Saw (2004)

This is the movie that revitalized the horror genre in the early 2000s and launched a new franchise that has, so far, spanned eight films.

Two dudes wake up in a nasty bathroom chained to opposite ends of the room. It is revealed that some sick individual has kidnapped and placed them in this room as a kind of twisted game. One of the dudes is told he must kill the other dude by 6 o’clock or else his family will be murdered.

At its core, the story is quite simple, but there are many intricately designed parts that keep it interesting. It’s like watching an escape room play out with the highest stakes possible.

It is really hard to believe that the budget was $1.2 million. Danny Glover and Cary Elwes each should have made more than that for their roles. If this is what can be done with a shoestring budget, why are there so many mega budget movies that stink?