Saw 3 (2006)

You can't blame Lionsgate, really. Currently, explicit torture and goes is what horror fans want, judging by the number of them that turn out to watch this stuff. Wolf Creek, Switchblade Romance, even Hostel; torture sells. And the Saw franchise has been a vital part of this splatter movie movement; the first Saw, with its ADD-style editing and inventive set pieces, was new and exciting, promising to revitalise a flagging genre.

That was two years ago. Two years ago, a little low-budget no-name movie made millions of dollars. Studio execs must have been rubbing their little hands together with glee -- and so they've tried to replicate that feat, with some success. Saw 3 made £33 million in its opening weekend, attendance boosted by countless stories of audience members fainting at screenings. Various friends and acquaintances asked me, in hushed voices, whether I'd seen it yet, and whether it was as extreme as was being made out.

Well, I caved; curiosity got the better of me. I didn't like Saw 2, and Saw 3 was worse than I'd expected: a nonsensical plot, complete with requisite even more nonsensical-yet-still-painfully-obvious "twists", lots of gratuitous gore, zero characterisation and bad acting. In fairness, having to knock out a sequel in under a year isn't exactly conducive to originality, but Saw 3 seems to work on the premise that its target audience will see any old shit as long as there's bloodshed involved.

The filmmakers should be ashamed of themselves, though. The torture set pieces in Saw 3 are, overall, less impressive than in the previous movies; and the one that opens the film, which needed to be spectacular, is a straight replay of the premise of the first movie. Actually, a lot of the film is a straight replay of either Saw or Saw 2: literally, a large chunk of the runtime is made up of flashbacks that reuse either the exact same footage, or new footage from incidents in the first two movies. And then there are the flashbacks to things that happened 5 minutes ago in Saw 3 itself, maybe to allow the audience to go out and fetch themselves a strong drink partway through -- though it's optimistic to assume they'd return afterwards.

Even more embarrassingly, near the end of the movie, Saw 3 attempts to break Uwe Boll's record, set in House of the Dead, for most cuts in the shortest amount of time. They don't succeed, but hey, at least they're aiming high, right?

Saw 3 is nothing more than a cynical, money-making exercise in movies-by-numbers.

IMDB link


Brendon said...

Nice blog Sarah... (found it through a comment you left on mine)... is this all in your own write, as it were?

Sarah said...

If you mean ... did I write it all? Yes. I have a lot of rage.