The fate of Spiral, the latest Saw entry, hangs in the balance, but now we look back the franchise’s craziest traps.
With the upcoming release of Spiral: From The Book Of Saw looming this year over the horror genre even though it has been delayed, fans of the franchise still have a lot to look forward to. Not only is there the stellar additions of Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, but there have been promises from everyone behind the scenes that the films will not be toning down the violence whatsoever.
Saw just would not feel the same if there wasn’t the signature traps in it, fans who have been paying attention to the news of the film have not been concerned. Spoilers for the entire franchise obviously follow in this entire article, read at your own risk.
10 Saw V Ending
The ending to part five was marketed as the best twist in the series so far, it fell short of that for most of the audience. It still makes this list because it was definitely a very crazy trap nonetheless. The look on Agent Straham’s face when he thought he had won and the corresponding look on Detective Hoffman’s face as the scene played out was really great acting. The glass coffin lowering into the floor and the walls closing on Straham was completely genius on Hoffman to cover his tracks as the successor to John Kramer.
9 Pendulum (Saw V)
Another trap from Saw V that showed viewers how Hoffman had started his apprenticeship under Jigsaw. It began with the detective using the murders as a cover to get revenge on Seth Baxter who had killed his sister and gotten away with it. The franchise often incorporated the rules of broken systems such as the law or insurance companies to forward plots which got lost due to the gory nature of the traps.
The pendulum was inescapable; it was very brutal and crazy. Hoffman watched it unfold in all its gruesome glory just like John, but he was criticized for poor craftsmanship by the actual Jigsaw.
8 The Rack (Saw III)
In Saw III, one of the main characters going through a series of tests is Jeff Denlon. On his third test, he comes across the man who killed his son Dylan in a drunk driving accident. The man is in what looks like a twisting crucifix and must decide to let him die or try and help him. Jeff contemplates what to do but eventually tries to help and retrieve the key to letting him out, with the key tied to a shotgun that goes off. Jeff gets the key, but is too late as the rack twists Timothy Young’s neck, arms, and legs one at a time. It is just as grisly as it sounds.
7 Shotgun Carousel (Saw VI)
Saw VI is mostly written for taking on insurance companies and how they use anything in their power to take from any of the people that they have as clients. This trap is one of the craziest in the series and is the perfect example of that allegory from the film summed up.
It is convoluted, intense, and it also is beautifully shot by Director Kevin Greutert and Cinematographer David A. Armstrong.
6 Reverse Bear Trap (Saw)
The original trap that started it all with a short film even before the first movie came out. When creators James Wan & Leigh Whannell first came up with the idea they knew that making a small part of it to use as a pitch would be easier than just pitching with a script so they shot a short using just this trap starring Leigh. To this day, reiterations of this trap have appeared in seven of the Saw films. And, there is a reason for that: it is one of the craziest traps in the series. The aftermath is always extremely brutal.
5 Saw IV Opening
Two men wake up in a mausoleum: one with his eyes sewn shut and the other with his mouth sewn shut. It seems like that should be enough for audiences to think this is crazy, but this is Saw after all. So, naturally, they are also chained-up to a winch. The blind man is so panicked that he activates the winch and it quickly starts pulling both men closer. Alas, the man with his mouth sewn shut notices a key on the blind man’s collar.
Fight or flight takes over and he kills him, unlocking himself just in time. The ending of this crazy scene is one of the reasons it makes it here on this list, though.
4 Cycle Trap (Jigsaw)
This is a trap that is visually one of the most appealing in all of the films, for sure. Something about the aesthetic of the coiled blade rotating around like that makes a Saw fan feel all fuzzy inside. When the trap designers come up with things like this (and the “Shotgun Carousel”) that incorporate the colors or the shapes that are already associated with the franchise, it makes it that much easier to appreciate. This trap is so crazy because the concept is almost like a twisted version of the board game Operation.
3 Horsepower Trap (Saw 3D)
Something about the fact that 6 didn’t perform as well at the box office so they chose to turn the script of two final films into one final film. The use of 3D made the trap design department work really hard. The film’s plot definitely felt like phenomenal writing team Melton & Dunstan had to squeeze two movies into one, but the traps were especially nutty here.
This particular trap had late rock & roll singer Chester Bennington of Linkin Park playing a character who awakens in a car-themed trap.
2 Public Execution Trap (Saw 3D)
By far one of the craziest traps in the franchise is in the opening of Saw 3D. Audiences saw two best friends and the woman they were both dating in a trap that was on full display to the public. This had never been done in the history of the franchise. It was like giving the real world a front-row seat, and it felt like a commentary on the grisly nature of being die-hard Saw fans.
1 Saw II
The craziest trap in the entire franchise, hands down, goes to Saw II. This does not refer to just one trap from the film. The entire house in the film, the entire game that Jigsaw plays with Detective Matthews, it is all one long trap and game. Coming from a script that Darren Lynn Bousman wrote separate from the franchise and re-tweaked with Leigh & Wan to fit the franchise, one would never know. The fact that the entire house is one big trap blows away any other contender on the crazy scale. Credit to the filmmakers and the cast who made it all just come together so well.
NEXT: Spiral: 10 Lingering Questions From The Saw Movies The Spin-Off Could Finally Answer
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