Saw III

"Good"

Saw III Review


The Saw series, like most horror franchises, uses a lot of constants in its formula -- even when those constants don't seem particularly vital to the quality of the series. Saw III, for example, matches its predecessors in the dubious categories of histrionic yelling, equally histrionic smash-editing (often incorporating a generous helping of re-used footage, from the previous films or even from earlier in this one), and plot twists that depend on those histrionics to drown out implausibility.

But Saw III does actually have a plot to twist which, like its predecessors, sets it apart from most slasher films. When we last left Jigsaw (Tobin Bell, the only cast member who doesn't have to scream half his dialogue), he was dying, and taking young Amanda (Shawnee Smith) under his wing to continue his work. Saw III picks up with Jigsaw in even worse shape than before, his body breaking down while his moralizing creepiness remains more or less intact. Amanda brings in an unhappy doctor (Bahar Soomekh) to keep Jigsaw alive along enough to see one of his most elaborate games played all the way through.

The subject of this game is Jeff (Angus MacFadyen) is tortured not by, say, a series of chains hooked into his flesh that must be ripped out to avoid a ticking time bomb (that's reserved for a side character), but by the memory of his young son, killed by a drunk driver, and his desire for vengeance. Jeff is sent through one of Jigsaw's by-now-patented house of horrors (he must make all of his torture seed money in real estate) for twisted lessons in, um, well, the screenplay goes with "forgiveness." I'd probably say "anatomy" or possibly "physics."

Not all of the story makes sense, but the plain fact that this horror movie cuts between two stories, rather than following the standard explore/get stalked/get killed model (with optional "capture/torture," and even more optional "rescue," add-ons), is sort of gratifying. Bell may be given a similar assignment each time around -- whisper, don't ever surrender control, and act a little smug about it -- but to the filmmakers' credit, his character's story does have a progression of sorts from film to film. To Bell's credit, he gives evil an enjoyably calm, human façade. A couple of brief, wordless flashbacks in Saw III seem to hint at further backstory, presumably to be explored in Saws 4 through 6. This is impressive for a slasher villain; some other franchises don't bother to have the same actor play the bad guy more than once or twice in a row.

Indeed, the Saw films pay an inordinate amount of attention to continuity, such that the gaping plot holes from the first Saw are still being plugged in number three. It's almost as if the filmmakers know they're half-assing it, and what they can't fix in post is saved for future sequels. These movies are slapped together with love.

The exception is Jigsaw's games, of course, which are clearly given far more thought than the characters and story put together. They're perverse, but also more inventive by now than figuring out ways for a child's ghost to pop out and screech at people. The Saw series is, by this point, pretty far removed from being scary, but its self-guided torture sessions at least promote visceral shudders. Saw III may be more of the same, but its can-do spirit -- yes, we can make three movies in three years, each making more money than the last -- is engagingly American.

Aka Saw 3.

Chilly.



Saw III

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th October 2006

Box Office USA: $80.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $163.9M

Budget: $10M

Distributed by: Lionsgate Films

Production compaines: Twisted Pictures, Evolution Entertainment, Lions Gate Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 28%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 63

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as John Kramer, as Jeff Reinhart, as Kerry, Kim Roberts as Deborah, as Amanda Young, Bahar Soomekh as Dr. Lynn Denlon

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.