As with its predecessors, the film has gained a positive response from movie-goers, but mixed reviews by critics. "Saw III is the sickest, most brilliant, most twisted, most clever and most emotional Saw yet," and, "has the strongest acting (in the Saw franchise) to date," claims Fred Topel of CanMag.com. Other critics, such as Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times has scolded the film not for "the creativity of the bloodletting but the bleak view of human nature, specifically our talent for ruining the present to avenge the past." "Hardcore horror geeks will love the extreme nature of the bloodletting here, calculated to torture an audience almost as much as those suffering on film," says John Monaghan of the Detroit Free Press.
At screenings in the United Kingdom three people were reported to have fainted at separate movie theatres due to the film's content, resulting in ambulances needing to be called. 
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