Directed By: Darren Lynn Bousman
Written By: Leigh Whannell (screenplay) James Wan (story)
I reached the Saw series a few months ago and after two movies in I decided to simply put off the rest until the Halloween season. While it correlates with the release of the films I don’t think it’s entirely appropriate. These movies may have been released every year during the season but they are simply what passed for horror films during nearly a decade of obsession with unreasonable torture. The horror genre has lost something since the days of John Carpenter and Wes Craven. Somewhere along the line it became more important to shock and disgust horror film goers rather than scare them. These movies manage to be clever at interweaving story lines and mystery but they offer little to no scares. No, what they offer is a different altogether. They are the Marlyn Manson of the genre, they exist only to repulse us and push the line of what is acceptable on screen.
I will admit that these movies made it into our collection for a reason, but there was a limit to what was tolerable. I found the second film in the series to be shocking enough with its twist to garner a place on the shelf. These movies do a fantastic job of weaving timelines among yearly installments that make the coming twist all that much more unexpected. However, to get the thrill of these interesting twist you must sit through disturbing and unreasonable amounts of gore and torture.
As interesting as I found the twist in the second film it started to lose me with this third movie. This one starts with that awful scene in which a man is hooked to several chains he must rip out of his skin in order to survive. Yet there is no survival and really no way to even free himself with that last chain connected to a ring embedded within his jaw. It’s an awful scene that is only there to disgust us as this man rips his flesh in a desperate attempt to escape certain death. I have a strong stomach, and have thoroughly been desensitized to this kind of torture in a film but I find it disgusting nonetheless. This isn’t thrilling or interesting, it’s just gross and uncomfortable to sit through. The sad thing is that it’s only the beginning in a long series of scenes meant only to shock and gross us out.
I am a movie lover, a story lover more than anything else. A twist that actually surprises me is enough to keep me interested any day of the week but I’m not interested in torture porn. I had never even heard that term until movies like this rose to popularity and I have always found it disturbing. There may be people out there who are into this type of thing but it simply isn’t me. I found the sequel to the similar Hostel to be as interesting as the initial sequel to this series but it was really just more of the same. I am a “to each his own” type of person but I worry about anybody who is seriously into this kind of stuff and pity them. If you get off on seeing people tortured to death then you should really seek some sort of therapeutic help. These movies line up appropriately with the titled studio Twisted Pictures, these movies are twisted, and they became a stain on the horror genre.
Needless to say, I do not recommend this movie during the Halloween season or any other season for that matter. If you are seeking something gross and disgusting this is the movie for you. If you want something scary though I suggest you look to the past when horror movies did more than simply shock us with over the top violence and gore. Not even during the Spanish Inquisition was this level of disgust actually reached. In some cases it’s not even torture but simply gross. There’s one scene of this film where a man is slowly being drowned with liquefied pig remains. Who comes up with this crap and does anybody actually find it scary? Seeing those rotten pig corpses dropped into that machine does nothing but make me lose a taste for barbecue. Really, who comes up with this crap and which parent didn’t love them enough?
I’m categorizing this film as simply a sequel because I can’t bare to classify it with the horror films we have reviewed. I can happily say that I have undoubtedly watched this movie for the last time and will never revisit it, or the series in the future.