Alex Worsnip 01/11/2006

Rating: 3/5

There is a certain point at which horror films pass grizzliness and up the gore factor to the extent that all one can do is laugh. Such is the case with 'Saw III', the latest instalment in a sick series of films which involve skewed, quasi-“moral” games where individuals are tortured and potentially killed to help them 'learn more about themselves'. Forgive me if this doesn't exactly seem like the work of Mother Theresa. If one were to take the film seriously, it could be a look at the evangelical zeal and odd world-views of those who believe that they are redeeming the soulless, and this is supported by the complex performance of Shawnee Smith, who is excellent. But, between the levels of extreme violence and the Halloween release, I'm happy to believe that somewhere down the line someone didn't exactly want to market it that way. Taken on a simpler level, this is an amusing and pleasantly scary horror release, enjoyably terrible in its exaggerated blood and guts. A vague plot holds the film together, and the ending is appropriately bleak and unremitting, with some genuine dramatic tension building towards the end. For a terrible film, it ain't bad. But if you missed it on Halloween, its moment may have passed.