Saw 3D Review

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:44 am,

Saw 3D Review Saw 3D Review

Screen Rant’s Ben Kendrick reviews Saw 3D

Saw 3D (aka Saw 7) has been marketed as the “Final Chapter” in the Saw film series, but whether or not the filmmakers continue the flagship torture porn franchise, as a spin-off, prequel, or yet another sequel, remains to be seen.

In the meantime, two things are certain:

  1. Saw 3D is the most violent and disturbing Saw film to date.
  2. The 3D is completely unnecessary.

If you’re on the fence about seeing Saw 3D, make sure to check out our ‘Saw’ Movies: The Complete Guide in 6:66 feature to get caught up. We’ve included summaries of each film, as well as a one-stop video mash-up revisiting the key events from the Saw series so far.

In case you’ve missed our prior Saw 3D coverage, here’s the official plot synopsis:

“As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.”

None of the Saw films have been able to capture the smarts of the original Saw – which was more of a suspense horror-thriller as opposed to the excessive and convoluted torture-horror installments that followed. The film was focused around the carefully crafted, but simple, scenario Adam and Lawrence found themselves in – not the increasingly complicated traps featured in later films. It was two men in a room with competing goals – each was given the tools necessary to reclaim their lives.

Saw 3D Review Jigsaw Game Saw 3D Review

While later installments have upped the gore and showmanship, they’ve also lost sight of the fundamental “rule” of the game – to test guilty people’s will to live. But what about the countless victims who had no say in the matter whatsoever (the merry-go-round in Saw 6 comes to mind)? Saw 3D bends the franchise rules more than any other film in the series. There’s no doubt that it will please fans, but it’s unlikely to convince any moviegoers who had previously abandoned interest in the Saw films.

Bobby Dagen is a better “victim” character than the more on-the-nose leads in recent installments, such as the crooked real-estate group in Saw 5 and the uncompassionate insurance CEO in Saw 6 – who some audience members, no doubt, viewed as real-life “villains” of the U.S. recession. Instead, Dagen is a self-help author who made millions by sharing his story of rebirth – after surviving a Jigsaw trap. It’s no surprise when Dagen, as well as his PR team, awaken in a Jigsaw game.

The overarching story about Hoffman and Jill Tucks’s battle for Jigsaw’s legacy is intriguing – but save for one logistics-related twist, mostly predictable. Ultimately, it would have been more interesting if it had been grounded in the overarching franchise plot – instead of a disconnected “revenge” story. Dagen’s game is referenced a few times in the Hoffman/Tuck storyline but, for all intents and purposes, neither plotline has very much bearing on the other.

Saw 3D Review Gibson Saw 3D Review

However, story hasn’t been the focus of the Saw franchise since the original film – any of Saw 3D‘s promotional materials will tell you priority number 1 is the traps. Fans of the franchise will be happy to know that this addition to the franchise delivers some of the most disturbing “game” scenarios to date. They’re actually less over-the-top than previous movies, relying on intimate one on one trials – instead of “unwinnable” challenges such as the choose who lives and who dies variety. In Saw 3D, Dagen has a real emotional connection to the people he’s attempting to save and is directly responsible for whether or not each one will survive – creating a number of frantic and enjoyable moments of suspense.

There might actually be too much emphasis on whether or not Dagen can save others – as for some reason, Dagen is rarely placed in the same level of danger as other people (i.e. Jeff from Saw 3). Remember, Jigsaw’s “mantra” is testing a guilty person’s will to live. In this film, some guilty people have zero control over their fate and innocent people are, for some reason, also at risk. From moment to moment it’s gripping, but the devil is in the details – and the immersion breaks-down as a result of some questionable choices. Lazy filmmaking choices that challenge the basic premise of the “game.”

Saw 7 (aka  Saw 3D) is being pushed, according to the marketing, in “Heart-Pounding,” “Mind-Blowing,” and “Eye-Popping” 3D. However, unlike the comedic/marketing genius of mixing personal injury with 3D in Jackass 3D, Saw 3D has very little to back up the marketing hype. There is only one moment in the film that is genuinely more disturbing as a result of the 3D effects, where the camera assumes a first person POV, placing audiences in one of the traps. The moment will certainly have moviegoers squirming in their seats, but it’s hardly worth the cost of the 3D upcharge – considering the remaining 3D moments are relegated to throwing brain chunks or blood at the audience.

Saw 3D Review Bobby Dagen Saw 3D Review

If you were thinking of giving the Saw franchise another go – believing that this installment would do something interesting with the 3D tech, you’ll very likely be disappointed. It’s hard to imagine anyone being satisfied by the 3D effects in Saw 3D – even die-hard Saw fans.

