Saw 3D, also known as Saw: The Final Chapter or Saw VII, is a horror film and the seventh (and originally final) installment of the Saw franchise, first released in 2010. Directed by Kevin Greutert and written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the film's story revolves around Mark Hoffman, who sets up another game in his plan to get revenge on Jill Tuck after the events of Saw VI. To protect herself, Jill reveals Hoffman's secret to the police and Officer Matt Gibson attempts to finally end the murders for good. The seventh movie answers most of the remaining open questions of the series and concludes the last primary story lines to bring the series to its temporary conclusion.
A flashback sequence, taking place immediately after the events of the first film, shows Dr. Lawrence Gordon, as he crawls through a hallway in his attempt to find help after sawing off his foot and escaping the bathroom. Along the way, he comes across a steaming pipe and uses it to cauterize his stump in order to stop the bleeding, causing him to lose his consciousness due to the great amount of pain.
The scene shifts to an unknown point in the timeline, where two young men, Brad and Ryan, wake up inside a store in the center of a public square. Both are chained to a contraption, which consists of three circular saw blades. Suspended above the third one is Dina, Brad and Ryan's girlfriend, who cheated on both of them. Jigsaw's mechanical ventriloquist puppet informs them that one of them will have to die within the next 60 seconds. In order to save Dina, Brad and Ryan have to shove the contraption away from them and thereby kill their opponent. Otherwise, Dina will be killed by the third blade. As the game begins, a huge crowd of people witness the scene through the store front window. While Brad and Ryan initially fight each other, they ultimately decide that Dina isn't worth either of their lives and choose to sacrifice her. As the timer expires, Dina is lowered down onto the saw and sliced in half.
The scene shifts once again. Immediately after escaping the Reverse Beartrap at the end of Saw VI, Hoffman goes into hiding in an abandoned hangar and plans his revenge on Jill Tuck. Jill, who witnesses his escape, goes to the police station and informs Matt Gibson, an internal affairs officer, that Hoffman is the successor and former accomplice of her ex-husband, John Kramer, commonly known as the Jigsaw Killer. In exchange for protection and immunity, Jill promises to give Gibson all the evidence she can provide to find and arrest Hoffman. Gibson, seeing a chance to finally end the Jigsaw murders, immediately agrees.
Some time later, Hoffman abducts a group of four racist skinheads - Evan, Kara, Dan and Jake - and takes them to a junkyard, where he has prepared another gruesome game for them. The naked back of Evan, the leader of the group, is glued to the driver's seat of a car, which is held up by several jacks. As his game begins, he has 30 seconds to tear himself away from the seat and pull a lever attached to the motor. However, he fails to do so in time, and the jacks, as well as the car, fall and crush the head of Kara, who is strapped to a platform below the rear tire. As the car starts to drive, Dan's arms and lower jaw, which are chained to the back of it are ripped off, and Jake, who is strapped to the garage door, is hit by the car and killed in the process. Finally, Evan crashes head on into another car and is thrown through the windshield.
Shortly afterwards, the corpses are found by the police. Upon investigating the crime scene, Gibson and his partner, Officer Rogers, find the Reverse Beartrap, which had been used by Jill in her attempt to kill Hoffman. As they find her fingerprints on the trap, Gibson takes her into protective custody. However, just as he takes her to a safe house for key witnesses, he receives a video message from Hoffman, in which he tells Gibson about another game and assures to stop it in exchange for Jill. Not willing to accept the ultimatum, Gibson sends Jill to the detention cells of the police station.
Meanwhile, Hoffman sets up the game, which focuses on Bobby Dagen, who had gained wealth and fame by publishing his story about how he survived one of Jigsaw's games, which in fact never happened. Following his abduction, he wakes up in a cylindrical cage. A video tape tells him that he has 60 minutes to proceed through the building and face a series of tests. If he fails to do so before the time expires, his wife, Joyce, will die. As the tape ends, Bobby's cage is moved into an upright position and suspended from the ceiling above two plates armed with large spikes. Bobby, however, quickly manages to escape the cage and goes on to face his game.
