I started off liking the Saw series. People label it Torture Porn, but it seemed like it was trying to be a little bit smarter than the others in that sub-genre. The whole idea behind it was interesting, a dying man trying to teach a lesson to people who are wasting theirs. I liked the way the answer to the problem was within the people facing the problem and it was possible for them to get out if they could overcome their usual selfish impulses. But somewhere along the line it became more and more convoluted, adding extra layers of retconned meaning to this whole thing and losing what made it interesting. Now it may just be that they dragged it along for 6 more movies and didn’t stop when they hit their natural ending point in Saw 3.
Saw 3D begins with a sequence in which we see a crowded area, I’m not sure if it was a shopping centre or what but there’s plenty of people milling around and a box in the middle containing 2 guys, 3 saws and a girl hanging from the ceiling, the trap is these three are in a love triangle, the girls been cheating on them both and to live they must decide who dies. This plays out pretty much as you’d expect, the woman proves she’s a selfish bitch by encouraging who ever looks like they’re winning with talk of love and then immediately switches to the other when they start to lose, so the guys decide to stop fighting and let her die.
Then we’re straight back to the ending of the previous film, with Jill putting Hoffman in a trap, which he promptly escapes then chases her. After a bit of running around and hiding Jill goes to the police and tells them for immunity she’ll tell them everything they need to know. Enter the internal affairs officer who is either playing this whole thing for laughs or is one of the worst actors in the series, and that’s saying something.
We also meet Bobby, a survivor of Jigsaw, he’s shopping his book, S.U.R.V.I.V.E round on talk shows, then off to a meeting with other Jigsaw survivors. If it’s not already obvious he’s not actually a Jigsaw victim by the end of the first scene the fact that he’s played by Sean Patrick Flanery should tip you off. Anyway, in the survivors meeting he talks about how the whole experience gave him new purpose in life and all that, and gets confronted by an actual survivor about how it was a horrible experience and has done nothing to improve her life and he gives her a speech about it makes them strong, only to have Dr. Gordon, you remember him from the first film, stand up and give him a slow clap and a couple of snide remarks. Which should let you predict the ending.
After that Bobby leaves and is attacked and wakes up in a cage hanging above spikes, predicably the bottom drops out of the cage and Bobby grabs on and swings himself to safety, but what’s this? A TV screen with his wife on, also in a trap? Shock. This is where the game begins. Along the way there are some suitably cringe-worthy moments, which you expect from a Saw film, including using dental tools to remove his own teeth. A key hanging on a fishing hook inside someone’s throat that has to be pulled out, and the skin being pulled off someone’s back while he tries to pull a lever to stop a reving car falling on to his girlfriends head.
Overall though this film is dull. For a 3D horror film it’s surprising that it didn’t even make me jump once, didn’t get my heart rate up and really left me wishing they’d ended the series 3 films ago. The 3D didn’t really add anything either. I haven’t seen Saw 5 and 6 since I saw them at the cinema but from memory I would say 3D is slightly better than they were but still not great.