Comparison between the Theatrical Version (included in the US single-disc DVD released by Lionsgate) and the Unrated Version (included in the Blu-Ray/DVD combo-package released by Lionsgate).
- 19 cuts, incl. 2 re-cuts, 1x alternative footage
- Duration of these cuts: 11.5 sec
On halloween 2010 the infamous Saw series received yet another sequel, making it the 7th installment in the series. Since the Avatar-hype still does not seem to decrease, they couldn't just add the regular number to the title - instead the newest Jigsaw movie was called Saw 3D.
For home-cinemas, they then renamed the movie, now calling it Saw: The Final Chapter (even though they in fact did release the 3D-version on Blu-Ray), making one thing absolutely clear: after the 6th installment of the Saw-series was not the success the producers were looking for, they decided to re-edit the script. Actually, they planned to release 2 sequels but instead decided to combine both stories into one, resulting in a movie that roughly explains everything and actually ends the Saw-saga.
Well, the result is actually not that clear and if you look at the "Friday the 13th" movies, calling something the final whatsoever does not at all mean that the film series really does end...
It has to be mentioned that while there was a lot of chaos around editing the script, they also (quite surprisingly) hired a different director as well. While they originally planned to hire David Hackl (who already directed "Saw V"), Lionsgate 2 days before shooting the movie announced that they in fact hired Kevin Greutert again (director of Saw VI). What's interesting about this choice is that Greutert pretty roughly was (almost litterely) "snatched away" from working on Paranormal Activity 2. Sounds quite suspect to me, after all, the first Paranormal Activity movie was pretty much responsible for the low box-office gross of Saw VI - apparently, the producers of Saw wanted to make sure that this doesn't happen again.
Apart from that they probably thought that they should really push the limits with the final Saw installment. While part 6 already had a lot of harsh moments, it still focused on driving the story forward as well as including some interesting turns and surprises. Not so for Saw 3D - the movie virtually moves from one trap to the next one. In terms of violence it's really at eye level with part 3. But don't worry, there won't be any more unnecessary spoilers.
At this point I would also like to hint at the author's audio commentary which offers a lot of interesting insights for fans. Right from the start they tell you how the original drafts of the scripts were planned to be and which scenes they had to be changed for Saw 3D even though they were planned to look different.
The Unrated Version
Since the beginning of the series, it is almost mandatory for the DVD release of the Saw movies to have an extended unrated release. Besides re-including everything they had to cut away in order to receive an R-Rating, they since the 5th part also often tended to include alternative footage that - regarding the plot - is more or less different from the Theatrical Version. No wonder they often called these versions the "Unrated Director's Cut".
For the 7th part, they only put an "Unrated"-title on the box of the American Blu-Ray that is in stores since January 25th, 2011. This is the next thing that needs to be criticised: Saw 3D ist the first movie of the saga to follow the trend of releasing the longer version on Blu-Ray ONLY, the DVD only includes the shorter Theatrical Version. This version is only available as a combo-package that also includes a DVD and a Digital Copy. There is a very curious thing about this package: The DVD includes the R-Rated Theatrical Version, however, they produced a different DVD for this package. As opposed to the regular DVD, the DVD of the Blu-Ray package does not have any bonus material! Even though you have to do without the featurette "52 Ways To Die" (which is only included on the Blu-Ray) you at least get the rest of the bonus material (audio commentary, deleted scenes, music videos). Still, it's annoying that they didn't also cut the Unrated Version on DVD even though they already produced 2 entirely different DVD versions.
It could get interesting what kind of version will be included in the UK release of the movie (which will be available on March 7th) since only the Blu-Ray cover includes the logo "Extreme Edition" (which for the previous parts of the series always marked the Unrated version).
With that all said, let's see what the longer version of Saw 3D has to offer. To sum it up: Surprisingly enough, it only adds more violence to the movie. Nothing else. This will be fun for all the gorehounds out there, but whoever was expecting a more revealing finale of the series is going to be in for a disappointment.
As it was already reported, Saw 3D allegedly had to be re-editet 6 times to finally receive an R-Rating. And the uncensord original cut now seems to have made its way on the Blu-Ray. Most of the cuts are (as usual for the MPAA) very very short (sometimes they only had to cut away a few frames). At some points they had to tone down the violence by using alternative footage. Most of the cuts were made during the beginning of the movie (the scene with the "Public Trap") where they also added a few entirely new sequences for the Unrated Version. And as I just said: All the new material just adds more violence and no variation to the plot as they did it for the previous movies.
