Saw 3D (2010) – Film Review

The Saw franchise has reached its finale... but is this really the end?

The well constructed Saw VI provided hope that this, the final instalment of the Saw franchise could perhaps follow in its footsteps and allow the entire franchise to bow out gracefully…

…maybe this way people would learn to forget the downers that they witnessed at certain points in the series… Evidently producing Saw 3D quickly was what the Saw team saw fit and that move, unfortunately, wasn’t exactly the smartest because the film’s failures are glaringly obvious.

The film’s story is simple; Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery) has formed a Jigsaw survival group and it starts to become evident that he may be responsible for another reign of terror but, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s quickly sum up the 3D. In one word it’s terrible. Mainly used as a gimmick, there is little to no point in it being in the film at all. Those who have seen the 3D retroactive conversion of The Clash of the Titans will start to draw similarities between the two films and this may well cause anger in some viewers considering the promise of “state of the art 3D”. It feels like a cheat on Lionsgate’s part especially considering it was filmed in 3D and not retroactively converted.

Avid interest was generated when Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes), one of the key participants in Jigsaw’s malicious games in the original film, appeared in Saw 3D‘s advertising campaign. His inclusion in the film brings the franchise full circle but unfortunately he is merely dangled in front of the audience for familiarity alone; there is not nearly enough time spent with him. The same goes for Jigsaw himself who, if I remember correctly, is the main antagonist of the franchise. The idea of a Jigsaw survivor support group is introduced (you may remember it from one of the many viral campaigns that cropped up on the internet) but the idea is never explored as thoroughly as it should have been considering it was put there to evoke an emotional response from the audience making it rather pointless.

Of course, as with its six predecessors, there are twists and turns but none of them are exhilarating enough to satiate the audience’s appetite for an enthralling last chapter Obviously everything has been turned up to eleven, all the stops have been pulled out (insert other clichés here) but it is the lowest version of eleven possible; the natural over-the-top nature of an end-of-franchise instalment comes through but nothing is added to this conclusive feeling. From the yearly Saw instalments we’ve come to expect an ending that is ridiculously over-the-top yet believable – it is the end of an era after all! Sadly, instead of going out with a bang, it goes out sheepishly, embarrassed about what it presents which is, in a nutshell, a chaotically lacklustre film.

The traps are more focused on being the biggest of the franchise rather than the most inventive or even the most cringe-worthy. With every trap comes at least a few pints of blood and their implementation is over before any tension has even started (and, in all honesty, where’s the fun in that?) With its lacking tension and thrills Saw 3D is hugely anti-climatic.

Saw 3D is, however, better than the awful Saw IV and Saw V – but only by a fraction. There are few words to describe the wreck that has happened here; it is so bad that even hardcore fans of the Saw franchise will be left feeling hurt. As we all know however “The Final Chapter” subtitle in a horror film means there will undoubtedly be another but maybe, just maybe, they will learn their lesson and just leave it alone just this once. Here’s to hoping.
It could well be the biggest disappointment of the year. This isn’t exactly a proud end to the franchise, don’t you try and rectify anything Hollywood, we will not be best pleased.

Best performance: Dr. Gordon even if his appearance is very brief.
Best scene: A trap involving two young men fighting over the woman who has been playing them over the last few years where they must ultimately must decide either to save themselves or her.
Best line: “These are my scars… ’cause our minds will heal, but these scars will never go away. These scars shan’t be a symbol of shame… they should be worn as a badge of courage.”
Watch this if you liked: Any number of “Torture Porn” instalments including the other films in the Saw saga (read our review of the first Saw film).

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