"Saw III" hits rock bottom

Nov. 8, 2006, midnight | By Sahil Shah | 14 years, 2 months ago

The third "Saw" is more violent than ever before

It's that time of year again! Pumpkins, Spiderman costumes and of course, violent and sadistic movies with reckless disregard for logic are. But please, do the movie theater's building servicemen a favor and avoid watching this movie just in the spirit of Halloween. "Saw III" is meant for those with a stomach of steel, as it takes viewers on a roller coaster of gory and extremely graphic scenes.

The "Saw" series creators and screenwriters, James Wan and Leigh Wannell have apparently run out of story ideas, but their imaginations continue to flourish with new torture devices. Each subsequent installment of "Saw" seems to have less plot, but more ingenious and painful contraptions. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if the fourth "Saw" is titled "101 methods of torture."

For those unacquainted with "Saw," each movie contains people who must solve gruesome puzzles or tests – all of which involve self-mutilation – in order to shirk death. The victims are chosen because of some flaw in their character by a man known as "Jigsaw," with the intention that those who survive will rectify their mistakes and learn the value of life. Like some adult version of Aesop's fable, these movies have a moral imbedded in all the screaming and blood. Good luck finding it.

In a lame attempt to extend the runtime, the first twenty minutes of "Saw III" is completely unrelated to the movie. It begins with a scene of Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) locked up in the room where he was left in the previous movie, struggling to saw his foot off and free himself. Next, the movie reverts to a crime scene where Matthews's partner, Detective Kerry (Dina Meyer), is investigating another murder committed by Jigsaw. While Kerry scrutinizes a tape left by Jigsaw, she is abducted and violently killed.

Then literally from nowhere, a doctor named Lynn (Bahar Soomekh) is forcibly recruited to tend to the ailing Jigsaw while her husband Jeff (Angus Macfadyen) is subjected to a series of Jigsaw's infamous tests because Jeff is consumed with vengeance towards the drunk driver who killed his son.

The rest of "Saw III" alternates between scenes around Lynn and Jeff, and the movie is interspersed with too many flashbacks that try to fill in the holes from its two predecessors. Jeff faces the people who killed his son, and is given the choice to free them or watch them gruesomely die. Then, in the most graphic scene of the movie, Lynn performs a procedure in which she cuts open Jigsaw's head and removes a piece of his skull.

The torture scenes are shown in the characteristic quick, jerky camera movements that only add to the squeamishness of the movie. Also, the images are blurry and dark to augment the obscurity. While other directors try to involve the audience in their movies, Director Darren Lynn Bousman appears to want viewers to watch the film from a distant haze.

As always, the movie ends with a huge twist that changes the perspective everything that happened.

For those of you who just want to know the torture scene within the movie, I won't disappoint you. There's a man with numerous hooks clamped to his skin, a woman whose chest is torn apart, a judge who is suffocated by pig entrails and the drunk driver who is literally twisted until his bones jut out from his skins. There's my warning.

"Saw III" (107 minutes, in area theaters) is rated R for strong grisly violence and gore, sequences of terror and torture, nudity and language.

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