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Can see why such an odd project got the funding it needed.
I didn't notice this existed until I was actually browsing through IMDb horror and found it rather highly rated. Before that, I had only seen the first Saw movie, which I felt to be an adequate addition to the torture porn genre, which is also a genre I feel next to nothing for.
The reason I though the first Saw movie was not so bad, was not the originality of the concept, but the fact that there weren't any helpless maidens being saved by action hero types. Instead, it was two men of middling attractiveness that had to everything by themselves. But I digress.
I definitely can see where the first movie built off of this little teaser. Sure, replacing Leigh with a woman is a bit disappointing, but that's a subject for another time. What it seems to me about at least the start of the franchise is that it wasn't produced to earn some quick cash off of teens. There seems to be real thought,passion and effort behind (at least the start of) the whole thing.