film: SAW 3D

With only a little trepidation I went on the afternoon of Halloween to my local cinema and saw Saw 3D, alone. Which always make me seem endlessly creepy. Let me put it this way: Saw 3D is truly a thing of beauty.

I’ve enjoyed all the Saw films, to perhaps an uncommon and unhealthy level – but this was everything I could have wanted. The violence and destruction was truly top-notch and I must really tip my hat to the magnificent effects crew on this film. It features some spectacular returns to some classic traps (the reverse bear trap/jaw ripper, how I have missed thee!) as well as some great new ones. I would love to delve into grisly detail of what my favorites were, but I would hate to spoil it for any of you who are just desperate to get in there and gorge yourself on destruction.

I truly think that a lot of the charm of Saw (and its “torture porn” brethren) comes from the sheer inevitability of the devestation. You know they aren’t going to make it, you know that the victims are going to be sliced, diced, speared, shredded, cooked, disemboweled, beheaded, and eviserated in glorious technicolor right before your eyes, you know there’s no way they have the fortitude to survive their fates (if they were the sort of people who could survive Saw traps, they wouldn’t be in Saw traps). It’s also fantastic because I think when violence, destruction and devestation reaches this level, it takes on a surreal, sublime quality. Piranha 3D did a similar thing, elavating the gore to point where it becomes a symphony of destruction. Beautiful.

The film pays a lot of attention to the notion of the survivor. The narrative is built around who has survived traps in the past, which lead me, for the first time to think about how I would manage a Saw trap. The notion of terrible, self-inflicted bodily harm is enough to make even more squidge in the theater. Even me.

Also, I cannot ignore that this film was rendered in ultra-trendy Real 3D. Now, horror is a genre perfectly fit for 3D. In life, there’s very little as grand as feeling like you’re about to be splattered with grotesque amounts of human blood. Saw does a good job, the 3D isn’t excessive, it works when it needs to work. Not once did it make me feel headachey or woozy.

A true delight.