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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.51%
Worth A Look27.35%
Average: 17.09%
Pretty Bad: 7.69%
Total Crap27.35%

6 reviews, 81 user ratings

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Saw 3
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by Doug Bentin

"Choose the lesser of two Boschean evils."
4 stars

I fidgeted a little while watching “Saw III” but it wasn’t from nerves. It’s also not that I wasn’t enjoying the movie, if “enjoying” is the right word for it, because I was staying right with it and wondering what was coming next.

Actually, that may be it. I was wondering what was coming next because the feeling that I’d already seen twice before what was on the screen was pretty hard to deny. Having a serious talk with the inner you might not be a bad idea when the only reason you go to a movie is because you hope that the filmmakers will concoct some horrendous new ways to kill unpleasant characters.

Tobin Bell, who is the best actor yet to make a name for himself as a franchise horror movie character, returns as John, the killer known as “Jigsaw.” Okay, let’s split a hair. Jigsaw doesn’t kill people—he just puts them in situations where they might end up killing themselves in an attempt to get free. See, he wants to punish folks who don’t appreciate life by making them choose between two unsavory choices before they can escape his “game.”

This time, he’s down to two victims, or so it seems. One is Lynn (Bahar Soomekh), a brain surgeon around whose neck he’s clamped an explosive collar. He needs her to perform hurry-up surgery on his to relieve the pressure on his brain ca

The second unwilling gamesman is Jeff (Angus MacFayden), who is confronted with the people he blames for the death of his son after the kid was hit by a car. Jeff can choose to forgive them, proving that he is leaving a life of bitterness and vengeance-seeking behind, or he can watch them die in some extraordinarily unpleasant ways. The judge who gave the driver a puny sentence of six months is strapped on his back in a tank into which is flowing the minced and rotting corpses of pigs. You can’t imagine a fate more offal.

Rejoining Jigsaw is his girl Friday, Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the ex-junkie who learned the error of her ways in the first film and was turned into a willing assistant in the second.

As is the case with most of the gruefests that pass for horror movies these days, none of this is particularly frightening. Who was the wise man who wrote in these pages not long ago that gore may be upsetting but it is not, in and of itself, scary? Oh yeah, it was me.

To his credit, screenwriter Leigh Whannell, who began all this two years ago, seems at least as interested in relationships between the villains as he is in tacking on death scenes, and I think that’s an unexpectedly good thing. His view of human beings, at least in these films, is refreshingly pessimistic. The bad guy remains more humane, in his own depraved way, than his victims.

Director Darren Lynn Bousman returns from part two and keeps everything moving along at a brisk pace. Director of photography David Armstrong washes out most of the color and makes the world of Jigsaw as bleak looking as it is in fact.

Most of the time you can walk away from a horror movie with an oddly bright attitude. At least you survived the experience. The “Saw” films leave you wanting to see around corners before you get to them. They come with an extra helping of Existential dread. Whether or not that goes down well with popcorn depends on your taste.

