If it's crap ... We'll tell you
A very popular criticism (from what I have seen) is that it is just a poor mans Se7en. And I would have too agree with that. Not saying that Saw ripped Se7en off, but by then we have already seen this type of killer done better and scarier. Saw may be more direct with its violence, but it isnt as effective as, say, a picture of a knife-dildo strap on.
It certainly isn't one of the best horror movies, but Saw is decent.
I couldn't tell you why critics hate it, I'm sure it varies on the critic.
I don't like it. It appears to disguise its real intent (the gore, the detail of the torture scenes) by labelling itself as supposedly clever, deep and original. The succession of sequels kinda proves that filmmakers were more interested in seeing how more creative and gory they could get with the death scenes, and that's where the torture porn label comes from. And I'm sorry, but I'm one of these people that can understand why it has that label. I just don't find people getting tortured particularly entertaining.
Torture porn - A Serbian Film, Hostel films, Human Centipede, Saw sequels
The original Saw isnt.
well, i thought the acting was ok. but the writing was terrible, the editing was a goddamn mess because they sped past the "gorey" scenes (speaking of the gore scenes, i know it doesnt have as much as the sequels, but this movie was advertised and criticised by critics and audiences for being gorey, which is bullshit).
and the ending had one of the worst twists ive ever seen.
**SPOILERS** for those who havent seen it
it turns out the man behind the traps and behind holding the protagonists hostage was.....the corpse on the floor. Wat makes this a terrible twist is that the whole movie was spent goin through other people, giving u the impression that one of them was the killer, which none of them were. Making the guy on the floor the killer was surprising CAUSE NO ONE EXPECTED IT, but it didnt give the audience any clues to that. When u look at Fight Club or The Sixth Sense, u could probably deduce the twists if u pay really close attention, but if not u could still find the hints upon repeated viewings. u cant with Saw, cause who the fuck would seriously guess the dead body on the floor did it?