Saw III (2006) - Darren Lynn Bousman

60/100

A forgettable feature in this torture porn series!

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Producer: Mark Burg, Gregg Hoffman and Oren Koules

Writer: Leigh Whannell

Starring: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Angus Macfadyen, Bahar Soomekh and Dina Meyer

Studios: Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures

Release Date: October 27, 2006

Country: Canada/USA

Budget: $10 million

Box Office: $164.8 million

Saw III is an American horror film from Saw II director, Darren Lynn Bousman and screenwriter Leigh Whannell. It’s the third entry in the Saw franchise. Starring Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Angus Macfadyen, Bahar Soomekh, and Dina Meyer. It was released on October 27th, 2006 by Lionsgate Entertainment and Twisted Pictures, and it had opened as number 1 at the box office, raking in over $30 Million. I decided to watch the Unrated Cut on a DVD I purchased recently.

Jeff and Lynn Danilon are a couple that is going through a rocky patch in their relationship after their son was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Both are kidnapped by Jigsaw and thrust into his sadistic lesson plans. Jeff is put through a series of “games” that will edge him closer and closer to letting go of his past and finding forgiveness. Lynn is kidnapped from her job as a doctor at the hospital and tasked with keeping John Kramer alive as a final test.

Parts of Saw III play out like a music video. Uber stylized and overproduced. Common practice for movies made during the new millennium. Shawnee Smith has been in the franchise before, but this is the first time we actually see her as the full-blown antagonist. There was a brief scene at the end of Saw II but this role cements it. She does a good job but can get annoying real quick. John Cramer comes off as sympathetic and sad. But I did enjoy his presence. Tobin Bell is a great actor. He spends his screen-time in a hospital bed, but his voice can still command a scene.

The effects are flashy, gory, sporadic, and sometimes nonsensical. It’s definitely a product of its time. The quick camera jumps and cuts are jarring. Editing seems to come out of nowhere. And I had some issues with the direction, it felt forced. However, Jigsaw’s traps are getting more and more elaborate. We get more blood and gore, and we get treated to some graphic surgical scenes to help with the uneasiness. It’s hard to watch this if you have a queasy stomach.

Saw III is the last movie in the franchise I had previously watched. It killed the series for me. I wasn’t interested in watching any more Jigsaw movies after this one. They were great and all, but the quality had dipped quickly after the initial film in the franchise. It’s a shame since the series had so much potential. But now that I've vowed to watch every horror movie, I have to watch these things, even if they are direct-to-video quality. The end of this movie felt incredibly bush-league. Blood soaked, convenient and outrageous. The end credit music is drenched in Bush-era angst metal.