Ah yes, so here we are, the end of the Saw franchise. To be perfectly honest, the franchise should have ended a while ago. It went on far too long. It’s no secret that the original was the best and to this day, still stands as one of my favorite horror films. From that point on, the films got progressively worse. Sure, there were some great moments along the way, but nothing was able to compare to the first. The franchise has become something of a joke at this point and it’s a shame, because it had so much potential.
So now we come to Saw 3D, the final chapter, or so they say. As we all know though, in Hollywood, if something is making money, it’s never truly over. That aside, Saw 3D hopes to be the final tale in this seemingly never ending series. It offers some wicked traps and a nice twist, but is it enough to redeem this once beloved franchise?
The story follows Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery), a self-help guru and famous author who wrote a book about surviving one of Jigsaw’s traps. The catch is, Bobby was never a Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) victim, the whole thing is a scam, but it’s working quite well. Eventually, Jigsaw’s followers kidnap Bobby’s publicist, lawyer and best friend. Bobby is then placed in a trap where he must save them. If he makes it through, he must face the ultimate test as he struggles to save the last victim, his wife.
While all this is going on, Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), Jigsaw’s protege, is trying to track down Jill (Betsy Russell), Jigsaw’s ex-wife. As he plans out his revenge for her, the police department is closing in on him. At the end, everything ties together and it all culminates in a nice, although easy to spot plot twist. Of course, we also get the necessary flashbacks that only serve to chop up and convolute the already fuzzy backstory even more. Oh and remember to leave your brain at the door as once again, logic is thrown out the window.
Now if you’ve seen any of the previous Saw films, you know what you’re in for. There are no radical changes, no new plot devices, no new character types, nothing out of the ordinary. The main focus of the film is still on the ‘game’ and while the game is going on, the police are searching for the perpetrator. Blood and gore are here in full form, Jigsaw attempts to teach his victims a lesson, a couple flashbacks are thrown in which confuse you, characters couldn’t be any dumber and pretty soon, repetition starts to set in. It all feels very redundant. Been there, done that. All that’s new is the traps.
What the filmmakers have failed to see is, the reason why the original Saw was so successful. It featured a very simple yet intriguing premise, no convoluted side plots or backstories, a shocking twist and oh ya, the franchise’s main villain was still alive! Why they ever killed off Jigsaw in Saw III is beyond me. The original had that sense of suspense and intensity that the sequels lacked. By this stage, we already know the drill and we know what’s going down. The filmmakers simply seem to keep trying to one-up the previous film in terms of traps and gore. The horror found here is blood fuelled while the horror found in the original was pure suspense, which works better. There is no dread here, no terror, nothing like we felt in the first film.
When it comes to the traps, they’re pretty inventive and one in particular may just be the best one of the entire series. Trust me when I say that ‘oh yes, there will be blood’. The traps don’t disappoint here and gorehounds will be more than satisfied. For fear of spoiling I’m not going to reveal anything but if you came for the blood, you’ll be entertained.
Cool traps aside, at the end of the day, you know what the deal is. If you’ve been disappointed with the way the series has been going up until this point, Saw 3D isn’t exactly going to change how you feel. It’s more of the same. More of the tired, old, rehashed Saw material we’ve seen for years now. If you’re a fan of the series, you may want to see it, just for closure and all. Like I said before though, it’s not going to change your mind about the downward spiral that the series took.
If you've been disappointed with the way the series has been going up until this point, Saw 3D isn't exactly going to change how you feel. It's more of the same. More of the tired, old, rehashed Saw material we've seen for years now.