Teaser Trailer for Jigsaw's Last Puzzle Saw 3D

Walking past the Lionsgate booth at Comic-Con, visitors get to see the debut teaser trailer of the latest and last installment in the lucrative Saw series. If you can’t get to San Diego, IGN has made it possible to see it on your computer monitor.

The Saw franchise has been a very successful property for Lionsgate. So successful in fact that Guinness World Records has honored it as the “Most Successful Horror Movie Series.” With revenues of more than $730 million worldwide plus 30 million DVDs sold, it’s hard to argue.

The series became the titan in the genre of horror presenting us with a villain (Jigsaw) who constructed deadly traps and games for his victims to play. Among the highlights: a dirty needle pit and a reverse bear trap that rips open the jaw.

Saw 3D (Saw VII) more than doubles the traps found in the previous films with 11 booby traps, all shot in 3-D. And, according to an article by USA Today, the film was re-edited and submitted six times to the Motion Picture Association of America to bring it from an NC-17 to an R rating.

The graphic nature of the films and others of its ilk have been labeled “Torture Porn” by several critics – the term originated with critic David Edelstein’s review of Eli Roth’s Hostel in 2005. Saw, which arrived in theaters in 2004, was retroactively labeled as such. Guilt by association and all that.

I missed seeing the sixth installment which turned out to be the least successful entry in the series. Even with an aggregate score of 42% percent on RottenTomatoes.com, the second highest score for the series, the film could only muster $28 million against Paranormal Activity‘s $108 million (on a $15,000 budget no less) .

Rarely am I squeamish when it comes to horror movies nowadays – it takes something like the sledgehammer sequence in Misery to truly get me – the Saw movies are technically proficient when it comes to gore. And I have to commend the producers for having the six sequels act as chapters instead of acting just as sequels. Friday the 13th sort of accomplished this with the Tommy Jarvis arc from parts IV, V, and VI. The Nightmare on Elm Street series would pass the torch so to speak from one character to the next in some cases (Nancy to Kristen in Dream Warriors and Kristen to Alice in The Dream Master; Alice would also appear in the fifth Nightmare on Elm Street The Dream Child).

When asked about the final chapter of the franchise, director Kevin Greutert remarked, “There’s something miraculous about creating a final chapter to the Saw chronology that not only gives the core fans everything they want and deserve, but also serves as a perfect introduction to audiences who are new to the series.”

We’ll know for sure when Saw 3D opens in theaters on October 29th.

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