SAW III

SAW-TOBER PART 03: SAW III [2006]

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Welcome back to SAW-TOBER – the series when I review each and every film in the SAW franchise, in order, and share my thoughts! Today’s edition? SAW III! Was it good? Well, it was certainly better than it’s predecessors, but it still wasn’t “great” by any means.. Remember how SAW II ended on a cliff hanger? [I didn’t mention that yesterday? whoops. It does. Moving on..] This sequel opens up where the second left off – and the first began – we see Detective Matthews chained up in the infamous bathroom with a handsaw and a choice. In a move that could be considered dumb and smart, Matthews cleverly “solves” his problem by breaking his own foot and thus the title screen flashes. The story leaves Matthews in favor of several horrible deaths that aren’t necessary to the plot, until at least 30 minutes into the film. In short, Jigsaw is now on his death bed and apprentice Amanda, remember her?, kidnaps a brain surgeon and forces her to keep Jigsaw alive to watch his latest game. The script then begins to have problems explaining the differences between Jigsaw’s struggle to survive, his latest victim’s progress through a new “game” and [of course] flashbacks; which are there as an attempt to fill in the plot holes of the last two movies.

Let’s stop right there for a minute. The SAW franchise has already become based on creative devices/traps of death and less about the originality of the first film. Because of this, SAW III loses sight of what made the first SAW good: the simplicity of chaining two people in a room with only a handsaw and the tension; created from wondering if they will, in fact, cut through their own legs for “a greater good.” Originally, Jigsaw’s lesson-driven murders were a nice side to the hyperviolence; but as the SAW series continues, the traps become more and more extreme. While they’re visually appealing to a horror fan, it’s the fact that it’s taking away the point of why John does what he does best.. Sorry, had to get that off my chest – let’s continue, shall we?

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SAW III follows Lynn‘s – the brain surgeon – “game” which consists of her trying to keep John alive through a harrowing brain surgery. If she doesn’t, the explosive collar that Amanda has locked around her neck – which is connected to his heart-rate monitor – will go off, causing her to [literally] lose her head. Meanwhile, we also have Jeff, the subject of Jigsaw‘s final test, who has to participate in a series of grotesque challenges in the dark reaches of the killer’s torture-chamber “facility.” But Why? What did Jeff do? Well, according to Jigsaw, it’s in order to give Jeff the opportunity to either get back at or forgive a series of individuals who were involved in his young son’s accidental death [he was hit by a car] years earlier. Because Jigsaw is dying, Amanda oversees Jeff‘s misfortunes on a TV screen.

What I did like about this sequel is that Jigsaw puts a lot of emphasis on forgiveness. Just like he did in the first two movies, he seems to claim that the reason he tortures people and makes them face death is to teach them how to “live again.” He insists that he wants them to forgive those who have wronged them [including himself] in order to regain their joy for living.What he seems to forget, is to mention that most – if not all – these “subjects” die trying. Thanks, Jigsaw. In one of the “challenges”, we see a judge who sacrifices his own life to try to save the life of a stranger. Before he dies though, we hear him instruct Jeff, “Vengeance never solves anything. It only makes the pain greater.” We also see – whether it’s because she desires to do so or she’s afraid for her own life – Lynn is willing to do everything possible to give the medical attention to Jigsaw that he so badly needs. These brief [but important] scenes hint to the fact that the two are wanting to forgive – even if it is difficult.

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In summation, SAW III continues the tradition of nearly every horror sequel in the genre: it attempts to further their [decent] storytelling by increasing the body count; and like any true horror sequel, it – once again – leaves an opening for another follow up featuring a villain who just won’t die.. even though he does die at the end of this film. As the television previews say loud and proud: “If it’s Halloween, it has to be Saw” and coming from a fan of the series as a whole – that doesn’t mean you should keep making them.

Now I turn to You – the reader. Are You a fan of the SAW III? Or should it have ended after the first movie? What other opinions do you have on the series? Let me know in a comment below, and if you enjoyed this review, and are looking for more, go and follow me over on my Facebook page! [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. So go follow over there too!

