Wan and Whannell have a carnivalesque sense of fun and a sure instinct for recycling classic horror tropes, but their characters are so flat and their plotting so listless that this low-budget feature fails to generate much suspense.
There's something quaintly charming about the filmmakers' unabashed affection for their inspirational source material, although the sense of over-familiarity means that none of it is in the least bit scary.
there's something about its overblown stormy-night atmospherics and reliably dismal dialogue that's bad in almost a fun way. I'd rather laugh through this kind of harmless, rickety schlock, any day, than grimace through Saw III.
Even without the mechanized death that made the Saw movies such a sensation, it doesn't take long to realize that director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell are merely trying to replace one twisty, gimmicky franchise with another.
While one might wish to commend Wan and company for making a horror pic that's less reliant on gore and gross sadism than the ones that they're normally associated are, what they're serving up as an alternative really lacks.