I have been waiting for the release of Saw III since the second Saw II ended. I’ve never been a huge fan of horror movie franchises, mainly because they start to get boring about halfway through the second movie. After being so pleased with Saw II, Saw III had a lot to live up to – and it did.
More disgusting, more painful to watch, and more twisted than the first two, the contraptions and devices in this film are the work of a sick, sick writing team. Each torture scene had me tensing every muscle in my body until it was over and I could breathe a sigh of relief – not that the person survived, necessarily, but just that I didn’t have to watch the pain and suffering anymore.
This film finds Jigsaw on his death bed. Amanda, his protege, kidnaps a talented young doctor to keep him alive to see one last test subject. Dr. Lynn is strapped into one of Amanda’s devices to keep her within parameters and to ensure that if Jigsaw dies, she dies. While Lynn tries desperate measures to prolong Jigsaw’s life, his test subject Jeff is struggling through a maze similar to the house in the second movie. There are several tests for him to complete, with each bringing him closer to escaping from the house.
Several flashback scenes reveal the origins of Amanda and Jigsaw’s relationship, which from the previous two films we knew a little bit about. Flashback sequences also explain what happened to poor Detective Matthews from Saw II, and just how that evil-looking little puppet came to look so creepy.
Shawnee Smith was perfect reprising her role as Amanda for the third time. She’s emotional and on-edge, yet at times eerily calm and sadistic. (Side note: She looks fantastic with the long hair.) Bahar Soomekh (who most will recognize from Crash) is wonderful as Dr. Lynn – a talented doctor who’s made some mistakes in her personal life. Angus Macfayden is Jeff, the test subject who has a grudge to overcome.
Still scary as hell, even on his death bed, is Tobin Bell as Jigsaw/John Kramer. His calm demeanor even in the face of death shows you that no matter how weak he looks, he is always in control.
Overall, I’d say it was an excellent movie. Special effects and makeup were horribly realistic. The actors were fantastic. Even the scene transitions were impressive. After waiting 364 days to see this film, I’m one satisfied horror fan. Leigh Whannell, James Wan, and Darren Lynn Bousman – thank you for making my Halloween weekend awesome once again.
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