Considering that producers promised Saw3D would be the last of the series, the movie certainly didn’t seem like a culmination. After seeing it, one is likely to wonder what happened to the production budget. After seeing all the films in the series to date, I was willing to go out on a limb and bet that the 7th movie, like the 6th, would be worth a movie ticket. I was thoroughly disappointed. Along with some new characters, Saw3D features fake blood and gore you’d expect to see in an 80’s horror movie. In addition, there is no cleverly-devised plot that gets revealed at the end. Clearly the creators of this film were in a hurry to tie up any loose ends, and it shows, much to the disappointment of Saw fans.
The movie’s primary focus was to connect the dots of the previous six films, and it’s obvious that such a goal wasn’t the right one. Condensed into 91 minutes of screen time, Saw 3D can best be described as a compilation of face-offs between characters, both old and new, and fake-looking scenes of carnage that result from Jigsaw’s death contraptions. In addition, several of the death devices presented in the seventh movie were used by Jigsaw in the earlier storylines. Until now, each movie had a unique set of contraptions, all of which seemed like they had a lot of thought put into them.
By attempting to show all of the character relationships coming together at the end, the creators of Saw3D acted as if the threads that started with Saw I reached all the way to Saw VII. Such a concept is automatically unrealistic, as we know this couldn’t possibly be the case. If they had, Saw3D would have come across just like the majority of the other films: engaging and shocking, not sloppy. A review on Cinemablend.com articulated what I felt was the film’s biggest shortcoming. Author Mack Rawden wrote: “There is a disconnect between the one big idea, the devious death traps and the actual screen time that links those two puzzle pieces together.” Understandably, Saw‘s creators had a hard time putting all of the pieces together at the end. That makes sense though, since this is the seventh movie. Ultimately, the reason they had a hard time putting all these pieces together is because the ultimate storyline was not a planned or foreseen product. It was developed as the movies came out. As a result, the film seems messy; definitely unworthy of being the final chapter to the Saw series.
Another aspect of the film that takes away from it is the limited number of scenes involving John (Tobin Bell), the main character of the Saw movies. This is not something that could’ve been done differently, since he was killed in one of the earlier installments. However, as the creator of Jigsaw and owner of the distinct voice that played out of the cassette recorder, John, along with his death devices, are what became the selling point of the film. His character is largely perceived as evil and twisted, but many viewers became intrigued by him with the release of Saw movies III and IV. The storyline that was unveiled somehow put John in a light that was a tad sympathetic, as he had months to live after doctors discovered an inoperable tumor in his brain. The audience finally understood what he was looking to achieve through the use of Jigsaw. Of course the idea wasn’t considered a sane one, but since viewers weren’t the ones trapped in his devices, it was okay.
What can be said in support of the movie is that the raw violence and brutality of the scenes go beyond what you’d expect, even for a 7thSaw film. In addition, the 3D aspect adds to the movie experience considerably. For those who haven’t seen the technique put to use, Saw3D will be two times the horror. I jumped when blood first squired out from the screen, since it looked like it was a hand’s length away.
Bottom line: 1.5 out of 4 stars. John’s mysterious wife can’t suddenly be expected to carry the movie by herself. The brutality is shocking, but on the other hand many people are going to think it’s overkill. Unlike the earlier movies, there is no character development, and Jigsaw’s contraptions aren’t entirely new. It seems that what initially set Saw apart from the other phony horror films is present in its final film, and that’s unfortunate.