In his first test, he finds his publicist, Nina, who is strapped to a chair in the middle of four metal posts, each one armed with a pointy metal rod. A tape informs Bobby, that he has 60 seconds to save her as otherwise, the four rods will impale her throat. The key to deactivate the trap is attached to a fish hook in Nina's stomach, which hangs on a wire. Bobby must pull it out in order to save her. However, every time she screams, the metal rods would get closer and closer to her throat, killing her even sooner. While Bobby manages to obtain the key, Nina can't bring herself to stay quiet and is subsequently killed by the trap.
Upon reaching his second test, Bobby finds his lawyer, Suzanne, who is strapped to a plate in the center of a large, metallic wheel in a horizontal position. The wheel slowly turns forward into an upright position. Thereby, Suzanne's eyes and mouth will be impaled by three metal rods positioned in front of the wheel. In order to save her, Bobby has to step into another machine and has to lift a heavy weight for the duration of at least 30 seconds. However, as he does, four metal spikes impale both sides of his body. Despite his efforts, Bobby fails again and isn't able to save Suzanne, who dies before his eyes.
In his third test, Bobby enters a long hallway, where most of the floor has been destroyed, except for a few stone arches and wooden beams. At the end of the hallway is his best friend, Cale, who has a mask locked onto his face, which prevents him from seeing anything around him. Bobby has 60 seconds to guide Cale over the beams and arches to get as close to him as possible, while Bobby himself has to obtain a key hanging from the ceiling. Bobby ultimately receives the key, but as he throws it to Cale, the latter fails to catch it and is hanged by a noose around his neck as the timer expires.
As he goes on, Bobby enters a room with a locked metal door, which is secured by a combination lock. The four numbers, which are necessary to open it, are etched on two of his wisdom teeth. By using pliers, Bobby pulls his teeth and is thereby able to open the door and finally finds his wife, who is chained by her neck to a metal platform in a middle of an electric fence, which prevents Bobby from reaching her. A final video tape by Jigsaw informs him that in order to save his wife, Bobby has to play the same game he had supposedly survived according to his made up story. Joyce is angry to learn the truth, but forgives Bobby as he tries to save her.
At the same time as Bobby's game takes place, Hoffman continues to put Gibson under pressure and sends him another video with a cryptic message. As Gibson understands the true meaning of it, he and Rogers go to the abandoned Crossroads Manufactory, where Hoffman had once saved Gibson's life by shooting an aggressive suspect, even though the latter had already surrendered. As he deduces the clues from Hoffman's message, he remembers that the suspect had been institutionalized at the abandoned Clear Dawn Psychiatric Hospital and realizes that this is the location of Bobby's game. He raids the building along with a SWAT team, but goes back to the junkyard when one of his colleagues, Officer Palmer, informs him that she has traces Hoffman's video message back to this location. Only minutes after he leaves the asylum, the SWAT members are killed in a gas chamber set up by Hoffman to prevent them from stopping Bobby's game.
As Gibson returns to the junkyard, he and two other officers discover a hidden surveillance room. Upon entering it, they find the mutilated corpse of Dan, one of the skinheads. Gibson takes a look at the surveillance monitors and sees that Hoffman had hacked the camera security system of the police station. Thereby, he also realizes that Hoffman has removed Dan's corpse from his body bag and hid himself inside it in order to infiltrate the station through the morgue. However, as he calls Palmer to warn her, Gibson and the other two officers are killed by a sentry gun.
Meanwhile, Bobby pierces two hooks through his pectoral muscles and hoists himself up to the ceiling, where he has to connect two extension cords above him. However, just as he is about to do so, his muscles no longer support his weight and Bobby falls down to the floor. As the timer expires, Joyce is trapped inside a large oven and is roasted alive, while Bobby is forced to watch her demise.
Hoffman finally reaches the morgue and heads for the detention cell, while killing everyone in his path, including Palmer and Rogers. As he finds Jill in one of the cells, she manages to flee, but is eventually found and beaten up by him in the evidence room. Afterwards, he straps her to a chair and locks a Reverse Beartrap, the original one from the first film, onto her head. As she has no way to escape, Jill's mouth is ripped open by the trap, killing her.