Saw 3D is a satisfying installment in the Saw franchise. The film doesn’t come close to the original but it’s certainly better than some of the prior sequel installments. It also does a satisfactory job of closing up most of the remaining Saw storylines – though it’s hard to imagine that the filmmakers are actually done with the franchise. That said, should they decide to keep going, I’m hopeful that they’ll choose a spin-off of sorts (instead of a prequel or another sequel) – as the final minutes of Saw 3D definitely serve as a fitting conclusion.

If you’ve enjoyed Saw films in the past, Saw 3D is about what you’re expecting – but do yourself a favor and skip the 3D.

Here’s the trailer for Saw 3D:

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If you want to talk about details of the film without worrying about spoiling it for others, or you just want to know what happened, head on over to our Saw 3D Spoilers Discussion post.

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @screenrant.

Saw 3D is playing in 3D and 2D (as Saw: The Final Chapter) in theaters now.

Our Rating:

2.5 out of 5
(Fairly Good)

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  1. 2.5? WOW.


    • Saw fans will definitely enjoy it Rickenstein! – so you’re covered ;)

      I just couldn’t give it a glowing recommendation to anyone who isn’t already invested in the franchise. I was really hoping they’d do some cool stuff with the 3D; instead, it was really just another 2D Saw film.

      • I see. Well im NOT seeing it in 3D :D

        i cant wait i always block my eyes when its too gory LOL i love it…


  2. Nice review Ben, pretty much what i was expecting…Fast-Forward-Skip :)

  3. “Saw 3D is the most violent and disturbing Saw film to date.”

    That’s all I needed to hear :)

    Regarding it being the “final” Saw: Might I remind you of Friday the 13th: the Final Chapter

    • Foopher as soon as you see it tell me if its really good :)

      • Nevermind i saw it,its amazing you will love it foopher!!

        • Haha. Great!!! I was going to see it today, but I don’t know if that’ll pan out. I will see it though… sometime :)

          • Foopher see it asap!

            • I’m trying!!!

              Nice avatar BTW :)

  4. I wasent too impressed. I expected it to be wayyyyy more gorey than it was. I think that Saw 7 was a LOT more gorey and intense by far.

  5. I’ve watched and enjoyed the Saw series and consider myself a huge fan,and defender of the series as a whole,and I can honestly say that this was hands down the worst installment of them all.

    The opening scene had no relevance on moving the plot forward,the acting was pretty bad(but hey,who’s expecting Oscar quality performances out of these movies?).

    While Bobby’s test was something that would be conducive to what John looks for in his test subjects,there really wasn’t enough time spent on that whole aspect of the story,unlike other in past installments.

    This movie was a mess and did absolutely nothing to add to the franchise.For something that is touted as the “Final Chapter”,there really wasn’t a whole lot of resolution.

    • longshanks… really? after the 1st installment this is what should of followed… this is the 2nd best title in the franchise. all of the storylines were wrapped up nicely and it makes leaps and bounds of progross for the franchise simply because it wraps EVERYTHING up in a neat little bow. and creates 1 or 2 small questions just incase they want to continue!! and the opening scene not moving the plot forward??? didnt u even watch the movie?

      • When I say “opening scene” I am referring to the first trap.It was totally gratuitous and didn’t have anything to do with the rest of the movie.

        If you are happy that it “wrapped up” the story,ok,but it was a terribly constructed and totally contrived film.

        Killing Jill just to give Dr. Gordon motivation was a weak plotline,considering that John told him to “protect” her,not “avenge” her.

        Sorry,but anyone who thinks this one is one of the best installments just doesn’t seem like a Saw fan to me.Parts II through IV is where the true meat of the story is.

        • It was a let down to say the least.

          “Innocent” people being killed without a chance to survive on their own conditions (minus the walking the plank guy).

          What happened to testing the people?

          John’s quote for Jill (in light of her death) of: “Don’t worry, I will have a way out for you” wasn’t even referenced… at all.

          Blood and gore… gore and blood. That’s all it was.

          Now, I was surprised about Dr. Gordon being the right hand man for John, but overall… I’d say 2.5 out of 5 is a decent rating, if not generous.

    • You said EXACTLY what i was thinking!

      So disappointed that no proper resolution was given.. Such a bad ending too.. When i compare the ending in the first movie to the ending in the dinal chapter; the difference is insane.. Nothing compared to the first movie!

