|Saw III is a 2006 horror film written by the first film’s writers/directors, James Wan and Leigh Whannell and directed by Saw II’s writer/director, Darren Lynn Bousman and was released on October 27, 2006.
The film ends the first trilogy of the series that focuses on a bed-ridden John Kramer, and his apprentice Amanda’s final tests before he dies. The film contains additional back-story about the two antagonists. The film was dedicated to Gregg Hoffman, producer of the first two films. Hoffman died on December 4, 2005, shortly after the official Lions Gate Entertainment announcement of Saw III.
Minutes after the conclusion of Saw II, Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) escapes the bathroom by breaking his foot with the remains of the toilet tank lid used to kill Zep in Saw and slipping it out of the shackle. Six months later, another Jigsaw victim is discovered by Lt. Rigg (Lyriq Bent) and Detectives Kerry (Dina Meyer) and Hoffman (Costas Mandylor). In his test, Troy (J. Larose) had to rip chains from his flesh in order to escape from a bomb; however, the door to the room was sealed, making the trap inescapable. This is observed by Kerry, who feels guilty over Matthews’ disappearance; she later awakens in a harness hooked into her ribs. She retrieves a key to the harness from a beaker of acid, but the device tears her ribcage out anyway.
Jeff Denlon (Angus Macfadyen), a vengeful man, and Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh), a depressed doctor, are kidnapped under John Kramer’s (Tobin Bell) orders. Lynn is brought before Kramer, now bedridden from cancer, by Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith) and is given a straightforward game: keep Kramer alive for the duration of Jeff’s game. Should Kramer die, or should she try to escape, the collar around her neck will fire five shotgun shells at her head. Jeff awakens in the middle of an abandoned meatpacking plant and is informed that he must go through several tests, which will lead him to “the man responsible for the loss of his child.”
In his first test, Jeff enters a freezer and finds Danica Scott (Debra Lynne McCabe), who witnessed the car accident that killed his son Dylan but refused to testify in court. She is naked and chained between two poles spraying ice-cold water at random intervals; she eventually convinces Jeff to help her, but freezes solid before he can retrieve the key from behind frozen metal bars. In his second test, Jeff successfully frees Judge Halden (Barry Flatman), who only sentenced Dylan’s killer to six months in prison and was thus a target of Jeff’s rage, from the bottom of a pit being filled with liquefied pig corpses by incinerating his late son’s toys to retrieve a key. In his third test, Jeff finds Timothy Young (Mpho Koaho), his son’s killer, strapped to a machine that will twist his limbs and neck one by one until they break. He retrieves a key attached to the trigger of a shotgun but accidentally kills Halden when it discharges, and Timothy’s neck is broken before he can unlock the device. With his tests nonetheless complete, Jeff moves on to the final area.
Meanwhile, Lynn and Amanda work together to keep Kramer alive. During an improvised brain surgery intended to relieve pressure on John’s brain, he begins hallucinating about another woman and declares his love out loud. Distressed from witnessing this, Amanda leaves the sickroom to continue monitoring Jeff. Flashbacks reveal that Amanda continued cutting herself after Kramer became bedridden, and she recollects becoming Kramer’s apprentice and kidnapping Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) prior to the events of the first film. Amanda also finds a letter addressed to her, its contents further distressing her. After the surgery, Lynn and Kramer talk privately; Lynn reveals that her ordeal has given her a new appreciation for her family. Amanda returns with the news that Jeff’s tests are complete, but refuses to release Lynn; she reveals that she does not believe Kramer’s modus operandi and had designed her tests to be inescapable accordingly, including Troy’s and Kerry’s. She also reveals that she and Eric Matthews fought after he escaped the bathroom and that she left him for dead. Additionally, she had returned to the bathroom before the events of Saw II and gave Adam a mercy killing through suffocation.
Amanda shoots Lynn in the back just as Jeff arrives in the sickroom; he retaliates by shooting her in the neck. Kramer reveals to Amanda that the test was hers: she was being tested on her will to keep someone alive, not knowing that Jeff and Lynn were married. Amanda dies from her wound and Kramer gives Jeff one last test, where he can choose between killing Kramer or forgiving him; Kramer offers to call an ambulance for Lynn if Jeff forgives him. Jeff takes a circular saw, tells Kramer he forgives him, and slashes Kramer’s throat. The door to the room seals itself as a dying Kramer plays a tape recorder, which reveals that Jeff has failed his final test by killing Kramer, who was the only person to know the whereabouts of his daughter, Corbett (Niamh Wilson). In order to find her, Jeff must play another game. The tape ends as Kramer dies, and the shotgun collar activates and kills Lynn simultaneously, leaving Jeff trapped with the three corpses.