The ‘Saw’ movies are best known for their trademark traps, and we’re going through the most grisly ones ahead of the arrival of ‘Spiral: From the Book of Saw’.
Created by horror icons James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the Saw franchise kicked off in 2004 and had an iron grip on the Halloween movie season for years. The movies follow the exploits of a serial killer named Jigsaw and his various accomplices as he forces victims into sadistic games where they must fight to survive. They’re placed into elaborate traps that physically and psychologically torture them until they free themselves or die. Not many make it out in one piece.
The latest entry for the franchise, Spiral, promises to be a fresh new start for the franchise. Based on a concept presented by none other than Chris Rock, the new film stars both Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, steering the series in a new direction while still pleasing longtime fans. There will undoubtedly be some gruesome new traps as well, so it seemed like a perfect time to go back through all of the Saw movies to decide on the traps that still give us nightmares.
The Reverse Beartrap – Saw, Saw VI, Saw 3D
Arguably the iconic Saw trap, the reverse beartrap is placed on the victim’s head and hooked into their jaws. If they’re not able to unlock the contraption and remove it, the trap bursts open and rips their jaws apart in a disgusting mess. It’s appeared in several of the films for good reason – its as simple as it is terrifying, and you don’t have very much time to figure things out. The ticking clock leading up to your demise would probably be maddening.
The Rack – Saw III
The Rack is one those traps that forces you to rely on another person, so right off the bat it’s not very fair. The victim is strapped to several cylindrical pieces that slowly turn one by one, twisting all of the person’s limbs before finally twisting their head. The second person has to retrieve a key to unlock the victim, but doing so will cause a shotgun to fire at them. However long it takes, the worse the twisting gets, making bones burst out of arms and legs before your neck is slowly, horrifically broken. Yeesh.
The Oxygen Crusher – Saw VI
This trap pits you against another victim where you’re required to hold your breath longer than they can. For every bit of air that you let out, large metal clamps will begin to crush you on both sides of your body. It’s a little bit different – normally, Saw traps are filled with the panicked and agonized screams of the victims. Here, you can’t afford to scream. Not a great trap for asthmatics or smokers.
The Cold Shower – Saw III
Set in the freezer room of a meatpacking facility, this trap strips the victim completely naked and hangs them by their wrists from the ceiling. The temperature is extremely cold, and the victim is routinely sprayed with icy water the longer the game goes on. Like The Rack, whether you survive this trap is entirely up to a second person, who has to reach through a set of cooling pipes to reach the key that’ll free you. Even if they manage that though, it’s very likely that you’ll still die from hypothermia or frostbite.
Pound of Flesh – Saw VI
A two-person survival of the fittest, the Pound of Flesh trap asks that its victims cut off pieces of their own flesh in order to live. In the center of the room are a pair of scales, and one victim has to offer up more flesh than the other using the various tools in the room. Whoever loses gets the consolation prize of screws getting drilled into their skull. It’s just straight up self-mutilation, and it is brutal.
The Fishing Line – Saw 3D
This is another trap that requires complete silence, but let’s be honest, there’s just no way that’s possible when you’re going through it. The victim is trapped in the center of a ring that has four metal rods protruding from it. If they make any noise, the rods will get closer until they stab through the victim’s throat. Trying to stay calm and quiet in that situation is hard enough, now add in the fact that a second person has to use a fishing hook to retrieve the key that’ll free you, and the key is in your stomach. How long could anyone possibly endure that kind of pain without crying out?
The Pig Vat – Saw III
This is likely the most disgusting and straightforward one: the victim is trapped in a container that is steadily filled with the blended remains of rotting pig carcasses. If a second person doesn’t shut off the blender, the victim will drown in the putrid sludge. Ugh. What a nasty way to go.
The Needle Pit – Saw II
It’s the worst fear of plenty of people, but if you think just getting a shot or having blood drawn is bad, try being tossed into a pit of filthy, used syringes. The victim of this trap has to get into a pit full of prickly needles and scrounge around to find a key that’ll unlock a door to their freedom, and it’s impossible to get out of this one without getting stuck full of them. And you’re definitely getting some kind of disease afterwards.
The Car Trap – Saw 3D
This is definitely one of the goriest ones of all of them. This trap has four victims; one has their bare back glued to the driver’s seat of a car, and must force themselves to rip their skin from it and reach a lever that’ll save themselves and the other three. One person is trapped under the wheel of the car and will be crushed if the first person fails. Another is chained to the back of the car while the final victim is trapped directly in front of it, and if the car accelerates due to the driver not reaching the lever in time, everyone dies. The person being put to the test in the film is played by legendary singer Chester Bennington, who certainly makes use of his iconic screaming.
The Laser Collar – Jigsaw
Your death at the hands of this trap may come quickly but rest assured that it is exceedingly gruesome. The victims are fitted with metallic collars that have powerful laser cutters attached to them, which will eventually slice into their heads in spectacularly bloody fashion. There’s no other trap quite like it.
The latest iteration of the Saw-saga arrives in theaters May 14th from Lionsgate with ‘Spiral: From the Book of Saw’. Watch the tense trailer starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson below.