The third installment in the Saw franchise is the longest and by far the goriest.
A dying John Kramer/Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) instructs Amanda (Shawnee Smith) to kidnap depressed doctor Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) so that she can operate on his brain tumor. The medic has a contraption attached to her neck, a collar of shotgun shells that will detonate in the eventuality of John’s death. Meanwhile Jeff (Angus Macfayden) has to confront his anger and anguish at the senseless death of his young son by going through a number of life or death situations devised by Jigsaw.
Saw III is the most accomplished film of the lot. Whereas the other entries favoured tension and a quick denouement over plot and characterisation, director Darren Lynn Bousman‘s second foray into the series gives itself time to breathe and develop properly. There are for instance repeated cuts to lengthy flashbacks that reveal Amanda’s back story and how she ended up embroiled in these games of death. The traps in this film are extremely vicious and, coupled with the extensive and detailed coverage of John’s impromptu brain surgery, make for a disturbingly graphic film. Definitely not one for the squeamish.
If you’ve gone this far in the series then it means that you love it. Do yourself a favour and fish out the fourth one.