Wrenching out your own teeth with nothing but a pair of pliers. Stringing yourself up by two meat hooks pierced through your pectorals. Being burned alive in a white hot oven. Three things that are not only inventive ways of killing and torturing people, as seen in this final movie of the Saw franchise, but also far more enticing activities to sit through than re-watching this boring gore fest.
Whilst I don’t confess to be the biggest devotee of these torture horror movies, I was a fan of the original Saw and was intrigued to see where the franchise had gone with what is essentially a simple premise. Nut job teaches people a brutal lesson using convoluted and needlessly intricate death traps. The answer, unfortunately, was that they hadn’t gone very far.
The main thrust of the movie focuses upon the self-help guru Bobby, who is seemingly making a killing (excuse the pun) peddling his book ‘Survival’ which recounts how he survived an ordeal with chief maniac Jigsaw. The painfully obvious truth being of course, that Bobby is making this entire episode up. Meanwhile, Dr. Lawrence Gordon, who was last seen crawling away minus one foot in the first instalment of the franchise, returns to proceedings by showing up at one of Bobby’s seminar’s and making such a sinister entrance that he might as well have marched in manically cackling, rubbing his hands together and muttering about his underground lair.
After the meeting is over, Jigsaw’s latest protégé, Detective Hoffman, decides to teach Bobby a lesson he’ll never forget, kidnapping him and his nearest and dearest and beginning another instalment of his demented ‘game’. We’re never actually given a name for this curious ’game’, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to pitch ‘desperate shock value…..ball’. I can’t see it catching on in time for London 2012 though.
The usual Saw boxes are nevertheless all ticked, as a variety of gruesome and grim sequences unfold in grisly but never even remotely scary ways. However, whilst the franchise may still have a few novel death traps left in the tank, but it ran out of plot a long time ago. The twists and turns, such as they are, are foreseeable from the get go and even the big reveal at the films climax, regarding who had been helping the original Jigsaw all along, is disappointingly predictable.
I should perhaps reiterate again that I was a genuine fan of the first Saw film, and I’m not biased against any specific film genre. That is not the reason for my strong dislike of Saw 3D. Unfortunately, this film was just plain bad. Overall it’s dull and predictable, and in places contains acting which is of soap opera standards. I doubt that even a diehard fan of the Saw films would find much to enjoy here, though I am reliable informed that it is still a great improvement on several of the previous instalments. I shudder to think just how bad these previous offerings must have been.
If you have followed the franchise this far, then I’ll concede that it does wrap everything up fairly neatly and so it’s perhaps worth a watch just to complete the set. If however, you’re anything but a die-hard aficionado, avoid it like the plague.
Saw 3D: The Final Chapter is released on DVD 7th March 2011.
Director: Kevin Greutert
Stars:Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell
Runtime: 90 min
Country: Canada, USA