Having fulfilled his revenge, Hoffman leaves the station and returns to his hideout. Upon his arrival, the news channels already report the events of the massacre at the police station to the public and announce that the city was shut down. After blowing up his hideout, Hoffman is about to leave, but is suddenly attacked by three pig-masked figures. One of them reveals himself to be Dr. Lawrence Gordon, who had been nursed and recruited by John Kramer after the events of the first film. Flashbacks show that Gordon has assisted John in setting up and planning several traps and games of the previous films. Following his mentor's death, he had received a video tape, in which Gordon asked him to watch over Jill and to take action if anything happened to her. Therefore, he takes Hoffman to the bathroom, where he had once faced his own test, and shackles him by the ankle to a pipe. Afterwards, he takes the hacksaw, which he had used to cut off his own foot, and throws it out of the room. Then, he turns off the lights and closes the door, leaving Hoffman to die with the words "Game Over."
- Tobin Bell as Jigsaw/John
- Costas Mandylor as Mark Hoffman
- Betsy Russell as Jill Tuck
- Cary Elwes as Dr. Lawrence Gordon
- Sean Patrick Flanery as Bobby Dagen
- Chad Donella as Officer Matt Gibson
- Gina Holden as Joyce Dagen
- Laurence Anthony as Officer Rogers
- Dean Armstrong as Cale
- Naomi Snieckus as Nina
- Rebecca Marshall as Suzanne
- James Van Patten as Dr. Heffner
- Sebastian Pigott as Brad
- Jon Cor as Ryan
- Anne Greene as Dina
- Chester Bennington as Evan
- Dru Viergever as Dan
- Gabby West as Kara
- Benjamin Clost as Jake
- Kevin McGarry as Charlie
- Kim Schraner as Officer Palmer
- Oluniké Adeliyi as Sidney
- Ish Morris as Alex
- Carlos Diaz as Coroner Worker
- Elizabeth Rowin as Sara
- Christine Simpson as Donna Evans
- Jacintha Wesselingh as Newscaster #1
- Claudia DiFolco as Newscaster #2
- Kimberly Deon as Newscaster #3
- Derek Herd as Junkyard Owner
- Rachel Wilson as Mother
- Alli Chung as Business Woman
- Desmond Campbel as Business Man
- Melyssa Anishnabie as Shocked Onlooker #1
- Jimmy Star as Shocked Onlooker #2
- Billy Oliver as Police Officer #1
- Liise Keeling as Police Officer #2
- Tanedra Howard as Simone
- Shauna MacDonald as Tara
- Joanna Douglas as Joan
- Janelle Hutchison as Addy
- Greg Bryk as Mallick
- Larissa Gomes as Emily
- Kevin Rushton as Trevor
- Jagger Gordon as Survivor Group Member #1
- Kyle Cicerella as Survivor Group Member #2
- Simon Steene as Survivor Group Member #3
- Simon Northwood as Lead SWAT Officer
- Regan Moore as SWAT Officer #1
- Danny Lima as SWAT Officer #2
- Bryan Thomas as SWAT Officer #3
- Wayne Downer as SWAT Officer #4
- Billy Oliver as SWAT Officer #5
- Patrick Mark as SWAT Officer #6
- Chris McGuire as SWAT Officer #7
- Don Gough as Limo Driver
Saw VII was green-lit in July 2009 and was planned to be directed by David Hackl, who had already directed Saw V and previously served as the production designer of Saw II, III and IV. Producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules, as well as writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan also returned, while the cinematographer of all previous installments, David Armstrong, was replaced by Brian Gedge.
Pre-production began on September 14, 2009, with Saw VII having been granted a budget of approximately $17 million. While originally, an eighth film was planned to be shot as well, this plan was changed due to the box-office failure of Saw VI. Therefore, Saw VII was supposed to be the last film and concentrated on answering the remaining open questions of the series, while also incorporating parts of the story which were planned for the eighth film.
