Saw 3D (2010)

saw 3d poster 2010 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 7/10

Still some clever deaths

Takes itself way too seriously, the series is less compelling without Tobin Bell

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Saw 3D

Studio:  Twisted Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 29, 2010

MPAA Rating:  R

I’m buying whatever this store is selling

Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell) has gone to the police, and Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is on the run.  That doesn’t mean Jigsaw is done with his games, and a new game is being played involving a writer and motivational speaker named Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery) who has lied about being one of Jigsaw’s victims.  As Hoffman hunts Jill, and Bobby tries to get through Jigsaw’s latest maze of traps, Jigsaw’s days might be limited, and Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) might have an ally that no one ever knew.

Directed by Kevin Greutert, Saw 3D (sometimes called Saw:  The Final Chapter or Saw VII) is a torture horror film.  Following Saw VI in 2009, the series was marketed as the end of the Saw franchise.  The intent to make an eighth film fell through with a drop-off in attendance and this film represent the end of the money making horror franchise.  The film almost received an NC-17 rating (plus banned in Germany) and like most of the films in the franchise was panned by critics.  The film also received a Razzie nomination for Worst Eye-Gouging Use Mis-Use of 3D.

saw 3d eye trap rebecca marshall

Never skimp on corrective eye surgery

It’s over and that is a good thing.  As Saw started, I didn’t really enjoy it (still don’t), but I admired some of what it tried to do and what it accomplished with its films.  By Saw 3D, much of this admiration is gone.  Saw 3D not only is a dull Saw movie, but a boring movie that takes itself way too seriously (cue the dramatic Saw music).

The Saw films were always overblown, but this film (especially when combined with Saw VI) show a sharp decline.  The story of Hoffman and the wife of Jigsaw is much less compelling than Jigsaw’s tale in the first four films.  The logic and overly twisting and overlapping parts of the movie don’t really make much sense (including the opening department store window sequence that has no ties to anything) and end up feeling more like filler than an actual plot.

saw 3d boby dagen hooks sean patrick flanery

Wait…I thought I was audition for Hellraiser?!?!

The cast is fine, but it feels like a bland cast of a horror movie.  Tobin Bell really brought a lot to the franchise that Coasta Mandylor lacks.  The Sean Patrick Flanery character is a realistic addition (someone who would profit off the events), but it also seems like he is a bit unrealistic since his story feels like it would be easy to corroborate.  The movie has the surprise return of the original Saw actor Cary Elwes, but his return would feel more important if the franchise as a whole was not loaded with flashbacks and the return of characters (even if they are just flashbacks).

With the decision to shoot Saw VII in 3D (it was shot in 3D and not converted), it means tons of in your face shots that aren’t fun for most home viewers.  This Saw film is particularly gruesome due to the fact that everything needs to flip toward the viewers.  With disemboweling, falling keys, eye pokers and other things flying toward the screen, it comes off as more cheesy and desperate than the deaths earlier in the franchise (though Friday the 13th Part 3 still has it beat).

saw 3d jill dead body reverse bear trap

Will Jill return? I think I see her tongue moving…she’s fine

I think that Saw VI might have been my least favorite Saw, but this is close.  With the Tobin Bell character, people were being punished that deserved it, but here there is much more collateral damage which does not inspire any sense of schadenfreude which was an aspect of the other films.  The Hoffman character is supposed to be “the brute”, but a brute in a movie claiming to be a introspective horror series is just like any other horror movie.  I was never a big fan, and these last few films have shown the weakness of the story and lost what little momentum the series had.  I don’t really understand why Saw must “die” with this film since they left open a major window.  Saw did decide to take a break, and Tobin Bell returned returned in the relaunch movie Jigsaw in 2017.

Related Links:

Saw (2004)

Saw II (2005)

Saw III (2006)

Saw IV (2007)

Saw V (2008)

Saw VI (2009)

Jigsaw (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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