Sunday, 25 November 2012

Saw III (2006)

“Live or die, Jeff. Make our choice.”

Suddenly, after defending the first two Saw films, I begin to see a justification for the term “torture porn”. This is a much, much nastier film than its two predecessors, and the scene with Timothy Young and the “rack”, in particular, is extremely difficult to watch. This film is as good, as intricate, and as entertaining as its predecessors but the nastiness is starting to become excessive.

There’s a very strong connection to the first two films, as we see what happens to Matthews and the gruesome death of Kerry; the police procedural element has certainly not lessened. But the film centres around Amanda who, lacking Jigsaw’s “ethics”, does not give her victims a chance of escape. I certainly wouldn’t say there’s any moral distinction between them (they’re both sadistic serial killers who get off on power far more than being inspired by their claimed motives), but Jigsaw would. And he, of course, has set the whole thing up to see whether Amanda is worthy to be his successor. She isn’t, of course, but the means by which we discover this are the point.

So, yes, it’s good, as far as plot and intrigue go, and those are the selling points here, not subtext, character or moral profundity. But even in comparison to its predecessors it’s very dark. And the gore has definitely stepped up. We have a trepanning, with a power drill and no anaesthetic. We have, early on, the most sadistic scenarios yet, and that horrible “rack” scene, seen in bloody slow motion. To me this crosses some sort of undefined line. I’m a little nervous about proceeding with the series.

Still- John Kramer dies at the end. How can more films possibly happen?

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