Saw III (2006)

Saw III (2006)

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"You're completely crazy." "Yeah, well you're completely bald."
“You’re completely crazy.”
“Yeah, well you’re completely bald.”

Twitter Plot Summary: Jigsaw is dying and kidnaps a doctor to save him. He ruins things by leaving his trademark tests in the hands of his apprentice.

Genre: Crime/Horror/Thriller

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Key Cast: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Donnie Wahlberg, Dina Meyer.

Five Point Summary:

1. Jigsaw’s operating theatre looks grotty. Surely there’s a risk of secondary infection?

2. The freezer room is particularly nasty.
3. It’s clear that Amanda is crazy – Jigsaw chose wrong there.

4. Tobin Bell is an imposing presence, but Jigsaw needs more to do.
5. The whole film is just an excuse to think up the nastiest thing possible and commit it to film. Which is moderately entertaining.

This review was originally posted on www.randomstoat.com on 04 February 2012.

A while back I didn’t see much point in watching the Saw sequels – I thought the first movie was pretty much perfect as it was and there was no need to expand the story further. That said, and bearing in mind I’m still subscribed to Lovefilm and Netflix (NB: as of 2013 I’m only subscribed to the latter), I thought I would check out the remaining six films. I’ve actually ended up watching them slightly out of order – Saw 5 is on Netflix streaming so I randomly watched that one in isolation, and have gone back and watched Saw 2 and 3 over the last couple of weeks.As for the story this time round, it picks up from the end of Saw 2 and events unfold from a more emotional perspective – Jigsaw is dying and a doctor is brought in by Amanda, his apprentice for want of a better term, to keep him alive.

Meanwhile a very angry man with stubble finds himself working through a set of puzzles set by Jigsaw. The reason why Angry Stubble Man is so angry is because his young son died after being hit by a car (sadly not a car with sentience, like Herbie) and now he has opportunity to gain revenge on those responsible, including the judge who sentenced the killer to a short six month sentence, the eye witness who saw the whole incident, and the killer himself.

Jigsaw couldn't work out how to cure his headache.
Jigsaw couldn’t work out how to cure his headache.

The traps are all as gruesome as you would expect – chests ripped open, limbs twisted the wrong way, and in one incredibly disconcerting scene, a naked woman chained between two poles, in a freezer, and intermittently sprayed with water. Suffice to say that the combination of freezer, cold water and naked woman does not end well. Ultimately  Angry Stubble Man gets through the tasks for a showdown with Jigsaw. Whilst all of these tasks are going on, Amanda is overseeing the medical treatment of an ailing Jigsaw, and having a bit of a moral quandary of her own. In some ways it’s a subtly different beast to the first two films, humanising Jigsaw and exploring human nature with Angry Stubble Man’s journey, both physical and emotional, through the challenges before him.

Now, if the franchise had finished here I would have had no complaints, and with the death of Jigsaw it seems a natural end point. That said, I currently have no complaints about the remaining four films – from my viewing of Saw 5 it looks like they’ve expanded the story and plugged some gaps as they’ve gone along. Again based on having seen Saw 1-3 and Saw 5, all the films end with a mini-montage where all of Jigsaw’s plans are revealed and innocuous snippets of dialogue make everything clear. I get the impression that the first things scripted are the traps and the ending, with the rest of the story filled in from there. I’m not going to complain about that, however, as it’s a writing style that I use myself on occasion.

It’s funny that horror franchises are the ones that get endless sequels – Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday The 13th, Halloween to name but three. In that respect the Saw franchise is in good company. For the record I enjoyed all of the Elm Street movies (oh, except for the remake…), so perhaps I should have given Saw a better chance at the time.

Favourite scene: The freezer room. Inventive.

Quote: “Death is a surprise party.”

Silly Moment: The whole concept. One film was enough.

Score: 2.5/5

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