Life Lessons Hidden Under the Skin of Saw III's Grisly Gore
by Josh Green
October 28, 2006
It's hard to pull off a good third installment in a successful franchise. It's even harder to make three separate films over a span of only three years. Somehow, Leigh Whannell and Darren Lynn Bousman have not only made another sequel that is just as good, if not better, than the first two, but they have also managed to breathe a refreshing conclusion to the series.
Saw III picks up closely to where Saw II left off. Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is dying; Amanda (Shawnee Smith), his protÃ©gÃ©e, captures a poor doctor (Bahar Soomekh) to help keep Jigsaw alive so he can witness his final and most disturbing game of all. I really don't want to give away anything else, because for those who have enjoyed the previous films they will enjoy Saw III the most by having the least bit of information beforehand.
The Saw series has fulfilled my deepest desires as to what the horror genre might evolve into. These are sick, grotesque, and deeply disturbing films. At the same time, they are also creative, innovative, and surprising at almost every turn. These are characteristics that many horror films this year have tried to pull off and have often done so unsuccessfully.
The best part about these films, and in Saw III especially, is Jigsaw. Jigsaw isn't some killer with no motive. He has a motive: appreciate your life. This notion, as simple as it appears to be, is much more powerful than the average "don't have sex or you will be killed with a machete" concept. The fact that Jigsaw is a cancer patient on his deathbed, rather than some huge monstrous beast, gives the audience psychological tension that we haven't seen before. Jigsaw has to be one of the most evil and morbid villains to appear on screen; but even with those factors taken into consideration it's hard not to feel some sympathy for him. How Bousman is able to turn the tables on us like that is a great achievement.
Saw III delivers a fantastic closing on the series. It's just like a puzzle: the first film brought all the initial pieces together, the second film created another layer of pieces to reveal a bigger picture, and Saw III gives us the final piece to put in the middle so we can see the entire puzzle completed. My only fear is that another installment will be scheduled for release next year. Honestly, I don't know where they can go from here, but I also said that after seeing the second one.
Saw III is this Halloween's treat. It's filled with gory surprises and emotional turns that will either put the audience into a coma, or leave them dying for more. It's time to see Jigsaw's final test… Let the game begin.