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Film / Saw III

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Warning: Spoilers in Synopsis

Saw III (2006) is a film in the Saw horror series.

The police continue their investigation for the elusive Jigsaw, but find that his recent murders seem to go against his modus operandi of giving his victims a chance to live as the recent traps have been design to kill their victim regardless if they complete their task.

In comes the latest victim of Jigsaw's game, Jeff, a man who lost his son and has yet to move on from his death. Jigsaw offers him a chance to move on, but potentially at the expense of the people he feel were responsible in his son's passing. As this goes on, Jigsaw himself is dying from cancer and aided by his apprentice, Amanda Young. To delay his inevitable demise, he kidnaps a doctor named Lynn to operate on him, thus placing Lynn's life on the line as well in the effort to save him.


This film provides examples of:

  • Big "NO!": Jeff at the end of the film after realizing his fate (detailed in Downer Ending below).
  • Bloodier and Gorier: This film is where the franchise really starts to earn the Torture Porn label, with the traps reaching a level of brutal dismemberment unseen in the previous two and far more detailed,nauseating gore. Reportedly, at least two audience members fainted during the premier.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Judge Holden idiotically gets himself shot in the face by a shotgun in a trap not even meant for him.
  • Crucified Hero Shot:
    • When Lynn is shot by Amanda, her arms stretch out as she falls into Jeff's arms.
    • Timothy on The Rack is a particularly gruesome example.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • The Rack slowly twists every limb 180 degrees. The goal is for Jeff to forgive Timothy and save him from this punishment. Jeff forgives him, but fails in saving him.
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    • There is a similar predicament with Judge Holden being drowned in liquified pig corpses. Jeff is much more successful in this case.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Happens twice early on. First Eric Matthews seems set to continue his role as protagonist of the previous film, but he disappears after his first scene, only reappearing in a flashback. Next it looks like Allison Kerry will become an Ascended Extra, but she is swiftly killed. The actual protagonists turn out to be two new characters, Jeff and Lynn Denlon.
  • Downer Ending: By killing Jigsaw, Jeff inadvertently fails his final test, gets his wife Lynn killed, and finds out the now dead Jigsaw is the only one who knows where his daughter is locked away with a limited supply of air.
  • Drowning Pit: There's a really disgusting version of this trope involving ground up/liquefied rotting pig corpses.
  • Exact Words: At the start of Jeff's trial, Jigsaw promises him that should he complete the tests, he will come face-to-face with "the man responsible for the loss of his child". Jeff (and the audience), naturally, assumes it is the drunk driver who killed his son in an accident. However, Jigsaw never exactly said which child was he speaking of; only after Jeff kills him does he reveal in a tape that he is the person responsible for the loss of his child, as only he knows where Jeff's daughter is.
  • Explosive Leash: Amanda locks a collar onto Lynn's neck that will discharge five shotgun shells into her head if John dies. Come the end of the film, Jeff kills John, thus killing her as well.
  • Fan Disservice: Danica in the Freezer Room trap; one movie critic once said that her scene may be the most un-erotic scene featuring a naked woman in all of horror movie history. She was originally going to be wearing just a shirt and panties, but the director thought it would be too erotic for her to be wearing a tight t-shirt and getting wet, so he just stripped her completely.
    • On another note Amanda is a rather attractive woman and seeing her in panties sportin' those legs is something one would probably be fine seeing. Or they would be if it wasn't for the fact that when we see her legs we see her scars and she adds one to her leg.
  • Hanging Judge: Inverted. Judge Holden is, if anything, too lenient and essentially gives Timothy a light slap on the wrist for running over Jeff's son.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Judge Holden's reasoning with Jeff to not let him die.
  • Kidnapped Doctor: Amanda kidnaps a doctor named Lynn and fits her with an Explosive Leash to force her to treat (and later perform cranial surgery on) the terminally ill, cancer-ridden John. Which was just one reason for her kidnapping, as Lynn is also married to Jeff, Jigsaw's latest karmic victim, and he wanted to put Jeff through a series of traps for him, all while seeing if Amanda, in the main purpose of the whole movie, would grant someone (Lynn) the chance to live, instead of condemning everyone to an inescapable death.
  • Kill It with Ice: The Shower Trap. It succeeds.
  • Locked in a Freezer: One of the traps sees this happen to Jeff and Danica, the bystander who saw Jeff's son die in a car accident. Jeff is tasked with saving her while trying to get a key that will open the door to the freezer, all while a naked Danica is sprayed with freezing cold water.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Jigsaw seems to explain the rules of the game to Lynn as she is brought into his room. In the film's climactic flashback montage, we learn that the explanation, as well as the entire central game, was Amanda's, and the rules were mainly meant for her.
  • The Reveal: Lynn and Jeff are married, and Jigsaw kept this information from Amanda to test her. And Jigsaw is responsible for the loss of Jeff's other child, by locking her away in a location only he knows.
  • Secret Test of Character: Jigsaw does this to Amanda by asking her to let Lynn go free if she could keep him alive for the duration of his last "game". She refuses and kills Lynn, but it's eventually revealed in Saw VI that she did so intentionally because Hoffman threatened to reveal that she had a hand in the fact that Jigsaw's wife had her miscarriage if she didn't kill Lynn.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Kerry
  • The Tooth Hurts: The commentary reveals that the creators wanted to have Troy pull his teeth out in the way of the DVD cover. It didn't go well.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: Jeff freezes his cheek onto a set of pipes while reaching for a key to free a woman being sprayed with freezing water.
  • You Have Failed Me: Essentially the point of the "Shotgun Collar" trap. Jeff's wife, Lynn Denlon, was kidnapped, put in the collar, and made to operate on Jigsaw. If Jigsaw died, then the five shotguns on the collar would go off, killing Lynn. They do.


Video Example(s):


Jigsaw and Dr Denlon

The Jigsaw Killer's cancer has advanced considerably over the last three movies, and has by now left him bedridden and physically dependent upon his apprentice. But even on his deathbed, he is still engaged in the process of "testing" his victims...

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

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