A couple of strangers wake to find themselves chained up in a darkened room, in an abandoned factory. On the floor in front of them, lies a dead body and a set of instructions.
Unable to comprehend where they are, or how they got there, they're alarmed to find the instructions left by their abductor informs them that one of them must kill the other, before the night is over, otherwise they will both die as will their families, who are currently being held hostage.
Realising this is the work of a serial killer, known as Jigsaw. The two are left with the agonising decision as to whether one of them should die, or if they can work together to try and figure a way out.
Help is at hand though, as it seems the killer is himself being stalked by an ex-cop (played by Danny Glover), who wants revenge for the death of his partner. But, is everything and everyone they appear to be?
An exceptionally stylish and slick psychological thriller, with some neat surprise twists. Looking back on this now, it really is surprising just how markedly different this is from the gore drenched "torture porn" opuses that the sequels became reknown for.
One that all discerning horror fans should check out, but should be judged on its own merits and not lumped in with the gory sequels.