Recently, I rewatched the entire Saw series with my boyfriend. While yes, sometimes it is really intense and grotesque horror, what I really love about the series is the way each movie builds upon the last in plot. With that being said, here’s my ranking and review of each Saw movie.
WARNING: spoilers ahead.
8: Saw: The Final Chapter, also known as Saw 3D. First off, the 3D animation is trash. The way they mixed CGI and 3D mechanics makes the violence come off as cartoonish. The acting throughout the movie is not great, and there is no real sense of direction in the movie. It was a sloppy way of trying to wrap up all the loose ends of the series. By the time you reach the end of the movie, the plot twist of Dr. Gordon coming out of the woodworks to be a Saw mastermind seems a little far-fetched and cliche to me. At least in this movie, you finally get to see the infamous reverse bear trap in action on Jill Tuck.
7: Jigsaw. This is the newest movie of the franchise, released in 2017. Personally, I really like the last trap in the movie with the laser collars. However, my boyfriend and I agreed the CGI of the results was not great. This movie just doesn’t really feel like a Saw movie to me. It tries so hard to be part of the overall Saw franchise plot, but the plot twist of the 10 year jump was just tired.
6: Saw IV. I like how the main story is for Detective Riggs learning that he can’t save anyone. But the subplot of Hoffmman versus Strahm hasn’t fully lived up to the potential it will be in Saw V. The ice block trap in this movie was so outlandish to me it was almost funny that Eric Matthews died by two ice blocks to the head.
5: Saw III. Honestly, I like this movie and it’s addition to the subplot, but the main character, Jeff, really slows the movie down for me. I get he’s a stubborn man not willing to move on,but jeez, he could’ve probably saved all the people in his traps if he hadn’t waited and taken his time. What I love about Saw III is the intricate traps, and it’s entertaining seeing John Kramer in his last moments.
4: Saw VI. While yes, they somewhat pulled William Easton out of nowhere and was like “Ah-hah. John knew him the whole time!” But for some reason, this is one of my favorites. I like the overarching premise of showing Easton his algorithm for denying healthcare coverage is wrong. His first trial, the oxygen crusher, literally had me on the edge of my seat. Watching the small rise of the pump connected to the breathing masks had me so nervous without having any connection to either character. The shotgun carousel trap is infamous, and the ending acid trap is just so random to me, but hey, it has the real Rodrick Heffley pumping Hydrofluoric Acid into Easton.
3: Saw II. It has one of the best plots. It made sense and was simple enough to work without being boring or lagging. This one I actually can view as a scary film. It feels like a more serious film, and it works really well. The traps were crazy, and even sometimes uncomfortable, but each one seemed tailored to that character.
2: Saw V. I love how Strahm’s escape of his trap in the beginning of this movie, and the development of the cat-and-mouse chase that ensues between Hoffman and Strahm. Similar to two, I liked how the plot was obviously out there, it didn’t seem too far fetched from the main story line.
1: Saw. What a classic. The shock factor of Gordon cutting off his entire foot was crazy. Over half the movie takes place in the small, dirty bathroom with the main characters Adam and Dr. Gordon. The movie flows with just the dialogue between these two characters and it works so well. The plot twist at the end is amazing, and this movie is definitely a must-watch.
Overall, these movies try to be really serious, but it’s extreme intensity ends up being pretty funny. With the over the top acting and *somewhat* unrealistic traps, it’s suspense comes from what will happen next, but not a sheer terror that comes from other horror movies. Sometimes the movies are a bit cheesy and the acting isn’t always top notch, but the Saw series will always have a place in my movie collection.