Author’s Note: All articles on MK Horror contain spoilers.
Article written by Maggie K. Ward
In my first article about Saw III, I discussed the love story between Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and Amanda (Shawnee Smith), as well as Jigsaw’s desire to test people that underappreciate their lives. During my second look at Saw III, I’d like to focus on the torture in the film. In my original article, I merely grazed the surface in the style of torture in Saw III, and now I’d like to take a closer look.
I enjoy Saw III. I know a great deal of people don’t like it, but it happens to be one of my favorite psychological films (second to American Psycho of course). Most of the torture porn that has been made recently focuses on the physical torture of another human being. Saw III on the other hand focuses on Jeff’s (Angus Macfadyen) mental torture. Sure, plenty of people are physically tortured in Saw III, including a woman freezing to death, a man nearly drowning in pig guts, and another man having each of his libs gruesomely twisted and removed from his body.
There are two apparently classic Jigsaw puzzles that can’t seem to be won. Troy (J. LaRose) is chained in a classroom and must remove the chains that are stuck throughout his body before a bomb goes off. Like Amanda’s game in the original film, the concept is simple, yet deadly. The part that made Troy’s game unwinnable was the door being welded shut.
During Kerry’s (Dina Meyer) game, she is to reach her hand into a glass of acid to retrieve a key to unlock a deathly harness attached to her ribs. She wins her game, but still cannot remove the device from her body. Game over Kerry. It looks like Jigsaw cheated during both Kerry and Troy’s games. But at the end of the film, we learn Amanda set up these two games, and she can’t seem to play by the rules.
Mental torture can potentially leave bigger scars than physical torture. Throughout the film, we learn of Jeff’s obsession with his son’s death. He completely removes himself from the remainder of his family, and focuses on seeking revenge. Jigsaw’s game for Jeff gives him the opportunity to either seek his revenge, or forgive the people who have caused him so much grief.
During Jeff’s game, he comes across three helpless people that are in need of his help. These people were all crucial in his son’s case: a witness that left the scene, the judge that gave the driver a small sentence, and the driver that accidently hit and killed his son. During each trial he can sit and watch these people die, or he can forgive them and save their lives.
In order to save the judge, Jeff has to burn a pile of his son’s toys. In a previous flashback, we learn of his obsession with his son’s. He does not allow his daughter to touch his son’s things. Now, given the chance to save the judge, he must press a button and watch all these possessions burn before his eyes. You can see the heart ache in his eyes as he pushes the button.
Jeff comes face to face with the driver that killed his son. Through flashbacks we know Jeff fantasizes about seeking revenge and murdering his son’s killer. But does anyone deserve such a grisly death? The device strapped to his body, slowly turns his limbs until they break. Terrifying. The crunching sounds are disgusting. Yuck. Jeff’s internal battle is horrible. Would he take a bullet to save the man that killed his son? No. It’s so much easier to forgive someone when they are dying.
Like the first two films, Saw III had a big twist at the ending. Lynn (Bahar Soomekh), the doctor Jigsaw brought to keep him alive, is Jeff’s wife. How about that? Most people say they saw that coming. I didn’t, though I was fairly young when this movie what released. Regardless, it brings the two seemingly different stories together. In the Saw franchise, everything happens for a reason (at least, in the earlier films, but I’ll get to that in later articles). That is what is so nifty about the Saw franchise. I like this movie. I stated that from the beginning. If you haven’t seen many (or any) of the Saw films, I recommend the first three. Just go into them with an open mind. You just may enjoy yourself.
Have Questions or Comments? Feel free to e-mail me at: MKHorror@yahoo.com