Here we go again, it seems. Darren Lynn Bousman is back as director for another sequel to James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s original Saw, and this time he brings an upgrade in acting pedigree. Angus Macfadyen plays the lead victim here, and he throws himself into it. It’s likely he was having fun making this, but his performance is one of the stand-outs from the overall franchise. Other than that, this is business as usual, but just like Saw II the blood, gore, and twists are increased, and mostly these are successful.
Macfadyen is a father grieving the loss of his son, forced to complete a series of games in a strange industrial maze. Meanwhile, Bahar Soomekh is a brain surgeon kidnapped and held in a shotgun-collar to perform graphic brain surgery on Jigsaw, played once again by Tobin Bell. Shawnee Smith is back from the last two films, and the cops are as usual on Jigsaw’s trail.
It is the gore and the violence which, in this sequel, stick in the mind. Sequences of bones snapping and rotting pig carcasses being liquefied remain long in the memory, leaving as bad a taste in one’s mouth as the pig slosh surely would. The trash factor is increased, but the writing is still strong and so the series goes on.