To its credit, Saw III is a better film than Saw II. It just feels unnecessary. Once again, Darren Lynn Bousman lacks what made the original work. In Saw, James Wans effectiveness was in providing a series of jolting twists and turns and the ability to conjure unbearably drawn-out suspense and dread. That was missing when Darren Lynn Bousman appeared on the scene. Bousman is a director whose training ground seems to be MTV. Unlike Saw, Saw III comes with little suspense or dread. Stylistically, all that Darren Lynn Bousman offers up is a heavy arsenal of cut-up editing, roving camerawork, as well as a soundtrack of loud bangs and amplified noise and music, which seems to substitute for a lack of any original style. Although to its credit, Saw III works slightly more intensively and stylishly than the bland Saw II.
Saw III is certainly gorier than any of the previous films put together. Here Darren Lynn Bousman determines to compete with the boundary-pushing sadism and gore-heavy extremes of recent films like Oldboy (2003), Hostel (2005) and the works of Takashi Miike Audition (1999) and Ichi the Killer (2001). There are some fairly nasty scenes chains being ripped out of Dina Meyers body and her torso being torn apart; heads blown off; bodies being partially blasted apart by shotguns; Mpho Koahos limbs being twisted around in a torture device. The most absurd of these is the scene where Bahar Soomekh must operate on Tobin Bells brain with only a power drill and a saw as tools and with he merely under a local anaesthetic a scene that surely must count as the most credibility-defying medical procedure in cinematic history.
Moreover, this time around the plot starts to feel contrived and improbable in its twists. The killings no longer seem to have the thematic connection of Jigsaw exposing hypocrisy and forcing his victims to make brutal decisions Dina Meyer, for instance, is killed simply because of the rather specious notion that as a detective she preferred the dead to the living. Here, in imitation of the structure of Saw II, we are given the main plot with one person dealing with/confronting Jigsaw and a B plot with people caught in one of his traps, which this time seems merely like a nastier version of The Crossing Guard (1996) about a man obsessed with vengeance over the death of his son in a drunk-driving incident.
Darren Lynn Bousman continued the series with Saw IV (2007), although departed when it came to the making of Saw V (2008), Saw VI (2009), Saw 3D (2010) and Jigsaw (2017). He subsequently went onto make Repo: The Genetic Opera (2008), Mothers Day (2010), 11-11-11 (2011), The Barrens (2012), Alleluia! The Devils Carnival (2015), Abattoir (2016) and St Agatha (2018), as well as the The Night Billy Raised Hell episode of Tales of Halloween (2015).