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Jigsaw has disappeared; and with his new apprentice Amanda--the puppet-master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police--he has once again eluded capture...  View more >

Starring Tobin Bell, Angus Macfadyen, Dina Meyer...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Oct 28, 2006
Oct 30, 2006
The Saw franchise is a strange beast. On the one hand, it's rare these days to see a truly original and decent horror franchise. On the other, the films' dialogue can be cheesy, the directing is over-kinetic for suspense flicks, and the acting almost uniformly mediocre-to-awful across the board, with the exception of Tobin Bell as the villainous Jigsaw.

Still, I enjoyed the first film for what it was; a big, elaborate, gory riddle. The second followed the rule of horror sequels, delivering basically the same movie but with more characters and more blood, albeit slightly higher production values and a great turn by Bell, being given an expanded role. The third film in the series follows the second so closely that you might be hard-pressed to follow what's happening if you hadn't seen the first and second flicks. It goes back to the original more in tone, though, being less an all-out slasher fest, giving us fewer characters with deeper characterization.

The approach is successful, moreso than the approach brought to the second movie, but something still feels off. The whole thing comes across as kind of forced. Whereas in the second film they just connected the dots to make a passable by-the-numbers sequel with a twist ending, here they're forced to follow through on that twist and ("SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN SAW II") the character of Amanda just doesn't seem to fit into Jigsaw's universe. I like my horror villains working alone, not with some emo babe running around doing their dirty work for them. Also, the "second plot", which of course intersects with the first in pretty predictable ways by the end of the movie, feels completely superfluous for too long a time. The twist involved in having these two plots kept seperate for so long isn't worth the cost to the movie.

Still, there's plenty to like for Saw fans. Tobin Bell exudes a quiet yet powerful menace as Jigsaw. The traps are even more elaborate, gory, and disgusting than before, though nothing tops the hypodermic needle pit in the second film. There are tense moments, and the last few scenes provide a nice sense of closure to the trilogy. The other actors in the film do a better job than before, too, though just about anything would top the cheesefest that was Cary Elwes in the final moments of the original.

In the end, Saw III plays the same basic game as the first two, but without the cliffhanger ending. It's effectively frightening in that "Oh God, I don't wanna look but I kinda do" way the others were. Still, the formula is getting a little tired, the twists aren't as shocking, and there's that pesky Amanda running around like the loose end she is. If you want really scary horror for your Halloween, I'd suggest trying to hunt down "The Descent" in a budget theatre. Saw III won't benefit that much from a theatrical viewing, and if you need to see I'd suggest waiting for the DVD. ** out of 4.
Oct 30, 2006
Nov 11, 2006
Liked the first two, but this one just is a mess. Almost fell asleep.
Jan 2, 2007
Jan 6, 2007

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