One could also argue that the lack of plot alterations can also be justified with the fact that director Greuert as well as the authors (who were surely not satisfied with the chaotic changes of the script) didn't want to spend more time with the project than necessary. At least Greutert already announced that he won't do a Director's Cut for Saw 3D.
While international customers will probably only be able to purchase the Unrated Version (including both the 2D and the 3D version of the movie) as a Blu-Ray, video rental stores will apparently also offer a Blu-Ray that includes the R-Rated Version. Just as for the DVD that is included in the combo package, this Blu-Ray won't have any bonus material.
Some users on American internet platforms (such as imdb oder houseofjigsaw.com) mentioned that the Unrated Version exclusively included additional credits for the authors Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan at the beginning of the movie. This resulted in a lot of rumors, claiming that this was the only change they did to warrant the Unrated label for this release (strictly speaking, this would actually be possible, after all, the MPAA only rated the theatrical release, but not the one that included these credits - "Unrated" only means that this version of the movie was not rated in this form, yet it does not necessarily have to have any additional footage/violence). However, as you will see in this report, this is all bullshit. The Unrated Blu-Ray lives up to its reputation and offers some more material during the gore scenes. By the way, contrary to many comments on internet platforms these credits for the writers is also included on both DVD versions (the single-disc as well as the compo-package DVD).
The runtime will be listed as follows:
Theatrical Version [NTSC] / Unrated Version [NTSC]
07:34 / 07:34-07:35
After you heared Dina screaming (only seeing her upper body) you now in the Unrated Version see a shot from below. Her face is above the image section and the saw turns red when it maltreats her stomach.
07:36 / 07:37-07:38
In between the shots of Brad and the Jigsaw puppet (both are dashed with blood) the Unrated Version shows 2 shots of Dina: Another one from the perspective you've just seen and a close-up shot from the side which is rather unbloody.
07:38 / 07:40-07:41
Another new (and pretty short) shot of Dina inside the trap.
07:42-07:43 / 07:45-07:46
In the Theatrical Version you now again see the unbloody close-up shot from the side (see second image at 07:36 / 07:37-07:38).
The Unrated Version shows a bloody puppet (?) that resembles Dina being besmirched with blood.
Unrated 0.2 sec longer
07:47 / 07:50-07:51
After a typical 3D-effect (guts fall on the camera/"into your face") you now only in the Unrated Version see them landing on the floor.
07:49-07:52 / 07:53-07:57
A rather odd alternative course of the scene.
Another shot of Dina, then the guts fall to the floor - however, these are additional ones, the ones that you only saw landing in the Unrated Version are already lying there. At the end you see Brad.
Three additional shots of the pushing and shoving in the crowd outside. Then follows a different version of Dina which you can spot since here, her mouth is opened.
Unrated 1.4 sec longer
07:53 / 07:58-08:02
Only now (after a shot of Ryan) you in the Unrated Versions see the three shots from the Theatrical Version (Dina/guts/Brad) - they won't be illustrated again. Then follows another (again exclusive) shot from underneath.
21:20 / 21:29
Evan's skin is shown for 7 additional frames when he tries to break away from the glue.
21:27 / 21:36-21:37
The beginning of the next shot is minimally longer.
21:32 / 21:42
Legendary 2 additional frames at the beginning of this last shot of the sequence.
21:32 / 21:42
...same goes for the end of the (already pretty short) shot!
21:36 / 21:46
When the car tires blow Evan's girlfriend's face away, two minor frames at the beginning of the shot were cut away.
21:37 / 21:47
Same goes for the end of that shot.
21:40 / 21:50
In the Unrated version you (prior to the close-up shot) see an additional short shot of Evan's colleague (Dan) whose arms and jaw are torn apart - the events are shown in a total shot.
In retur, the Theatrical Version shows the following shot 5 frames (0.2 sec) earlier - respectively, they cut these few frames away for reasons of continuity, since the arms were already torn apart. Therefore, the movie continues when they fly away (again).
Unrated 0.2 sec longer
49:50 / 50:00-50:01
You see Nina's face inside the trap a little earlier.
49:52 / 50:03
At the end there are a few rather unimportant additional frames.
49:54 / 50:05
The next shot of (by this time dead) Nina inside the trap were also edited at the beginning to receive the R-Rating.
79:46 / 79:57
When the Beartrap snaps in Jill's Face, this shot is 3 frames longer in the Unrated Version. Thus, there are some more shreds splashing all over the place. The following shot (that repeats the exact same effect) again begins 3 frames earlier.
79:49 / 80:00
The panning shot towards Jill begins 3 unimportant frames earlier.