With his new apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the puppet-master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police, has once again eluded capture and vanished. While city detectives scramble to locate him, Dr Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) is kidnapped by the deranged Amanda and taken to a macabre warehouse where she meets Jigsaw, aka: John Kramer (Tobin Bell), who's now bedridden and on the verge of death. Lynn is forced to keep the madman alive for as long as it takes Jeff (Angus Macfayden), another of his victims, to complete another deadly game. Lynn and Jeff struggle to make it through each of their vicious tests, unaware that Jigsaw and Amanda have a much bigger plan for both of them ...
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Saw III is certain to give audiences pulp-itations, sending their blood coursing rapidly through their veins as the terrifying games deliver a healthy (?) quotient of blood and grue (as in gruesome). It's a film that keeps its promise and fulfils expectations in this sub genre of the horror film, reconfirming that horror is indeed back; the film was No. 1 at the US box office on opening weekend with a massive US$34 million. No longer do studio executives try to peddle horror films in commercial shame as psychological thrillers.
This is, not surprisingly, the best developed story of the franchise (still defying much logical or rational analysis, of course) and we spend considerable time with a terminally ill Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) who has been constructed as a somewhat misguided moral snob wishing to instil good - in this case forgiveness - in his victims' souls. And we can't argue with forgiveness as a Good Thing. The dying man's motivation gives the film a nicely twisted moral playground, as we see-saw (ooops) between primitive responses to the vicious tortures inflicted on the captives.
If you found Hannibal's brain cooking scene a tad too much, you will want to avoid Saw III; but if you are a fan of the gory versions of horror, this will be an iconic essential. Technically the film is admirable, and while there are a few perplexing moments as the back and forth structure whizzes past, the film holds up well as an ever-moving, ever-engrossing, seat-squirming experience. It will be a doozy on DVD, when the flash-by torture scenes can be slowed down by the devoted fans of film gore.
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SAW III (MA)
CAST: Shawnee Smith, Tobin Bell, Bahar Soomekh, Angus Macfayden, Dina Meyer, J. LaRose, Debra McCabe
PRODUCER: Mark Burg, Oren Koules, Gregg Hoffman
DIRECTOR: Darren Lynn Bousman
SCRIPT: Leigh Whannell (story by Whannell and James Wan)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: David A. Armstrong
EDITOR: Kevin Greutert
MUSIC: Charlie Clouser
PRODUCTION DESIGN: David Hackle
RUNNING TIME: 107 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hoyts
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 2, 2006