JOIN ME TOMORROW WHEN I REVISIT AND REVIEW ANOTHER SEQUEL IN THIS FRANCHISE: SAW IV. I ACTUALLY ENJOYED SOME ASPECTS OF THIS ONE!

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THANKS FOR READING.

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film study: SEQUELITIS – the SAW movies.

Have you ever noticed in movies that when it comes time to write/make a sequel [or six], the films – as a whole – tend to become progressively worse than the one before it? I have. many times. As it turns out, there’s actually a word for that: sequelitis. As described by TVTROPES, sequelitis is when the number of films in a series grows, the higher the probability that the latest entry will be terrible. This makes sense if you think back to older films that had their share of many sequels: such as the Puppet Master films, Friday The 13th, and even A Nightmare On Elm Street – even if that last one and it’s sequels have a special place in my heart. In other words, sequels to movies, generally created on the hopes of box office revenue, are rarely as good as the movie they’re an actual sequel to. If there’s an attempt at a third installment as well, this will also [usually] mark a sharp downhill spike, even if the second movie turned out “all right”. I won’t even get into Direct-To-Video sequels, cause that screams ‘bound to be garbage’ [ahem! Hostel: Part III, cough] Today though, we’re going to be talking about yet another series that although I love[d] them as a whole, they really did get worse as the series went on. If you know me in real life, you’d know that I’m, of course, talking about Saw [and it’s many sequels]

the SAW films: ranked from 'best' to worse' as per Rotten Tomatoes

the SAW films: and their ‘freshness’ as per Rotten Tomatoes


Look at the picture above. Notice how the first Saw film was 48% fresh, but it’s sequel: Saw II,  had a  ‘freshness’ of 36%? That’s almost 10% of a difference already, already showing us that the second film wasn’t as good as the first! [granted, these films aren’t exactly everyone‘s cup of tea] By the time a third SAW film appeared on screen, we’ve dropped yet another 10% in popularity amongst the films. I mean, you’d think that’s where they’d stop..right? Except, this is where it gets kind of tricky though because the series was supposed to end at the third film, which could make sense if you’ve seen the films. But when Lionsgate began to notice just how much money Saw was bringing them in, they demanded that the script to Saw III be changed immensely to allow even more SAW movies to be made.. Obviously, this falls on the fault of “Executive Meddling” – which essentially means that these films started to get worse, because of executive decisions beyond our control.

It’s kind of unfortunate that the Saw films fell into such a death-trap though, [see what I did there?] because I actually enjoyed them – at the very least, for the story of John Kramer and the traps. The Final Chapter, which didn’t feel very “final” at all, ended up with 09% freshness, which is beyond saving.. Even if I have a terrible habit of trying to find something good with every film I watch; that score is fitting. The Final Chapter hurt to watch. [it very well could have been a trap of it’s own]i It didn’t even clear everything up, which it’s promotional teasers claimed it would. [it’s final moments/ending only really made sense if you watched the film with the commentary on]

“well, let’s see: do I want more SAW movies or no? can I think it over first?”

With news and confirmations of an eighth Saw film coming as soon as Halloween 2015, [groan*] I’m both guilty of being excited and overly nervous for what’s to come. With the last film in the series being such garbage, received badly by critics and fans alike, I don’t see why they feel the need to keep pushing with more. If this new sequel is as bad as I’m predicting it will be, I’m hoping Lionsgate comes to realize that more does not always mean better. But now I turn to you readers: how do you feel about the Saw films? Were they masterpieces of horror [I mean, they are the highest grossing horror franchise made] or something that should have ended after part three? Let me know in a comment or two down below.

Also, if you found yourself to enjoy this piece, please take a minute and follow me over on Facebook where you can click the “like” button on my Facebook page. By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share links and pictures that will not be featured here on the blog.  So be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with family and friends!

THANKS FOR READING.