Say what you want about the Saw franchise and its dogshit money-grubbing motives, I think those movies are awesome. I love them BECAUSE they’re horrible and BECAUSE millions of idiots pay $12 to see torture porn every Halloween. It pioneered the concept of relentlessly beating a dead horse as long as morons never realize how terrible the sequels really are (e.g. Paranormal Activity). But hey, each Saw snags Best Villain at the MTV Movie Awards every year, so they got that going for them!
Why are the movies so gleefully amoral and attractive to young teenagers who just need a dark theater to hook up in? The ludicrous tests of the human condition, of course. Even more gleefully amoral than the franchise itself is how I can’t help but laugh hysterically when I watch the traps. I generally don’t think spectacularly fashioned murder is hilarious; I just know these are bad movies filled with bad actors, so it’s amusing to think their careers can be summed up as “that one guy who died in that one Saw trap.”
The only good thing about these movies is that we can say on our deathbeds, hopefully half a century from now, when we’re super close to the light, “At least I’m not going out that way! LOL!”
Here’s my personal ranking of the best, most creatively fucked-up ensnarements across all 37 Saw films:
5. The Public Execution (Saw 3D)
It’s the opening scene of the worst and only 3D Saw movie. That’s why it’s dead last on this arbitrary list of fatalities. I think the producers got sick of showing adults getting methodically slaughtered by apparatuses, so they figured they’d start killing college-aged kids now. And in front of a crowd, too! Jigsaw always used to murder for personal amusement, but he’s a real showbiz man now. Not quite as lucrative and popular as The Hunger Games, but he could get there with hard work.
4. The Mausoleum (Saw IV)
Jigsaw never made it easy for his sad, sinful victims. But Christ on a bike, the Mausoleum isn’t fair in the slightest. One Steve Austin-looking guy has his eyes sewed shut while the other has his mouth sewed shut. Sightless guy is much bigger than speechless guy. Sightless guy attacks speechless guy, speechless guy dodges sightless guy, and chains are gradually dragging both into a grinder-type machine. Underdog speechless guy ends up killing sightless guy. I still don’t know why it’s set in a mausoleum. A metaphor for death? Since, you know, that’s Jigsaw’s favorite thing? The script is really deep, man.
3. The Needle Pit (Saw II)
You know how I mentioned that I chuckle psychotically at every trap? Yeah, no, not this one. Saw II was the first R-rated movie I snuck into in theaters, and it left quite a detrimental impression on my psyche (hence why I laugh at every trap). The idea of being thrown into a hole filled with bloody needles and digging to the bottom is absolutely terrifying because it’s not that absurd compared to the other traps. It’s a simple pit of needles, not a Rube Goldberg machine of limb amputation. Sometimes less is more.
2. The Shotgun Carousel (Saw VI)
The best aspect of the Shotgun Carousel is the pathetic shit all six victims say to William Easton to convince him to save their lives. Everyone cakes on lies that make them seem more or less vulnerable than the others and therefore worth saving. One woman screams she’s pregnant, another guy yells he’s the strongest, and another lady says she has two kids. Sorry everybody, but I guess Jigsaw didn’t really take all that into consideration when selecting candidates to be pumped with lead.
1. The Reverse Bear Trap (Saw)
I’m not completely cold and heartless. This is my favorite trap for many reasons, the most important of which being that Amanda didn’t die. As a drug addict who lived through two of Jigsaw’s traps, you realize she has a much greater drive to survive than all the other dipshit supporting characters, making her unique enough to be Jigsaw’s eventual successor. In a series of films with hardly any interesting story arcs, hers is the most interesting. It’s as interesting as an escalator museum, but interesting nonetheless.
All those clips were pretty overwhelming, huh? To ease your anxiety and show how sorry I am for dragging you through that, here’s 30 seconds of Cameron Diaz dancing in her underwear.