  6. i just watched it last night, was pretty cool but the 3d is non-existent.. to the point of me being pissed i paid extra money for absolutely NO 3-d besides about 3 minutes of the whole movie with all the 3-d parts all put together. don’t waste your money on it in 3-d

  7. Saw 3D is really not what I thought it was gonna be. Its better than Saw 6 but not drastic turn of events to keep you wondering what’s next. If this is the last film, then the series has died within the last 2 films.

  8. You might love this movie if you’re: a Hoffman fangirl/boy, a die-hard Gordonite, a casual fan who didn’t follow production much, and/or you prefer lots of traps vs. a decent story.

    Otherwise, prepare for varying shades of disappointment.

    The most interesting parts of this movie were released before the film even opened. I went into this expecting most loose ends resolved, and I left with more questions raised than answered. The ending is rushed, lazy, and feels like the writers took the most generic Gordon theory they could find & threw in some iconic aspects from the series (RBT, bathroom, etc.) to disguise the fact that nothing was truly explained in a way that could possibly feel satisfying.

    Plots A and B felt extremely disconnected, there were WAY too many characters, and the traps were convoluted and devoid of suspense – other than the fish hook trap, which was well done. There were some interesting ideas in SAW 3D, but they were poorly executed. This movie is essentially a 91-minute deathfest with tiny fragments of storyline bookending the carnage.

    I wouldn’t recommend paying full price for this one.

  9. 2.5 stars is a bit generous, and Saw has now become predictable, especially with returning characters it was inevitable what going to happen at the end. Also the twist and turns were boring and predictable. They seriously need to stop this series. 1.5 is what I’d of given it.

  10. I love the series. I always thought it was really clever how the Jigsaw killer continues to get accomplices, even if it ruins the magic of the first Saw film.
    But Saw 3D felt like a bad joke to me. I felt that the ending was a mess. With Gordon revealed to take part in the traps from the very beginning (i wont give a way the “twist”) i felt that the ending was highly predictable.
    When i think back on this movie, i have to ask why Hoffman killed every person in the same way, and why did the filmmakers try to make each of Hoffman’s knife kills shocking when they were just repeated in rapid succession. (This is Saw why not vary it up a little bit)
    The 3D was ok but doesn’t deserve the $2 upcharge i spent on it.
    2 out of 5.


  12. 3D is the one and only reason to go see this film.
    As you described in the review, this franchise has
    never been able to reach the intelligence of the first
    one and have lost me too as a fan,
    so i’ll go watch the movie solely for the 3D,
    hoping it will get me more “into” the movie ;)

  13. I saw it today, and 2/5 seems about right. I’m one of the biggest Saw supporters around, but this just wasn’t very good. The game that was taking place was boring, uninteresting, and just non-stop gore. I don’t watch Saw for this, I watch Saw for its interesting, multi-movie layered storyline….

  14. Everyone seems to be so upset because what happened with Dr Gordon was too expected, but if you go to the Saw website if asks for fan imput on traps and future story line. If you read through all the fan comments on Dr Gordon, they made happen what we all said would be cool to see. Now, because we all wanted to see it and that is what they did, it was “too predictable.”
    Saw is the best franchise ever made in the movie industry. I hope that they will continue to make more.

    • @ Brandi

      Best franchise ever?! Really?!

      I guess the Nolan Batman series,The Bourne Trilogy,The Lethal Weapon movies,the original Star Wars Trilogy,Indiana Jones movies,they all don’t account for much.

      Look,I’m a huge Saw fan,but this last movie stinks and I didn’t ask for Gordon back.Save your hyperbole for someone else.

  15. You know whats funny is that the reason why there is so many different types of movies is because everyone has different taste. I didn’t come at one person, I just stated my opinion. I think that the Saw franchise is the best HORROR franchise that has ever been made. (Let me clear that up) The fact that it is not another scary movie with one killer that chases the pretty girl around and kills everyone she knows is great. I didn’t think that I would like a franchise as much as I like this one. But to have people say that Saw 3D was horrible is crazy. It tied up teh loose ends that needed to be tied up. I think that the directors and writers knew that the franchise was becoming less marketable so they made this movie for all the “real fans” to answer burning questions we had. The traps they are obsessed with and I am not. I could have done without as many traps that were used, but hey, I guess some people like that.
    I will agree with you on one thing…. The Bourne Trilogy was amazing.

