'Saw 3D' (dir: Kevin Greutert, 2010), Cert: 18
I don’t think it comes as any surprise that a new ‘Saw’ instalment has been released, and as always, the movie comes out over Halloween. Jigsaw has been torturing people since 2004 and 6 years later, we get to see his handy work in 3D. So is this just another mindless picture to add to this franchises’ reign, or is it actually a decent Horror picture?
The film picks up where the previous (‘Saw VI’) left off, but in all honestly that doesn’t really matter that much. Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery) is a self-help public speaker who preaches his story of surviving one of Jigsaw’s (Tobin Bell) demonic traps. He brings hope into the lives of people who have been affected by Jigsaw. However, his words of wisdom might not be all that they seem and soon enough Bobby has to tackle Jigsaw’s hideous maze of mania and murder once more.
Well firstly, like many people, I’m really tired of the ‘Saw’ franchise now. The first film was a fantastic Horror that had a solid plot, great performances and a head-spinning twist; it was a breath of fresh air for American Horror, and when you’re a big Horror fan like me, this was a wonderful treat. Since then however, it’s seemed to have gone downhill; the later films have had larger budgets, obvious storylines and traps which became more ridiculous than terrifying. ‘Saw’ looked and felt gritty; like salt in a wound, whilst its baby brothers are more airbrushed and preppy. To be perfectly honest, I was expecting to hate ‘Saw 3D’, but thankfully I didn’t.
Firstly the good news; the traps are much better than the last few films; they are still dancing on the stupidity line, but they are inventive enough for you to enjoy. It’s also incredibly violent, much more than ‘Saw VI’ in my opinion. One scene in particular involving Chester Bennington from Linkin Park is a parade of guts and gore that will have you sniggering rather than feeling queasy.
But then there’s the bad news; the 3D is very average and adds little to the film, the performances are dull and it tries to incorporate characters from the original movies which makes the on-going storyline become filled with giant plot-holes and it ends up being a right ugly mess.
The thing that astounds me about the ‘Saw’ franchise is that even though every film gets butchered by critics and fans alike; they always top the box-office in the US and the UK. I for one can admit that I have seen every ‘Saw’ film even though I stopped enjoying them after the third; so what is it that keeps audiences coming back to such mediocre Horror movies when far superior ones fall short and slip under the radar? Matt Reeves’ vampire remake ‘Let Me In’ (out now) looks like a cool and suspenseful Horror that’s faithful enough to its masterful original, but gory and chilling enough to please all audiences, so why isn’t ‘Saw’ like this? I suppose I’m actually asking more questions than reviewing a film so I’ll leave that for you to decide.
‘Saw 3D’ is not the worst film in the franchise, far from it, but don’t be expecting the ‘Mind Blowing 3D’ the poster boasts about or an epic conclusion to this over-drawn franchise, expect a fairly average splat-fest with a lot more style than substance. It’s worth seeing just for a few scenes and the traps but ultimately, ‘Saw’ has lost its sting.
Verdict: 3 out of 5 – Its better, bloodier and racier than the last, but ‘Saw 3D’ is hardly anything to get excited over.
By Chris Haydon