“I want to play a game”
Like them or not, you can’t deny the huge impact on horror the ‘Saw’ franchise has made. What was meant to be a short film with only one scene, became a franchise that has been going on for seventeen years ( Sixteen too long, quite frankly). But with a villian as iconic as Jigsaw the serial killer, Billy the tricycle-riding puppet and a box office of over $100 million, how can you stop at just one film? The ninth film, ‘Spiral’, is set to be released next month. Can I get a “Who cares?” ? Here’s all eight ‘Saw’ movies ranked.
Released 7 years after ‘Saw: The Final Chapter’, which everyone assumed was the…final chapter, we got surpised with this bloody mess. The ‘Saw’ creators try to milk a dead cow and use slogans like “The games continue” and “The tradition continues”. What tradition? Half of your original audience gave up back in 2006. The other taglines are absolutely awful.
- “He is everywhere”
- “He is everyone”
- “He is everything”
He died 14 years ago along with the rest of your cinematic potential. Get back to your vampire movies, Spierigs.
Best trap: The laser slicer
7) Saw: The Final Chapter
I’d say a disappointing ending to the movies, but 10 years later, there’s still no end in sight. A few taglines from the presumed last entry to the franchise:
“Every master craftsman and all true geniuses always save their best for last”
– Not this one then?
“The time has come for all to
experience the last act of a legend”
– He died in 2006 , Kevin, give it up
“Will you survive until the end?”
– I expect we’ll all be gone by the
time the ‘Saw’ creators call it quits.
Lawrence Gordon from the first film is back, along with a ragtag team of survivors we all watched and hated in the last few sequels. Been there, Saw that.
Best trap: The horsepower trap
6) Saw IV
It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. After deciding one ‘Saw’ film just wouldn’t be enough, they decided to cap it at three and make it a trilogy (*sniggers*). But why stop there? At this point in time, they had already killed off Jigsaw, so their next big idea was delving into the serial killer’s backstory. Why did he turn maiming civilians? What caused his divorce? (Spoiler: It was not the maiming of the civilians) And, what work experience is helpful for hopeful serial killers? This and more is answered in the gratuitous fourth film.
Best trap: The peeping tom
5) Saw V
By the time ‘Saw V’ came out, the creators were starting to struggle with new and never seen before ways of torturing. Not only that, every character that had a backstory or depth was already decapitated, mutilated or on their last leg. Though, it did have something the franchise lacks: known actors. Scott Patterson and Julie Benz make an appearance and for the first time since the original movie, fans can recognize at least one member of the cast. Sadly, this never happens again.
Best trap: The pendulum
4) Saw VI
The ‘Saw’ movies took a political turn in 2009 when the creators made the decision that maybe the movies should have a point, after all. And 6 years of hard work was not wasted, they finally got the best critical acclaim since the first film (a whopping 39% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes). The critics were right to be shocked. For the first time in years they had something to say other than “Did you see the way we twisted his head? Full 360°!”. The sixth film is still as gory as the rest while making some clever digs at the American healthcare system. It’s a bleeding miracle.
Best trap: The pound of flesh
3) Saw II
More blood, more victims and more syringes than the first film. An interesting twist and a group dynamic make it a better sequel than almost every one that comes after it. A whole house is used as a death trap. Definitely not as exaggerated as sequels 4-8. Apart from that, there’s not much else to say except “Ouch, Amanda. Fresh needles are bad enough.”
Best trap: The needle pit
2) Saw III
The original, original final chapter. The preliminary finale. Well rounded and satisfying, with a plot most of the audience could follow, it is almost always described as the best ‘Saw’ sequel to date. Those were the days. Jigsaw was still alive, ingenuity was at large and going to see the movies wasn’t an annual trip. Simpler times.
Best trap: The rack
Clever, original and as twisted as the razor wire maze, the original ‘Saw’ is the very best the franchise has to offer. Very little blood and brutality is actual shown, James Wan understood that some things are better left to the imagination (Listening, Greutert? Got it, Hackl?). A simple premise and a few blades go a long way (So long they’re still going, 17 years down the line.) Moral: Films about ghosts and Michael Myers are cool, but costly. Chain two men in a bathroom and leave them to their own devices. Hacking devices.
Sweet, original ‘Saw’, you’ll always be the reigning champion in my gore-loving heart.
Best trap: The reverse bear trap (and the whole bathroom trap)