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?
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.
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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