Oh man. Oh man guys. I don’t even know where to start on this thing.
Maybe we should start with the 3D? Yes, let’s do that, as it is a problem that goes way beyond Saw. I had to pay about five bucks extra for this damn movie just because of the 3D glasses. You know how much the 3D was actually used? There were two times I noticed things jumping out at me. Twice. I paid five bucks for about 15 seconds of screen time. There is not enough rage in the world to fuel the tirade I want to unleash about how useless this stupid 3D trend is. Damn you James Cameron for making this possible. Damn you, damn your Smurfy Cats, damn the glasses, just…damn it.
And now I have to talk about the actual movie!
Saw 3D has Hoffman, the man who would be Jigsaw, surviving the trap he was placed in by Jill, Jagsaw’s widow. He then goes after her, which causes Jill to go to the police for protection. Then we forget about that for most of the movie as the main game takes center stage with Bobby Dagen, a self help guru who survived one of Jigsaw’s traps, being the unlucky player.
Okay, I’m going to give a spoiler warning here as I can’t really talk about what irritates me with this movie unless I go into heavy spoilers. So…spoilers. Incoming spoilers. If you keep reading past this, you have nobody to blame but yourself. Well, if you also watch this movie after reading this review you also have nobody to blame but yourself, but I digress. Did I mention spoilers? Because they are coming.
Turns out, Bobby didn’t survive a trap with Jigsaw. He made it up when he saw an actual survivor on TV and wanted to cash in on the Jigsaw craze. He and his con artist friend made up the entire thing and started a self help empire around it. Which brings me to problem #1: why in the hell did the police not investigate this? Bobby’s story was that he had to insert giant metal hooks into his chest and use a chain to lift himself up to a switch open a door. Wouldn’t he have to set up a trap area as well as actually shove giant meat hooks into his chest? And I guess we’re to assume that he didn’t actually do this because, when Jigsaw abducts him, of course he forces Bobby to do that which he claimed to have already done. Yet Bobby has scars from his trap earlier. Was it makeup? If so, why didn’t the doctors notice? Surely doctors checked out the newest Jigsaw victim? Didn’t anybody notice this? And speaking of people noticing things, this brings us to problem #2. So Bobby, your plan is to fake an abduction by the world’s most notorious serial killer, one who can seemingly find anyone he wants and make them vanish without a trace, a person who thrives on punishing guilty people, liars and cheats? Your plan is to make money off of this person’s work and reputation? And you don’t think this will bite you in the ass later on? You might as well just hang a neon sign around your neck saying, “HEY JIGSAW! PUNISH ME!”
And thus we come to problem #3. You know what was interesting about the first two Saw movies? The premise of Jigsaw is that he abducts people who don’t appreciate their lives, who are downright assholes and criminals and he forces them to fight for their lives. He wants the victims to survive so that they become better people. He’s not a killer, he’s an extreme self help therapist. At no point in either of the first two Saw movies were any innocent people in danger. True, you could argue that Dr. Gordon’s wife and daughter were in danger in the first, but you could also say that Jigsaw knew Detective Tapp would be watching and making sure nothing would happen to them. You could also argue that Detective Matthews’ son was in danger in the second, but that’s why Amanda was there. She kept the kid safe. But the movies after that seemed to forget about this premise. Remember, Jigsaw punishes the worst of the worst, people who are just a drain on society. But then he starts abducting people like Tim in the third movie. Yes, Tim did run over the main character’s son, but he had already learned his lesson. Tim was gonna be a doctor. He was gonna help people. Why torture him? He had learned his lesson already. Now Jigsaw was just becoming a serial killer, a person who rips apart anyone he just doesn’t like. Thank you, but no. If I want to see that, I’ll watch A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Now I mention all that because that is essentially what happens at the end of Saw 3D. Again, spoilers. Bobby has to make it through all the other traps to get to his wife. He then has to do the meat hook thing. He fails. His wife, who was totally innocent of the entire affair and had no idea of Bobby’s criminal deceit, then gets horrifically burned to death in front of him. That is bullshit. Yes, its a horror movie and yes, people want to see these traps go off, but that’s not the point of these movies. They had an intelligent idea once, that horrible people can change through extreme situations. But the Jigsaw of back then would never roast an innocent woman alive for no good reason. The twist to that would be that she would be safe while Bobby is punished for failing. But no, let’s not have intelligent ideas in these movies anymore. Let’s just have traps and traps and traps. Which brings us to…
Problem #4: tension. There is none. We see a trap. We know its going to go off. Of course its going to go off. That’s what we came to see. People being harmed. So of course Bobby is going to fail in some way at keeping these people alive. So its not tense, its just a waiting game. We’re just sitting there now until the damn thing goes off, the human form is mutilated and Bobby can go off to the next victim. Now some of these traps are pretty cool, I must admit. There is one involving a car and four racists that pretty much becomes the high point of the movie. Its sick, its twisted, its awesome. But then again, its also not scary. And hey, there’s problem #5: these movies are not scary.
Remember, these are supposed to be horror movies. Not, “Oh dude did you see that guy’s head explode!” movies. Horror. As in, you’re supposed to feel fear. This goes hand in hand with problem #4. There’s no tension. There’s no fear. Its just blood and guts and moving on to more blood and guts. I can get that from playing a multitude of video games. God of War is the same sensation as watching Saw. Is God of War scary Hollywood people? No, it is not.
They say Saw 3D is the last Saw movie. I’m okay with that. The series lost its point years ago. Its gimmick has become played out. Its plot is muddled and confusing. It has jumped on the awful 3D bandwagon. So yes, I’m good with Saw spinning off into the sunset. It used to be my Halloween tradition. Now maybe I’ll get a new one. Like maybe watching an actual scary movie on Halloween.