It’s hard to believe it was 10 years ago today that the antihero/serial killer/mentor to psychopaths John “Jigsaw” Kramer first entered our lives in Saw (which is available right now on Netflix). That’s not to suggest that it “feels like only yesterday” or something hopelessly nostalgic like that, but because of the way Saw films once rolled off on a conveyor belt, it feels like Jigsaw has been torturing A-holes, villains, and soulless life-wasters to death for decades. After Saw’s release on October 29, 2004, a new installment was released each year around the same day, leading up to Saw 3D’s “final” chapter in 2010. Was that actually the end of the Saw name? No, because Lionsgate has been talking about rebooting it and taking it in a “new direction” for years.
What that means is known only to those evil masterminds, but it’s safe to assume that we haven’t heard the last of Jigsaw, and his terrific legacy of trapping his victims in clever, diabolical and downright disgusting death traps. I won’t bother guessing or predicting new angles, I’m more of a “dad switches bodies with the family dog to teach the son how to act cool at school” kind of thinker.
I’m not saying I’m easily spooked or can’t take a few drops of blood, but watching people mutilated has never been my cup o’ tea. I’m a psychological thriller kind of guy, who likes to watch as a dad breaks down and tries to chop his family to bits with an ax, because the ghosts are driving him insane. Also, I know that Leigh Whannell and James Wan, the creators of Saw, hate the phrase (mainly because it’s less on them and more on the people who picked up and ran with the sequels), but “torture porn” just seems pointless to me. It’s like each scene is trying to be sicker and more disgusting than the last one, but after a while – what’s the point? Eventually, a dude wakes up and finds his ding dong tied to a space shuttle by some razor wire, and we’re all just wishing we hadn’t wasted that eight bucks.
The Saw franchise holds a Guinness World Record for being the Most Successful Horror Franchise of all-time, with the seven films costing a combined $64 million and earning a ridiculous $873 million worldwide. To ignore its impact on the horror genre would be an insult worthy of having one’s arms ripped off by an elaborate machine, especially since we have the Saw movies to thank for Hollywood’s renewed zest for horror franchises (which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but CHA-CHING!). So I thought that I’d pay tribute to this beloved money-maker by forgetting about my team of researchers and scientists for once and ranking the worst, most disgusting and ridiculous traps from the Saw franchise based on nothing but my plain, old preference to not ever have this kind of stuff done to me.
I should probably take a moment to let you all know that things are going to get a little gross from here. Not all the way gross, but pretty darn gross. My advice is to avoid Fruit Roll-Ups or any pasta dishes for the next few hours.