WARNING: Here be potential spoilers for all previous films in the series.


October 29, 2004. Roughly 9 PM. I sit down on opening night to watch a low-budget horror film called Saw. I have no expectations except that I think it has a fun concept. It's entertaining, but totally predictable. It's now 5 minutes before the movie ends. Jigsaw stands up. My jaw drops. I sit and stare at the credits rolling, dumbfounded.

October 29, 2010. Roughly 4:30 PM. I sit down on opening day to watch a comparatively low-budget horror film called Saw 3D. It's the seventh in the series--and the last. I have seen every other one on opening day, and I wasn't going to stop that trend on the final film (of, at least, this particular chronology). It's entertaining, but totally predictable. It's now 5 minutes before the movie ends. We get our "Hello Zepp." The twist happens. The movie ends. I leave with a huge smile on my face. Why?

This is the Saw movie the loyal fans have been waiting for.

The story picks up where the--believe it or not--first movie left off. If you don't know already what happens next, you probably aren't a fan of the series. Let's just say it involves Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes). Then we get our first-ever outside, live-audience trap. It's mostly irrelevant to the overall movie. Finally, we continue where Saw VI left off, which shows Jill (Betsy Russell) putting Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) in the Reverse Beartrap and him escaping it. Jill hides and runs to the police, specifically Officer Gibson (Chad Donella), who has a past with Hoffman. Hoffman sets up a semi-game to have Gibson hand over Jill to him in order to stop the main game that is going on. The main game revolves around Bobby (Sean Patrick Flanery), who has gained fame by coming out as a Jigsaw Survivor and leading self-help groups for other survivors. However, as you can probably figure out from the first scene you see him in, he's lying... and he's put in his very own game of survival. Similar to Saws III and VI, he's given the option of saving somebody he knows, but at his own personal pain and loss. What's his goal? To save his wife (Gina Holden), who is chained up at the end of his journey.

There are kinda two and a half story lines going on in this movie. The main one is Bobby's game, but then there's Jill trying to stay protected from Hoffman. Somewhat connected to this is Gibson trying to hunt down Hoffman, as well as figure out a mystery behind the latest "trap" disaster. The story is easily the film's weakest point. Especially in its first 20 or so minutes, it's very jumbled and unfocused. It's trying to do way too much. It wants to stand alone as its own entity, but it can't, because it has a bunch of things to tie up (being the final installment). Bobby's story is good, albeit highly predictable with a hint of "I've seen this before." And you have. As I already said, a guy having to go through a building and save/kill people depending on his own personal strength and/or willpower has already been done twice, both (interestingly) at the end of their respective trilogies. Jill's mini-story and Gibson's story could have been better had it not been for their respective actors' over-acting.

Betsy Russell just screams and freaks out most of the time, while Chad Donella tries as hard as he can to taste that scenery. Besides them, though, everybody else is pretty average (for this series). Really, that's all I've got on the acting. If you've made it this far into the Saw series, it's most likely you're not looking for Oscar Gold.

What you really want to hear about are the traps. Oh man, there are some good ones. The "outside" trap at the beginning is cool (and actually darkly comic by the end of the scene). Unfortunately, this scene bares almost no purpose for the rest of the movie. It's referenced one other time (possibly two, if you can infer something later, but there's no proof). Other highlights are the "car" trap and the "throat" trap (which actually made me cringe). The others are really good, too, but I don't wanna spoil it by getting into them all. I don't really think I was disappointed by any of the traps in the movie. They were all relatively bloody and creative, which is all any Saw fan can ask for. They also tied nicely in with the sins of those in them (and had nothing to do with Jigsaw's personal history), something the last few films have been lacking.

Speaking of anything a Saw fan can ask for, the one thing that keeps bringing fans back is the continuity. Say what you will about the bloodiness of the films, but the continuity of this series is freakin' genius. All the backstory and inter-connectedness is so good. However, I can't talk about the rest without getting into spoiler territory, so I'm gonna put up some tags now.


Dr. Gordon's return has been pretty much the biggest fan request since the first two films. What really sparked the Gordon theorists (myself included) was the limping figure who surgically implanted a key behind that one guy's eye at the beginning of Saw II. And it just escalated from there. I always said that the only way this series could end--and a lot of fans agree--was with Dr. Gordon coming back, showing himself as having helped John Kramer, giving us flashbacks to all the other films of how he did so, and ending back at the bathroom. And you know what? That's exactly what we got. If you're a major Saw fan like me, this ending wasn't a twist. It was fan service. And I loved it. It made the rest of the film even better simply for having that ending. Also, we finally get to see the Reverse Beartrap in action. How awesome is that?


The only other thing I wanna talk about is the story theme. Every one of the films after the first has had a main theme. The second was (arguably) patience. The third was forgiveness. The fourth was trust. The fifth was truth... or teamwork... or something. The sixth was choices. So what was the seventh? I think it's humility. But like the sixth, there was a strong message to go along with it. The sixth's played on the healthcare system. This one played on the recent rise in popularity in fake celebrities. For instance, the dude who wrote the fake memoir and had Oprah pimp it on her show as truth... or balloon boy... or anybody who has used tragedy as a stage for fame and popularity. And then, to take it even further, the American fascination with granting them that popularity (which is really all that "outside" trap was about).

Overall, it was an adequate film. Was it the best in the series? No. That'll always be the first one. But was it the worst? No... I don't think it even came close. It's somewhere in the middle. However, that being said, while the overall film might not be totally strong, the ending is definitely one of the best. So in summation... iffy story, strong traps, great ending... to both the movie and the series as a whole.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

(P.S. I refuse to call it purely Saw 3D, hence the VII in the title. It won't be 3D on DVD, and Saw 2D is just stupid... so they'll have to change it to Saw VII.)


  1. good review...hopefully i'll have mine done by tomorrow

  2. This was a great film, good story line, great traps,however! i can't get over the fact of how poor the A. acting is, crazy crazy crazy, over screaming by pretty much all the actors,
    B. The Gore WTH! that first scence as se is being cut open you could see the rubber flicking away from the saw looking awfully fake, The guy who gets hung looks like a banana your body would not be like that it would be loose,
    and the icing on the cake when hoffman takes the drags the body out of the bag you see the bloody head bounce! everything just looked so rubbery and fake, however the last trap was pretty well done,

    C. Is it just be or did everything look to Bright and colourful? The rest were dark and grungy which i beleive added to the fear factor of the films, this was like bloody bambi in comparrison to the other saw movies

    But in all a good ending to the saw series just a shame about the effects


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