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Saw III (2006)

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Plot Summary:
"Jigsaw has disappeared. With his new apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the puppet-master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police has once again eluded capture and vanished. While city detectives scramble to locate him, Doctor Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) is unaware that she is about to become the latest pawn on his vicious chessboard. One night, after finishing a shift at her hospital, Lynn is kidnapped and taken to an abandoned warehouse where she meets Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), bedridden and on the verge of death. She is told that she must keep the madman alive for as long as it takes Jeff (Angus Macfayden), another of his victims, to complete a game of his own. Racing against the ticking clock of Jigsaw's own heartbeat, Lynn and Jeff struggle to make it through each of their vicious tests, unaware that he has a much bigger plan for both of them..."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 06 November 2006 My Rating: out of 5


This third film in the popular horror series starts where the second film finished, with Donnie Wahlbergís Detective Eric Matthews (despite reports to the contrary) trying to escape his fate. This is all intercut with the first trap, which anyone with access to the net has already seen (but itís more disappointing when you see it edited into the film) meaning that for me at least, Ericís escape from his own private prison was the more impressive opening gore set piece here. I almost vomited it was so well done.

We then meet Doctor Lynn Denlon (who is kidnapped by Amanda) and Jeff (who wakes up in a box) who are both forced to play games with a now seriously ill and rapidly deteriorating Jigsaw. Lynn must keep Jigsaw alive long enough to see Jeff complete his game. Lynn is fitted with an explosive collar which is in sync with Jigsawís heart monitorÖif he diesÖshe dies. Jeff meanwhile is led through an abandoned factory by a series of familiar clue cards and tapes. In each room Jeff encounters, he is met with someone involved in his sonís death. He can either save them or leave them to their fate. These two plot threads are woven together by an enormous amount of flashbacks, which in essence are all new scenes created to look as though they occurred during the first two films in the series.

Considering this was only being made in the spring, Saw III is a well crafted, thoughtful and intelligent chiller, but it tries to cram too much into a relatively small amount of time and therefore makes less of an impact than it probably should have. Itís definitely not my favourite entry in the series.

The film looks and feels like a Saw movie, but itís a bit more muted than the previous two. The Jeff storyline, which appears to be the main plotline (and probably should have been) is lacking and isnít given enough screen time, there are far too few traps, some of the deaths lack that emotional kicker usually present (due to what felt like studio worries about pacing issues), and the twist isnít really that amazing.

Donít get me wrong, the film is remarkably well made considering it was thrown together in a few months, but itís just a little short of the mark to make it a hat trick in my book.

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