Since his last outing in 2005's Saw II, The serial killer known as Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) has disappeared. Now aided by his new apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the puppet-master behind those wonderfully cruel, intricate games (which aim to teach the participant a life lesson) is back to his old tricks.
While all-too-familiar detectives Kerry (Dina Meyer) and Rigg (Lyriq Bent) scramble to locate him, Dr. Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) is unaware that she is about to become the latest pawn in his deadly game. One night, after finishing a shift at her hospital, Lynn is kidnapped by the murderous prodigy Amanda and taken to an abandoned warehouse where she meets Jigsaw, aka: John Kramer (Tobin Bell), who's now bedridden and on the verge of death.
Dr. Denlon is told that she must keep Jigsaw 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 Jigsaw and Amanda have a much bigger plan for both of them.
So, now that the basic plot is out of the way - I can fully dissect this film, inspecting its various parts and then evaluating its whole as a result of the parts. If there's one thing the Saw sequels have, it's continuity. Both sequels go back to events in the first film and reenact them perfectly, so perfect in fact that you'd almost swear they were all filmed at the same time.
Former stars such as Donnie Wahlberg and Leigh Whannel appear in flashbacks that really tie all three films together seamlessly. You also find out some more interesting background on not only our favorite sadistic cancer patient but also his lovely assistant Amanda.
Thoughts on Story:
The thriller/suspense aspect of the original Saw film, which was diluted in its sequel, is now nowhere to be found in the third enstallment.
It seems the writer and co-creator James Whannell could no longer think of ways to truly terrify his audience so instead he substituted for the ever-popular "gross out." The fast-paced cuts of the past two films, which left more to the imagination during those scenes of torture have been replaced with slow, painful acts of gore which seem to effect the stomach more than the mind.
There's less emphasis on character, more specifically why they're a part of Jigsaw's game. I suppose by this point the viewers understand that these people are in need of a lesson and would rather forego the storytelling and jump right into the blood.
The Saw films are also known for there suspense-building twist endings, and while Saw III seems to follow in that direction - the twist isn't as big nor as impactful because, as a result of poor storytelling, we don't care about the people in the story.
There are loose ends left at the conclusion of III, and it seems the series will continue - perhaps a prequel, showing Jigsaw becoming who he is - more than likely the series will take a new direction, leaving the first three films to themselves as trilogy and looking for new territory to create bloody-disgusting scenes of gore and mayhem.