All Saw Films Ranked: From Worst to Best
When Saw was released in 2004, it defied expectations and became an instant success, paving the way for a franchise that would span over a decade. Now, with the recent addition of Spiral: From the Book of Saw, we revisit and rank all the Saw films from worst to best, taking into account their impact on the genre, entertainment value, and critical reception.
9. Saw III (2006)
Saw III is often considered one of the weaker entries in the franchise. While some argue it to be one of the superior sequels, we believe it falls short with a bloated plot and a lack of the fun and fright that fans expect from Saw films. The focus on side storylines and the absence of the iconic Jigsaw character contribute to its placement at the bottom of our ranking.
8. Saw: The Final Chapter (2010)
Saw: The Final Chapter suffers from similar issues as its predecessor. While it features more stimulating traps and provides closure to certain storylines, it is ultimately let down by abysmal acting and a lack of memorable moments. Despite these shortcomings, it manages to avoid the lowest spot on our list due to its improved pacing and the inclusion of fan-favorite characters.
7. Saw IV (2007)
Saw IV marks a significant improvement from its direct predecessor. It delves deeper into the franchise’s mythology and finds a way to continue the story even after the death of its central killer, John Kramer. While its multiple storylines make it feel crowded at times, the film introduces terrifying tests and offers intriguing insights into the rise of the Jigsaw Killer.
6. Saw V (2008)
Saw V continues the story directly from Saw IV and streamlines its plot by focusing on two captivating events. The war of wits between Detective Hoffman and Agent Strahm adds tension, while a spine-chilling game set up by Jigsaw for a group of secretive strangers enhances the entertainment value. Although the tests don’t weigh heavily on the main storyline, this installment keeps audiences engaged with familiar faces and brutal traps.
5. Jigsaw (2017)
Jigsaw, the long-awaited “legacyquel” of the franchise, delivers a refreshing take on the Saw series. While it may not have reinvented the franchise as some hoped, it succeeds in telling a suspenseful story with a focus on momentary thrills. With improved production values and sleek direction, Jigsaw offers a satisfying viewing experience, even if it may have been overshadowed by other entries in the franchise.
4. Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021)
Spiral: From the Book of Saw brings a fresh perspective to the franchise with comedian Chris Rock’s involvement. Despite initial skepticism, the film proves to be a chilling new chapter in the series. It combines the familiar elements of the franchise with a compelling ensemble cast and strong social commentary, focusing on a corrupt police force. While it may not revolutionize the Saw formula, Spiral is a satisfying return to form.
3. Saw VI (2009)
Saw VI showcases the franchise’s structured storytelling at its peak. It further explores the mythology of the series and offers shrewd social commentary on the flaws of the health insurance industry. By testing an inconsiderate executive’s decision-making in the face of Jigsaw’s traps, this installment delivers thought-provoking critiques while maintaining the gruesome elements that fans expect from the Saw films.
2. Saw II (2005)
Saw II remains the highest-grossing film in the franchise to date, and for good reason. It successfully builds on the suspense and mystery of the original, expanding the scope and scale of the series. With a focus on a mesmerizing mystery and an intense group dynamic inside the terrifying “murder house,” Saw II captivates audiences and sets a high bar for subsequent entries in the franchise.
1. Saw (2004)
The original Saw film set the foundation for the franchise and remains a standout entry. Directed by James Wan, it generates anxiety and tension through its atmospheric storytelling rather than relying on excessive gore. The small-scale setting and the chilling performances create a terrifying experience, while the famous twist ending still holds up after all these years. Saw sets the gold standard for this influential horror franchise.
The Saw franchise has had its ups and downs over the years, but it has undeniably left a lasting impact on the horror genre. From its humble beginnings to its recent installment, the series has thrilled audiences with its twisted tales and intricate traps. While some films have faltered in their execution, others have managed to deliver the suspense and scares that fans crave. Ultimately, the success of the franchise lies in its ability to keep audiences on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating the next diabolical twist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will there be more Saw movies in the future?
A: While no official announcements have been made regarding future Saw films, the franchise has proven to be resilient and adaptable. Given its enduring popularity and the potential for new creative directions, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more Saw movies in the future.
Q: Are the Saw films suitable for viewers with a weak stomach?
A: The Saw films are known for their graphic content and intense violence. They explore themes of torture and survival, often featuring gruesome and unsettling scenes. Therefore, viewers with a weak stomach or those who are easily disturbed may find these films challenging to watch.
Q: Can the Saw films be enjoyed as standalone movies, or is it necessary to watch them in order?
A: While each Saw film tells its own story, there are overarching plotlines and character connections that span multiple movies. Watching the films in chronological order can provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the franchise’s mythology. However, individual films can still be enjoyed as standalone experiences.
Q: How has the Saw franchise influenced the horror genre?
A: The Saw franchise has had a significant impact on the horror genre. It popularized the concept of “torture porn” and introduced a new wave of horror films focused on extreme violence and elaborate traps. The franchise’s success has inspired numerous imitators and significantly contributed to the evolution of horror cinema.
Q: Are the Saw films suitable for a high school audience?
A: The Saw films are rated R for their intense violence, gore, and disturbing themes. As such, they are not recommended for younger viewers. However, mature high school students with an interest in horror may find the franchise engaging, provided they are comfortable with graphic content.
Q: What makes the Saw franchise stand out from other horror film series?
A: The Saw franchise distinguishes itself through its intricate and twisted storytelling. It combines elements of psychological horror, suspense, and mystery to create a unique viewing experience. The franchise’s focus on moral dilemmas and the consequences of one’s actions sets it apart from other horror film series.