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SAW 3D (2010)

>> Tuesday, November 9, 2010

At the risk of sounding like I enjoy hanging out at a playground, I recommend you see Saw.

I first watched Saw (2004) when it came out on DVD. I liked it enough and was intrigued by the idea of fighting for your life, like, really fighting for your life in an effort to appreciate it more and live it to its fullest. It was amusing enough but only semi-stuck with me until Saw II was released the following year - at which point I was more or less hooked.

What I've always enjoyed about the Saw movies was similar to the enjoyment I got from watching serialized TV shows like Lost and Heroes. It was neat to see a question (introduced early on) become a mystery that was unanswered until much later. It was even better when there was evidence the filmmakers knew what they were doing from the beginning. I didn't hear of this being the case until Saw III hit theatres in 2006 - that apparently there were going to be "about seven" and they were already written out. I also really relished in the fact that being a horror fan, as a cohesive series, Saw never required the usual (and quite tedious) explanation of how the bad guy came back in the next one. Although I will never have fond memories for a horror series as much as I do Halloween (1978), I will say Halloween's sequels had become quite tedious and unorganized after the second in the series, Halloween II (1981).

So you can imagine my excitement when I was on the brink of seeing the last of the Saw series, Saw 3D. How would it end? What secrets lie within the chambers of this gorefest? Will the 3D be somewhat visually interactive? Also, will is suck? Alas, I found out the answers to all these questions.

Saw 3D starts out with an interesting premise. There are two guys stuck in a glass (and seemingly unbreakable) box in the middle of a very public center. It seems a girl is also in the box, but she is just as helpless. I won't get into the details of the trap itself as although it's not complicated, it's hard to explain without a visual - but the basic idea is that only two of the people in this trap can survive. What happens is pretty entertaining, if not gruesome. This is a Saw movie though, so you don't expect much less. Why I say it's interesting though, is because although this public thing is one time dillio in the movie, it seems they were onto something that could have made a much more interesting film. Normally in a Saw film you have these people who have gotten themselves into a sticky situation, but it's always in some old warehouse or abandoned building. The idea that an entire Saw film might take place in the public eye where other people are present and the victims are still helpless, though - now that's something that I would have liked to have seen.

However, after this little public fiasco, we find ourselves directly following the end of Saw 6, where Jigsaw's protege, Mark (Costas Mandylor) is on the hunt for Jigsaw's widowed wife, Jill (Betsy Russell) - who decided to turn Mark in once her feeble attempt to kill him failed. Mark won't give up easily, either and sets up Jigsaw traps one last time - for more than just the group of people directly involved.

Now, there was a lot of talk prior to the release of Saw 3D that maybe there would be some visually interactive shots it was in 3D. The tagline for the film afterall, was "The traps will come alive". Save for a few kind of neat shots, I'm saddened to report this was not the case. The closest I felt this film got to the level I wanted it to (as far as the 3D was concerned), was when a woman's face was getting closer and closer to spikes that would impale her eyes and mouth, and we got to experience her looming point of view. I also embarrassingly enough ducked a couple of times when guts where flying at the screen. Beyond that, although the 3D was okay, it certainly didn't make or break this movie - at least not to the point where they couldn't have simply titled it Saw VII.

Now, if I were to rate Saw 3D by itself, I would give it a closed door. Frankly, the gore was a little over the top - in the sense that it was awfully fake and although it did it's job and made you cringe, it also made you roll your eyes. The plot was just okay but was disappointingly familiar, and by the end of it all it was ultimately forgettable.

However, I am giving Saw 3D an almost honorary open door. The reason for this (as contradictory as it is) is because I've thoroughly enjoyed the series as a whole, and as aforementioned have appreciated the formulated and serialized storyline. Saw 3D is not just another part of this series, it is apparently the end (even if I doubt that fact very much). Since I have not reviewed any of the movies prior to this one, I feel as a send off and part of the saga it works and deserves to be in our good graces. Everybody knows what Saw is, and as an indie film that turned into the biggest horror franchise of the decade, I respect it. This may not be a film (or a film series, for that matter) for everybody. So I'm not saying this film is a must see. But for me, and for any other horror fans out there, I would recommend checking out the Saw series if you can. Despite it's commercial appearance, it's actually quite a creative and enjoyable series.

*Stills courtesy of Twisted Pictures


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