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Lee: Blood, guts, gore cannot replace a movie plot

November 2, 2006

There’s nothing like a good, old fashioned slasher film to really get the Halloween spirit going.

From the first scene to the last, the blood and guts keep pumping and never let up. I definitely spent a lot of the time watching “Saw III” through the fingers covering my eyes. I guess it hasn’t been all that long since “Saw II” came out, but I had totally forgotten how disturbing the whole plot really is. I mean, your odds of surviving those tests aren’t really that good are they? I had forgotten the graphic depictions of pain and suffering, but after a while my stomach dropped back down out of my throat and I was able to watch the rest in delightful horror.

The film starts off trying to explain what happened to poor Donny Wahlberg when he got stuck in the game at the end of the last film. And boy, did he hang tough! But before we get to see his whole story, more victims are found.

But something isn’t right with these deaths - Jigsaw’s M.O. has changed, leaving no way for anyone to actually survive. I would have felt bad for those particular victims, but you never get the in-depth character backgrounds for them like in the first two films. Even the female doctor, whose game relies on keeping the dying Jigsaw alive, is not really given a story either. We just know she is a neglectful mother and cheating wife. If Jigsaw really made all those types of people play his games, it’s possible there would be more sequels than the Jason and Halloween movies put together.

What the doctor doesn’t know is that her husband is also playing a game that will eventually lead to her, but he must first learn how to forgive the people responsible for their son’s death by a drunk driver. The husband gets through his tasks very quickly and shows his mercy like no other “Saw” character has before.

I almost thought for a moment that compassion was really going to prevail this time.
But before I had time to contemplate the human condition, another question popped into my head - one that I couldn’t get out for the rest of the film.

How big is that house, seriously?  All the games involved in the main plots of the films take place in the same building. Wouldn’t the landlord notice a smell or something?
I guess Jigsaw could own the property himself, maybe. But still, aren’t there neighboring buildings, homeless people or something else that would give the location up?

Amanda, the junkie who was the first person to survive Jigsaw’s game, is still his accomplice. We get to see how she has fit into his plans more than we ever knew or probably wanted to know.

While the doctor is playing her game, Amanda becomes needier for Jigsaw’s attention, so she acts out like a child by screaming and waving a gun, completely ignoring what Jigsaw is really telling her.

At the end of the first two “Saw” movies, it was obvious that sequels were on the way. I’m sure there will be one after “Saw III,” since this series has become such a cash cow for the studio.

But if guessing the plot for the next film was the game Jigsaw gave me, you would probably find me locked inside the Student Voice office, torn to pieces by some bizarre machine.