Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
With: Angus MacFayden, Tobin Bell
Runtime: 107 min
“Do you want to play a game…?” There is no doubt that the Saw franchise has been hugely successful and I know that I, along with many others, enjoyed the new inventive/sadistic horror that came across in the first two films. It wasn’t just what it said on the tin; it had that but it also had something else: a bloody good concept!
Any big Saw fan is going to want to see this so I’d like to give you some advice. Do not go expecting anything new, or a fresh film with new ideas: it does what the first two films did, but gets lost along the way. And whatever you do, make sure you are up to speed with the previous films because the past plays a large part in the plot.
Overall this film was largely disappointing, and it doesn’t have the same power to hook the viewer as I and II did. It fails in attempted character development leaving the audience with no feeling or understanding for the victims, and the story seems predictable yet unbelievable at the same time. Saw III does not create fear, but rather goes in for moments of gore you cannot bare to watch, rather than moments of sheer terror. An example of this lack of fear is shown by Jigsaw – someone who lies half dead on a bed for an entire film holds less powerful fear than a man stroking a cat. OK bad example, but you know what I mean.
The plot focuses heavily upon Jigsaw’s apprentice, Amanda (Shawnee Smith), who struggles to deal with her master’s illness and her need to continue “his work”, leading to a battle within herself as well as with others through typical manipulative games. Unfortunately, director Darren Lynn Bousman clumsily brings the tale of torture and of Amanda together in a thoroughly unsatisfying conclusion. Twist, what twist?
Saw III, for its clear weaknesses, does showcase some unbelievable, and perhaps unviewable, moments. Watch Jigsaw’s favourite toy, the rack, amongst other gruesome deaths. What if that was your leg or your arm?
No matter how effective the scenarios of horror are, there is an overriding feeling after watching this film that it was basically a poor attempt at linking different cases of torture together into a sketchy story; ideas of death that writers had before they had a story rather than vice versa. However, if you want to see blood and guts and power drills making holes in people’s skulls go and see it, but it nowhere near reaches the impact of previous attempts. “Live or die, make your choice…”
Reviewed by Adam Luke