Horror movies are supposed to be transgressive in every way possible, and this is one certainly is. It’s gruesome, pessimistic, and bleaker than any house Charles Dickens ever painted. If director Darren Lynn Bousman and screenwriter Leigh Whannell tried just as hard to be thoughtful as they do to be gory, this could become the thinking ghoul’s horror franchise.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 11/11/06 05:18:58
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell it sux saw 2 was alot better 1 stars
5/08/16 Andra Birzu One of the best part of the series, I really love mysteries so I love this series. 5 stars
3/29/14 parisandlondon I agree that Macfadyen is a terrible actor. Never understood the hype. 1 stars
3/03/10 Stanley Thai This film is a great recovery from Saw II. 3 stars
1/12/10 William Clever plot, genius ending. It's a real shame they had to "resort to gore and violence" 3 stars
10/14/09 American Slasher Goddess The meat and the potatoes of the series; the best entry in the series 4 stars
11/03/08 Shaun Wallner Scary Film! 4 stars
10/28/08 Sugarfoot Once again some good ideas but the execution only works occasionally. 3 stars
7/23/08 David V Lame story, and Amanda was pretentious as hell. 1 stars
3/01/08 Ivana Mann Deeply unpleasant, sadistic waste of celluloid. Strictly for pervs! 1 stars
10/30/07 Beau Gross!! i was cringing in the cinemas! but the first is still the best, need to see IV now 3 stars
10/22/07 Adam The gore and nudity deviates from the first two, and the film has a less thrilling premise. 3 stars
7/30/07 ben dover first film original this just fucking sick boring trash 2 stars
6/13/07 Dave it sucked 1 stars
5/26/07 Piz if you like the series you won't be disappointed, I thout it was better than Saw 2. 4 stars
5/19/07 David Pollastrini good gore and hot women! 5 stars
4/27/07 Dave Horrowitz This Is crap. ran out of ideas to kill them. the dickheads. rot in hell. u assholes 2 stars
4/27/07 Anothony mark this is fucking shit 1 stars
4/27/07 Anothony stevenson It's Awesome dudes funny as hell 5 stars
4/24/07 kristina fucking moron. Amanda helped him with the traps. His cancer also developed over the movies. 5 stars
4/10/07 kimberlee this movie sucks 1 stars
3/18/07 Justin P Shit movie, somehow worse than the 2nd and I didn't think that was possible 1 stars
2/26/07 Mike Awesome Awesome stuff! Very cruel! The ending was kinda silly but still an AWESOME flick! 5 stars
2/05/07 William Goss Overwrought depravity deprived of any prior suspense by filling in blanks. Worst one yet. 2 stars
2/04/07 Mike Probably the best horror movie ever! 5 stars
2/02/07 matt actually pretty good, despite the seemingly endless flashbacks 4 stars
1/28/07 mike_rackhabbit what movie ? 3 stars
1/24/07 action movie fan morbidily fascinating-quite good for an extreme gore film--clever plotting 4 stars
12/22/06 Maurice EVO Let the game begin!!! 5 stars
12/13/06 mig Really liked it, but not as good as the first 2. They went the wrong direction with it. 4 stars
12/03/06 zeus this is one of the best films 5 stars
12/02/06 Marsc what pop-video joke, Eli Roth and HOSTEL=#1 1 stars
11/30/06 tammi it was gorey but funny at the same time 4 stars
11/22/06 jesus the movie of saw3 3 stars
11/21/06 Michele better than the second 5 stars
11/20/06 michael first was much better but this had its moments, someplace 4 stars
11/15/06 Drew Galletti A lot of great gore, but not as good as part 1 or 2 3 stars
11/14/06 MR tHE bEST FILM I EVER SEEN 4 stars
11/14/06 Big Al i fell asleep... 2 stars
11/13/06 J.Pet Like Jigsaw's heartrate, it flatlined 2 stars
11/13/06 Dark Enchantress Not as good as the first, NO plot, but ok. Plus i love the Saw movies! 4 stars
11/13/06 Tiffany Losco Yuck, these movies freak me out. 3 stars
11/13/06 In mE I tRuSt reviewers u are pathetic...if you can't judge movies then don't do it.I feel sorry for u 5 stars
11/11/06 Jamethon Not great (obviously), was still better than HOSTEL! 4 stars
11/11/06 DIANA 1st one was better & 2nd & 3rd just went down the hill 2 stars
11/08/06 Michael If you liked Romance in Manhattan, go see this 1 stars
11/07/06 Ashley The movie's storyline was well-written, however the dialogue actually made me laugh 4 stars
11/06/06 Kyle Really good movie! I grossed out my sister when i ate a sandwich after seeing it(No Barf :) 5 stars
11/05/06 Kimberly pretty gorey, better than 2 but not as good as Saw 4 stars
11/05/06 Nick sucks fat hairy ass - 2 stars
11/05/06 josh awesome movie, story was filled with twists and turns and it was original. definite 5 stars 5 stars
11/04/06 nikolina really gory dont watch if u have a weak stomach but i LOVED it 4 stars
11/04/06 dumbfounded 3 sites= 3 copies-same review=all wrong critics should be forced to watch "the break up" 5 stars
11/04/06 not just some guy "gore" sums up this one, great movie better than 2 5 stars
11/04/06 brad thought i was gonna pass out... truly gruesome 4 stars
11/03/06 Harroldo Fun to watch, but a bit too unbelivable this time. nice ingma at the end 3 stars
11/03/06 jae this movie was not as good as the 2nd but better than the 1st 2 stars
11/03/06 ravindra ganesh very beautiful movie, like dam 5 stars
11/02/06 Drew Great gore, but the story line has weakened incredibly 5 stars
11/02/06 DIEGO awesome, very good gore fest movie! 5 stars
11/01/06 Gavin This film hainted me, too many scenes that i couldn't stomache! will still watch Saw4 Tho! 3 stars
10/31/06 Stanley Thai It's a lot better than Saw II but not as good as Saw. 4 stars
10/31/06 Greg I seriously was grossed-out by several scenes. Loved it!! 5 stars
10/31/06 Steve Get off your soapbox you critics - enjoy it for what it is, a good old gore fest! 4 stars
10/30/06 robb brilliant. stunning conclusion to a memorable trilogy. 5 stars
10/30/06 Donny Martwick If you like crap, go see this! 1 stars
10/30/06 Mike If u rate this low, then NEVER watch horror again. This was FUCKIN AWESOME! Very Brutal! 5 stars
10/30/06 zac brilliant. so much better then Saw 2 5 stars
10/30/06 Hateful More turds for the morons. Go eat it up, SpaceMonkeys! 1 stars
10/30/06 benson first movie ive ever walked out on 1 stars
10/30/06 David Worst of the trilogy. 2 stars
10/30/06 mary not as good as the first, but better than the 2nd. 4 stars
10/29/06 Nick Best of the series. I loved it & I am a critic. 4 stars
10/29/06 Wolfie Weakest of the three but still pretty good. 3 stars
10/29/06 Jules SawIII was very good.. Geez, reviewer, whine much? 4 stars
10/29/06 Jake it was actually really good. critics dont like the saws anyway. 5 stars
10/29/06 B.H loved it!!! Directors are laughing all the way to the bank despite you so called movie crit 5 stars
10/28/06 Peter I loved it. 5 stars
10/28/06 DIANA OK 3 stars
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  27-Oct-2006 (R)
  DVD: 23-Jan-2007



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