Not the gore, although I had my issues with that as well. I'm talking about the acting. Why is it a prerequisite for any Hollywood horror film that the actors are lifeless and unconvincing? My personal favorite was the blonde chick who gets offed first - who happens to be the cousin of a friend of mine. She was such a perfect, lovely, and useless character. A throwaway. In fact - most of the people in this film (with the weak exception of Jigsaw himself) were completely useless, excepting as targets for the violence. I have a hard time justifying hours of my life to entertainment that is just trash. Maybe I could have gotten a bit more into the film by seeing the other four, but that was just too daunting a task. Leaving the theater, I thought, "What was the point of this film? What do people get out of it?
Gabrielle Murray's article offered a few reasons why people may be attracted to this kind of torture porn - one of which is that this kind of imagery makes us "feel things." Aside from bored and antsy, I suppose that the movie did make me feel something. Kinda sick. The second-to-last ultraviolent scene in the film occurred when two victims were forced to place their hands into a mysteriously-overly-complicated sawing device. They were to be bled almost to death. Now - there is no way to know exactly what that kind of thing might look or sound like - but that didn't stop the director from eternally drawing out the scene. The sound of bones being sliced through was unpleasant, but not scary. With no genuine tension in the film, I just didn't see the point.
I thought the plot was weak and predictable. Jigsaw picks "imperfect" people for his schemes. This is classic horror movie stuff - if you sin, you die. Sexual deviance, swearing, being a minority - these are all crimes for which one must be punished! I think the film would have been much scarier if his choices of victims were random. As it was, I didn't even have nightmares. How disappointing.
So - there was a definite effect on my psyche after seeing this film. Murray discusses a human desire to get in touch with our mortality. I do that enough on a regular basis (I have been known to be an outrageous hypochondriac), so I didn't really appreciate coming face to face with such explicitly graphic violence. It doesn't matter that this is a fictive story. My reaction is strong and visceral. The dude who gets cut in half on the rack-like device? Please. I will be thinking about a pointed blade slicing through my skin, and then my liver until further notice.