Between the events of 'Saw' and 'Saw II', a sick and desperate John Kramer travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure in hopes of a miracle cure for his cancer, only to discover the entire operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable. Armed with a newfound purpose, the infamous serial killer returns to his work, turning the tables on the con artists in his signature visceral way through devious, deranged, and ingenious traps.
If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. That's what "Kramer" (Tobin Bell) ought to have thought when he was presented with a miracle cure for his terminal cancer by "Cecilia" (Synnøve Macody Lund) for a mere $250k. Anyway, off he goes to Mexico and then quickly discovers that it was all a con. A really cynical con at that, and so he decides that some gruesome revenge is due on the team that dreamt up this atrocious scheme. What now ensues is one of the best horror thrillers I've seen for ages. The assembled "medical" team find themselves tracked down, apprehended and then attached to some fairly ghastly devices in a sort of brutal version of the "Adventure Game". Great sacrifices are going to have to be made if any of them are to survive! Further complications follow when another victim of their scam - "Parker" (Steven Brand) turns up bent on his own kind of revenge... It's violent and brutal, this film, but we are spared the very worst of the graphic imagery and that actually helps us to do our own visualising as limbs start coming adrift. There's not a great deal of dialogue, which is good, and the score doesn't resort to the creation of jump moments for us - that's all left to our eyes and our imagination. There's a twist at the end but it's rather weak and does rather let the thing down a little. All told, though, this is very much at the better end of recent films in this genre and in a dark cinema is well worth two hours.