Alex's Review: Saw III Best in Trilogy
by Alex Billington
October 28, 2006
The Saw franchise is one of the hottest horror series in recent memory. It brings a very distinct psychological twist to the macabre themes for which the genre is known, and yet also features the exciting "gorific" moments with the unique traps that lead "villain" Jigsaw creates. Saw III completes the trilogy experience and delivers a full-on, dark and horrific film bursting with excitement and energy from its very first scene to its jaw-dropping conclusion. It is undoubtedly the best movie of the trilogy and really shines with some of the most capable and incredible filmmaking ever seen from director Darren Lynn Bousman. Saw III is the best horror film of 2006.
Saw III picks up immediately following Saw II at a very swift pace. Jumping right into the horrific nature that Bousman delivers best, Saw III never stops for a second to allow you to catch your breath. Without divulging too much of the story, as the very intricate and meticulous plot is what makes Saw III so intriguing, it's a close continuation from the first two, often connecting via flashbacks. The two new leads this time around are Jeff (Angus Macfadyen) and Lynn (Bahar Soomekh), whose direct involvement can only be found out by seeing Saw III in theaters. Everything comes together to a shocking climax that no one in the audience will see coming. When it finally hits, you'll feel the chills down your spine as you realize that yet another fantastic Saw movie has baffled you again.
The traps, although not as numerous as most Saw fans may hope for, turned out to be just as enjoyable as those found in the first two films. They are designed well enough to ramp that "gorific" shock-factor right back up to the most appropriate level that horror fans expect in a Saw film. Each one brings all the expected nasty, grotesque excellence that Bousman and his team creates best, and will definitely earn an infamous spot amongst the horror genre's great kills. Squeamish viewers are guaranteed to spend much of the running time looking away from the screen. Saw's strength as a horror movie isn't its cheap jump-scares, but rather its gore and the jaw-dropping "oh-my-god" factor elicited by its many traps and secrets.
Villainous mastermind Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) appeared only briefly in the original Saw and was seen throughout Saw II. This time around he's constrained to a hospital bed, yet every single word he says and every sentence he speaks is full of depth and wisdom. Bell is the glowing personality that makes the entire Saw franchise grow far beyond a series of traps, and in Saw III he turns in his greatest performance yet. Shawnee Smith as Jigsaw's new apprentice Amanda creates an emotional character whose intricate understanding is portrayed perfectly with subtlety and depth. Even newcomers Bahar Soomekh and Angus Macfadyen fit easily into the gloomy atmosphere that makes up Jigsaw's universe.
Although most will have to look away at some of the more intense moments, Saw's incredibly intellectual filmmaking will gain attention in the minds of even those who typically stay far away from horror. Saw III is one of the very few horror films out there that is capable of doing so, and this is due largely in part to the original writing from Leigh Whannell combined with expert storytelling from director Darren Lynn Bousman. It has a very organic and natural feeling, something that is rare to see together in combination with an original, incredibly entertaining, and profound film.
Saw III is this year's best horror film and the best in the Saw trilogy. It lives up to the hype and even provides more gut-wrenching, jaw-dropping, edge-of-your-seat intensity and excitement. The gore presses the limits of an R rating and will force many to look away, but not at the cost of numbing the experience. Everyone in Saw III, from actors Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Dina Meyer, Bahar Soomekh, and Angus Macfadyen, to the filmmaking team of director Darren Lynn Bousman, screenwriter Leigh Whannell, cinematographer David Armstrong, and producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules, embody what make the Saw franchise so incredible and so powerful. They deserve a standing ovation for this collaborative achievement.