture-pornography, its true nature was more of a scathing crime drama than a free gore festival that did not disappoint nearly two decades later.
The ultra-high definition transfer of the screen-filling presentation gives the film’s visual rawness new life revealed in the haunting bluish fluorescent lighting of a warehouse bathroom set against a sickly green / yellow hue seeping over fighting humans and corpses caught in various traps.
Plus, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack offers the perfect way to appreciate the nuanced aural chill of “Saw.”
Best extras: The 4K comes with a couple of previously released commentary tracks from 2005, one featuring a thoroughly hilarious Mr. Wan, Whannell, and Mr. Elwes, and another featuring producers Mark Burg, Gregg Hoffman, and Oren Koules, as well as a published retrospective. in 2015 about the “Saw” phenomenon.
Of course, first rewatch the movie with the director’s clue and then dive into the hour-long “Game Changer: The Legacy of Saw” to get a near-perfect overview of the movie and its impact on horror culture.
It’s packed with memorabilia from Mr. Wan, Mr. Whannell, Mr. Elwes, Mr. Tobin, Mr. Burg, Mr. Koules, composer Charlie Clouser, Amanda Young (surviving Shawnee Smith), and the conductor of Eli Roth Hostel, as well as loads of behind-the-scenes footage and footage.
Insert the Blu-ray disc for the same extras and a look at the original nine-minute movie that you sold to studios on the premises.
By far, this 4K package offers not only the best way to appreciate the film, but also to learn its origin directly from the filmmakers who built the macabre magic.