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The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

Heading into Saw X, What is the Best Saw Film?


Saw is one of the most iconic horror franchises of the 2000s. It has had a resurgence in the past few years with Jigsaw, Spiral: From from the Book of Saw, and the new Saw attractions you can visit. Now, Saw X is about to hit theaters, it is time to look back at which Saw movie stands out above the rest.

#9: Saw 3D or Saw: The Final Chapter

This one is simply the worst, everything about it. The only thing this movie does well is the traps. The traps are extremely brutal and terrifying. A good Saw trap makes you squirm and makes you feel awful for the person in the trap even if they are a bad person. Other than that, there is nothing good about this movie. The characters we all love are shells of what they were in the previous films. Mark Hoffman, the current Jigsaw killer, essentially becomes an unstoppable robot killer. It’s just really goofy, and it feels like they had to rush to the end because they ran out of runtime. I could go on about how awful the story is and how the ending, while I love it, is just bad and does not make any sense considering the previous movies. In the end, this movie is just objectively the worst.

#8: Jigsaw

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This movie falls far down the list for its story. Jigsaw‘s story just does not make sense and even for a franchise as confusing as Saw. Not only does the story not make sense just in general, but, in the context of the overarching story of the previous seven films, it ruins so much of the continuity. There are setting issues, like flat screen HDTVs in a movie that takes place around 2003-2004, and everything with the farm the game takes place in, that I will not get into. Moving on from plot problems, the acting in this movie is questionable at best. Most actors seem out of place and, to make it worse, their characters are extremely unlikable. Jigsaw is unanimously the fanbase’s least favorite, but it just is not anywhere near as bad as Saw 3D.

#7: Saw III

This is probably controversial, but Saw III is just not a good movie. Everyone but John Kramer (The Jigsaw Killer) and Amanda Young (his apprentice) are awful characters and just unlikeable. The fanbase even calls the main character of the movie “slow a** motherf***ing Jeff.” Jeff specifically is possibly the most unlikable character in all of Saw. Saw III is also unbearably boring, as it is spliced between surgery on John Kramer and Jeff’s traps, which again take forever for him to complete. The movie is also overly color-corrected in green, which makes it look extremely ugly. Along with the boring camera work, this movie is just a snooze-fest.

#6: Saw VI

Saw VI is an interesting movie to talk about. It is your classic Saw movie in terms of the traps and the characters, but Saw VI offers a very obvious social commentary, whereas the other movies in the franchise are a little more subtle with their messaging. When I first watched Saw VI, I did not like it, and I would have had it much further down in the rankings. One thing that does stand out from this movie is the traps, as Saw VI has one of the most iconic traps in the whole franchise, the shotgun carousel. It has a nice charm to it, however. It is nothing spectacular in an actual filmmaking aspect, but the story and the characters are just too good not to give credit where credit is due.

#5: Saw IV

Like Saw VI, my opinion on Saw IV has changed since my first viewing. I originally would tell you that this is a top-three movie in the franchise, but after watching it more and more, I have started to see through the cracks. Saw IV is most certainly a good movie, and it introduces my favorite character Mark Hoffman. One of the more disappointing parts of this movie is while the actual game that takes place is attention-grabbing, the traps that go along with the game are underwhelming. The traps just do not hit as hard as some of the other movies in this franchise. Another thing that is not a problem for me but I can see it being an issue for others is that without the context of the first three movies, this movie is extremely confusing. Most Saw movies you can jump in and understand even if you have never seen another other Saw movie, but not really in this one.

#4: Saw V

The continuation to Saw IV steps it up in all aspects. I love the Fateful Five game in this movie. The cop drama aspect of this movie is intense and it has a very satisfying ending. One of the problems with the Saw franchise as a whole, is that the acting is very poor. In Saw V however, I think the acting is spot on, and going forward, in fact, I don’t think there is a bad performance in any of the movies. Saw V is simply a very good ending to the first half of the Saw storyline, and it opens up a new chapter, that had its ups and downs.

#3: Spiral: From the Book of Saw

This is my most controversial opinion about Saw. The Saw fandom is split on Spiral but I think it is the perfect way to continue the Saw storyline. The movie is a spin-off from the original eight movies, and it does feel like a spin-off. It has all the qualities of a Saw film but it is just different enough to warrant being its own thing. Spiral focuses on how Jigsaw’s legacy affected Metro City (The location of the Saw movies is never given, but it is based off of New York City.) In terms of directing, cinematography, and the like I think Spiral is the best on that front, but because it is a spin-off it does not give the same charm as the mainline movies.

#2: Saw

The one that started it all, Saw is the quintessential low-budget horror movie. It gets you thinking right away and makes you squeamish. Saw is a very simple movie, having very limited sets, and not many characters, but does the charm ever shine bright. This movie does of course have a lot of flaws. The acting, while being incredible, does have some very questionable moments, and there are just some minor things that do not make sense. The ending of this movie is without a doubt the greatest twist ending in movie history. It is so bone-chilling and will stick with you forever.

#1: Saw II

Some sequels just do it better than the original. Saw II does everything great about Saw but just better. The game in this movie is the first large-scale game, and it goes hand in hand with the cop plot going on. The back-and-forth between John Kramer and Eric Matthews (a cop whose son is in the game) is some of the best dialogue I have ever seen. It puts you on the edge of your seat, and going back and watching it over you notice little things they each say that allude to details that are yet to come. Tobin Bell as Jigsaw in this movie honestly should have been nominated for best-supporting actor, I think he was that good in Saw II. When making a sequel there is nothing better you could have asked for than Saw II.

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