In January 2010, another unexpected change was made when David Hackl was dismissed as the director by Twisted Pictures. Due to a contract clause, Kevin Greutert, who was about to work on Paranormal Activity 2 at that time, was forced to direct Saw VII instead, much to his dismay. When he arrived on the set two weeks before the principal photography began, he changed a big part of the script, which was described as quite problematic by writer Patrick Melton, as they had already built sets, casted actors and bought or created props for the film, which were all affected by the changes made by Greutert.
Saw VII was the first film in the series, which was completely filmed in 3D by using the SI-3D digital camera system, rather than filming on set traditionally and later transferring the footage to 3D. The camera system was one of the reasons why the film was the most expensive installment in the series. Therefore, several scenes, mainly the trap scenes, were filmed to take advantage of the new techniques. Principal photography eventually began on February 8, 2010 at Toronto's Cinespace Film Studios and went on until April 12, 2010.
The casting began in mid-December 2009. As with Saw VI, the second season of Scream Queens aired. In the show, ten unknown actresses competed for a role in the film. Ultimately, actress Gabby West won the show and played the role of Kara in the film. Other actors were offered to reprise their roles. While some of them, such as Tanedra Howard and Cary Elwes, returned to the franchise, others turned down the offer, mainly due to scheduling conflicts.
The film was released theatrically in the United Kingdom and Australia on October 28, 2010. One day later, it hit the theaters in the United States, distributed by Lionsgate, and Canada, distributed by Maple Pictures. Originally, the film was planned to be released on October 22, but was pushed back, probably to have a release date closer to Halloween. Saw VII was initially rated NC-17 by the MPAA and had to be edited and re-submitted six times to secure an R rating. In Australia, the Australian Classification Board gave a heavy R18+ rating for "high impact violence, blood and gore" whereas all previous Saw films were rated MA15+.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television on October 25, 2010, producer Mark Burg announced that the DVD would only be released in 2D. Lions Gate Entertainment released the film under the title Saw: The Final Chapter on January 25, 2011. There were three different versions. The first one was a standard DVD release, consisting of the theatrical version of the film, a selection of bonus features and a second disc with a digital copy. The second edition was a 2D combo pack that included an unrated Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy of the film. The last edition of the release was a 3D combo pack, consisting of an unrated Blu-ray in 2D and 3D version as well as a DVD and digital copy version of the film.
As opposed to Saw VI, the seventh film turned out to be financial success, earning $45,710,178 in the US and Canada and $136,150,434 worldwide. Despite this, Saw VII received the worst ratings in the series. It received a rating of 9% from Rotten Tomatoes, based on 74 reviews, while Metacritic gave it a score of 24 out of 100, based on 17 critics. The aspects, which were criticized the most were the acting, the plot, the excessive violence as well as the lack of screentime of both, Tobin Bell and Cary Elwes.
The soundtrack of Saw VII was once again composed by Charlie Clouser, who composed the score of all of the previous installments in the series. It was released on iTunes on November 2, 2010 and included 30 tracks.
4. Chase Jill
5. Stitch Face
6. Only You
7. Talk Show
8. Jill Dream
9. Car Trap
10. Support Group
14. News Bar
18. Quiet Nina
20. Eye Trap
22. Loved Ones
23. SWAT Team
24. Teeth Tape
25. SWAT Teeth
26. Fifty Cal
27. Reach Bobby
30. The Final Zepp
- Several of the traps in Saw 3D were intended to be used in earlier films. Bobby Dagen pulling his teeth out was the original idea for Troy's trap in Saw III and the concept of Dina being lowered onto the grinder was initially going to be used in Judge Halden's trap. The Horsepower Trap, which killed Evan and his friends, was planned to be used before as well, but it was deemed to violent at that time.
- This is the shortest Saw film at the length of 90 minutes.
- According to the audio commentary, Brad and Ryan were supposed to be the two pig-masked figures who assisted Gordon in Hoffman's abduction. Originally, their trap scene at the beginning of the movie would have included a shot of Gordon and John Kramer standing in the crowd, watching their game.
- The audio commentary also revealed that Hoffman died in the bathroom, probably due to starvation or death of thirst.