Nov 3 2010 by Ian Bunting, Airdrie & Coatbridge
SAW 3D is the seventh installment in one of the most lucrative franchises in horror movie history.
This time around a survivor of one of serial killer Jigsaw’s (Tobin Bell) twisted games, self-help guru Bobby (Sean Patrick Flanery), is forced to confront a dark secret.
Meanwhile, Jigsaw’s wife Jill (Betsy Russell) is doing her best to evade psychotic Jigsaw apprentice Hoffman (Costas Mandylor).
Saw 3D is being tagged ‘The Final Chapter’ but last year’s Saw VI was also supposed to be the end of the road so don’t be surprised, if the big bucks come in again at the box office, to see an eighth go-around.
If Saw 3D is to be the last entry then it’s a rather depressing, low-grade way for the franchise to bow out.
I've spoken before about my admiration for the Saw series and thought Saw VI was a top return to form after the average fifth film but Saw 3D rates as the weakest of the seven.
This one felt rushed and more like a ‘cash cow’ than any of the others.
Saw VI director Kevin Greutert is tasked with helming the climax but I didn’t feel any tension or fear this time around as a real ‘Jigsaw trap to Jigsaw trap’ format takes over.
It doesn’t help that Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan’s script is woeful. From criminally undermanned police stations to the series’ first dream sequence, it’s all too silly and lazy.
The acting in Saw movies has always been a bit hit and miss but is particularly poor in Saw 3D.
Mandylor and Russell are especially bad, with the latter’s character suffering from an unbelievable change from the last two films, but newcomer to the series Chad Donella (Gibson) puts in a display as bad as any I’ve ever seen. It’s excruciating.
In just one flashback sequence franchise favourite Bell provides the best performance. Cary Elwes (Dr Gordon) makes his first appearance since Saw... and it’s quite cringeworthy.
The 3D gimmick is wheeled out, perhaps to pull in bigger crowds. Blood spurts onto the screen and objects stick out at us but it felt a little desperate and maybe one of the main reasons that story took a back seat this time.
The gore levels are still high, with Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington’s (Evan) fate offering the biggest gross-out moment, and the franchise’s first ‘public’ trap is a rare moment of originality.
The climax also, very quickly, answers lingering questions from past films but the unintentional humour running throughout ruins what could and should have been a memorable final piece of the (Jigsaw) puzzle.
Fans should see Saw 3D for series completion reasons and there are worse Hallowe’en thrills to be had, but one of the traps involves pulling teeth and that’s how I felt trying to find praise for this disappointing mess.
Rating - 5 out of 10.