  16. okay, so about the opening scene being relevant to the story: it bothered me at first, but then i went to the previous movies and they had many irrelevant scenes, and they were my favorite, so i couldnt knock that. but to say the least, this was the most dissapointing movie. im upset that they had about 5 minutes of jigsaw, and upset that jill was killed, like jigsaw said, gordon was supposed to protect her, where was he.. i wanted something more from this movie,like jigsaw to come and save jilll(pretty impossible, probably would have been stupid), or jill to be able to unlock the mask, they say this is the final chapter, but they left us with so many unanswered questions. like what happened to(i cant remember his name, he was so dumb in this movie) the guy who lied about going through the traps previously, did he die there? why did he have those marks on his chest, i was expecting to have a flashback of something. my thought is that they were so wrapped up in making a movie every year, they stopped putting thought into it all. like come on, two girls died both with the same tools in a trap. OH AND NOT TO ADDDDD, made me soo mad, alot of the traps were from the video game, way to be lazy, and uncreative, soo dissapointed saw.. smh

    • actually the movie is gud..but when compared to the previous 6 parts..its just ok..coz like u all say..i was expecting a lot more twists…the ending was predictable..and actually the suspense and horror content was also somewhat low..actually i felt that this was the least goriest movie except saw1 and fav was saw 3 and the original saw..saw 2 and 6 were also excellent..the traps were not very clever..and exciting..and the most disappointing thing is ..WHERE WAS OUR MAN JIGSAW?he is the most charismatic villain i ve seen till date..he was there for juz 5 min..and those 5 min were wow…in the ending part also who was the other 2 guys in the masks along with gordon…i think they cud easily make an 8th part..if they dont am gonna miss the saw series and especially TOBIN BELL

  17. it was the worst of whole series.. totally dissapointed.

  18. So my question is…will there be a 8th film? I have yet to see Saw 3D, but I might go for the 3D factor. Just over the weekend I caught another 3D film called Scar on VOD. Definitely worth checking out. It’s got Avalon High’s Devon Graye.

  19. I think that there will be an 8th installment as long as they are happy with the numbers that Saw 3D brings in. So far worldwide it has grossed 88 million. I think if they reach the 100 mark they will do one more. Betsie Russel said that they had a great story for 8 already in the works, but that was all she could say. I think if we all watch, they will continue the series.

  20. honestly, i didnt expect the ending.

  21. Finally saw this.

    The first half of it, I could tell that the director was upset that he didn’t get to do Paranormal Activity 2 :P

    Anyway, dispite some “eh” acting and pink looking blood, the ending was worth it. Anyone who has been a fan of the series should freak out because the ending is so crazy awesome!!!

  22. do not get mad at me when i say this but in my opinion saw 7 (the final chapter) was horrible. everyone died it was kind of stupid. i liked the other saw movies because they build you up with more suspense. this was not like any of the saw movies and it was kind of just dumb. the worst part is that this is how they ended the saw series. they should of never killed john off untill the end. well thats my opinion

  23. I didn’t mind it. I thought the 3D was going to kill it but surprisingly enough, they didn’t really do that much 3D type stuff or if they did, it didn’t really seem that way to me.

    I prefer films to not bother with 3D as they end up focusing on the effects and that detracts from the story. I’m glad they focused more on the story in this one.

    Even though this is the Final Chapter… I still think they left it open for more.


    So we have Hoffman locked up in the original bathroom – Still not dead. I wish they’d just kill that guy off already, because I really really don’t like the acting of that actor. But in any event, he is in the bathroom, hacksaw removed from him. I am sure there are more creative ways he could get out of that with what is around him, and his tolerance for pain is obviously extremely high, we have seen this from what he has been through and even sewing up his own face… so I’m sure he could get out of that and continue as a villain.

    Doctor Gordon is alive and obviously quite happy to have helped out Jigsaw through-out (which to me, although it was flashed back, hasn’t truly been sold to me. I need to be convinced as to why he would want to do this, especially after his wife and child were part of a game which led him to saw his own foot off… so… I still think they could sell that to me through another sequel with some more one on one flash back time with John and Gordon. …but for now, we’re meant to believe that he is content in doing Jigsaws bidding). So Doctor Gordon is still around for more.

    Doctor Gordon also had two helpers. Both of whom we do not see nor do we get told anything about them. There’s more to the story which could be fueled by more of John in flash backs.

    If they really wanted to spice up an additional sequel, they could do a flash back and show us how Detective David Tapp (Danny Glover) managed to save himself from dying. Sure we presume he’s dead. But no body has been seen in any of the following movies, and as we know already, Saw likes to bring characters back. So that could be a nice back story. I don’t think I’d believe that he too was saved by Jigsaw and became a follower and helper though.

    The whole Hoffman and Jill thing became a little bit boring after a while, and it is a shame that Jill died and Hoffman didn’t.

    Hoffman ends up turning in to just a mad killer with no respect for the Jigsaw code at all. Innocent after innocent died by his hand.

    Also a shame that Dagen’s *innocent* wife had to burn like that, for nothing. Not even a choice to live. It would have been more believable as a Jigsaw message if that thing closed up to protect her from the rest of the room exploding, killing Dagen. But instead, they killed the wife off and left Dagen alive. That’s just stupid. Or, as I would have written it, as Dagen works his way up to the top, spikes appear below him, so when his pectoral muscles failed him, he fell do his death landing on spikes. Then the clock runs out, the chains fall off, the wife is free. Message appears telling the wife that she is free etc.

    And why did he hook himself like that? He could have hooked his pants up and wedged himself up that way. It didn’t say, ‘hey we are watching you and if you don’t put the hooks through your chest we’re going to kill your wife straight away’.

    At the end of the day, I am disappointed that the wife suffered for no reason other than falling in love with someone who claimed to have survived Jigsaw.

    I guess it was Hoffman who set that up. Doesn’t seem like something Gordon would have done.

    The traps… well… they are starting to get a little too over complicated. Don’t misunderstand, I do get them, I do understand them, they’re not over complicated for me to get… what I mean is, for Jigsaw. Jigsaw started out being a simple trap type guy. Two cuffs, chains, a bathroom and hacksaws.

    And then as the series progressed… the traps became more and more elaborate to the point that you just cannot believe that he could have enough time in his day to put them all together. What almost ended it for me was the room that crushed the copper in Saw 5. I was almost not even going to bother watching any others after that. It’s not that I didn’t like the trap or the gore, but it started getting too far fetched with what people can put together in the timespan that they have to do so.

    You can bring more gore and suspense through smaller more basic means. One example is the pulling of the teeth to get a code for the lock. That had me in more pain than watching the open sequence with the love triangle. Keep it simple is the way to go in my opinion, when it comes to traps and gore – but don’t keep the story simple. I loved the over complicated story that kept wrapping upon itself – so long as it is believable.

    So bring on Saw 8 I say, continue the flash backs with John. Tell us whom these other two people working with Gordon are. CONVINCE us that Gordon really is willing to help John and WHY he would do so after all that he has been through. GET Hoffman out of that bathroom to face his final death. But keep the story strong, and don’t over complicate the traps.

    That’s just my thoughts.

    Saw 8: Encore =)

    • fantastic analysis….u have well thought of everything…proves that u r a genuine lover of the saw series.and i cannot agree with u more…i had quite the same things in my mind…lets hope that saw 8 will come which answers all our questions..

    • Very elaborate review. I would have to agree with all of that. However, don’t believe that their will be a Saw 8. Unfortunately from what i read, Lionsgate pulled the plug. According to them and few other sources, they lost money upon this release. So making another one would not be a smart idea. They had actually planned an 8th installment, but i doubt that will happen anytime soon.

  24. I have been a Saw Lover since the beginning. I just watched Saw 3d again last week, and was still very unhappy with it. I was unhappy the first time seeing it, but thought I would try again to see if I was expecting too much. As a Saw lover, the story line is very important to me. The traps, not so much. The directors focused so much on the traps that it left out so much for me. I hate it that they will not say there will be a Saw 8 because Saw 7 did do better than 3 of the other Saw films so it shows that there is still a huge following of these movies. I love seeing Dr. Gordon again, but I want to no more.

  25. i thought this was a horrific ending to a thrilling 7 saw films, the blood in the film was pink and it was a rubbish storyline, i would NOT recommend this film as it is predictable and very unrealistic.
    As i have followed all of the saw films i was disappointed about the lack on information held in this film as it ended on a cliffhanger and you did not found out about bobby dragen or if he gets out, a horrible end to a simple amazing 6 films which i have enjoyed with the events shown.

  26. ALways been a fan of saw’s not for the gore but for the story telling and the conclusions but the last few are starting to look like there running out of idea’s and think this is a good way to be the last one. liked the ending of this one never expected it.

    Rated 3/5 must see for all saw fan’s and for those who haven’t seen any of the saw’s start from the 1st one you will get whose to the gore and the story is worth watching it alone.

  27. Most of the traps had flaws and the story had some plot holes, but definitely not the worst SAW films. Finally seeing the Reverse Bear Trap in action? Genius (and disturbing)! Lawrance Gordon being the new Jigsaw? Ehh. The concept of a new Jigsaw and the “game” not being over? Awful. And the fact that Bobby couldn’t save ANYONE was kind-of dumb. Oh yeah and what happened to Bobby? Or the father and daughter in SAW 3 for that matter? This movie just didn’t quite do it for me.

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