Saw (franchise)

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Saw
Saw film logo.png
Official franchise logo
Created by
Original workSaw (2003)
Owned byLions Gate Entertainment
Years2004–present
Print publications
Comics
Audio
Original music

Saw is a splatter film franchise created by Australian film makers James Wan and Leigh Whannell. It consists of nine feature films and additional media. The first eight films primarily revolve around serial killer John Kramer, also called the "Jigsaw Killer" or simply "Jigsaw". He was introduced briefly in Saw and developed in more detail in Saw II and the subsequent films. Rather than killing his victims outright, Kramer traps them in situations that he calls "tests" or "games" to test their will to live through physical or psychological torture and believes that if they survive, they will be "rehabilitated". Despite the fact that Kramer was murdered in Saw III, the films continue to focus on the posthumous influence of the Jigsaw Killer and his apprentices by exploring his character via flashbacks.

In 2003, Wan and Whannell made a short film to help pitch a potential feature film concept. Their pitch was ultimately successful, and, in 2004, the first installment debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was released theatrically that October, by Lionsgate. The first of many sequels was immediately green-lit after the film's immensely successful opening weekend. Five directors[a] have worked on the series: James Wan, Darren Lynn Bousman, David Hackl, Kevin Greutert and The Spierig Brothers, while Whannell, Bousman, Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan, Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger penned the scripts for separate films in the series. Each film was released subsequently every October, on the Friday before Halloween, between 2004 and 2010. Both of the creators remained with the franchise as executive producers.

On July 22, 2010, franchise producer Mark Burg confirmed that the seventh film, Saw 3D, is the final installment of the series.[1] In 2012, Lionsgate reportedly expressed interest in continuing the franchise with a reboot.[2] In November 2013, it was reported that they were actively developing a sequel.[3] An eighth film, Jigsaw, was eventually released in October 2017. In 2019, a ninth film was announced and released in 2021, Spiral, with comedian and actor Chris Rock attached to star, produce, and co-write.[4]

The franchise grossed more than $1 billion from box office and retail sales by 2009,[5] and the films have collectively grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office as of 2021.[6] The film series as a whole has received mostly mixed to negative reviews by critics, but has been a financial success at the box office and is one of the highest-grossing horror film franchises of all time. While the films have been classified as torture porn by some critics,[7][8][9] many fans and also the creators of Saw disagree with that term.[10]

Films[edit]

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producers
Saw October 29, 2004 (2004-10-29) James Wan Leigh Whannell Leigh Whannell & James Wan Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules and Mark Burg
Saw II October 28, 2005 (2005-10-28) Darren Lynn Bousman Leigh Whannell and Darren Lynn Bousman
Saw III October 27, 2006 (2006-10-27) Leigh Whannell Leigh Whannell & James Wan
Saw IV October 26, 2007 (2007-10-26) Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan
and Thomas Fenton
Saw V October 24, 2008 (2008-10-24) David Hackl Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan
Saw VI October 23, 2009 (2009-10-23) Kevin Greutert
Saw 3D October 29, 2010 (2010-10-29)
Jigsaw October 27, 2017 (2017-10-27) The Spierig Brothers Josh Stolberg & Peter Goldfinger
Spiral May 14, 2021 (2021-05-14) Darren Lynn Bousman Oren Koules and Mark Burg
Saw X TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

Future[edit]

In April 2021, it was announced that a tenth film, titled Saw X, is currently in development.[11] However, Bousman stated that it was a premature announcement that surprised him and the film's producers. He said, "Just because we made Spiral doesn't mean Saw ceases to exist. Just because Spiral is here, that doesn't mean there won't be a Saw IX. This is not the ninth film in the Saw franchise. There easily could be a Saw IX that follows Jigsaw. I think they're waiting to see how [Spiral] goes and how audiences respond to determine what happens next."[12]

Short film[edit]

Saw, retrospectively referred to as Saw 0.5, is a 2003 short film that served as a promotional tool in pitching the film's potential to Lionsgate, included on the second disc of the uncut DVD release of Saw, released by itself, and on the Saw Trilogy DVD containing Saw Uncut Edition, Saw II Special Edition, and Saw III Director's Cut, packaged with a limited-edition 3D puppet head box version of Billy the Puppet.

Recurring cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in more than two films in the series.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
  •  A indicates an appearance through archival footage.
  •  C indicates a cameo role.
  •  P indicates an appearance in onscreen photographs.
  •  S indicates an appearance through use of special effects.
  •  V indicates a voice-only role.
  •  Y indicates a younger version of the character.
Character Films
Saw Saw II Saw III Saw IV Saw V Saw VI Saw 3D Jigsaw Spiral
John Kramer
Jigsaw
Tobin Bell Tobin BellP
Amanda Young
Jigsaw
Shawnee Smith Shawnee SmithA Shawnee Smith Shawnee SmithA
Lawrence Gordon
Jigsaw
Cary Elwes Cary ElwesV Body doubleC Mentioned only Cary Elwes
Adam Stanheight Leigh Whannell Leigh WhannellVS Leigh Whannell Mentioned only Leigh WhannellA Leigh WhannellAVS
Zep Hindle Michael Emerson CorpseS CorpseS
David Tapp Danny Glover Danny GloverA
Steven Sing Ken Leung Ken LeungP
Allison Kerry Dina Meyer Dina MeyerP
Eric Matthews Donnie Wahlberg Donnie WahlbergA
Daniel Rigg Lyriq Bent Lyriq BentA
Daniel Matthews Erik Knudsen Mentioned only Erik KnudsenA Erik KnudsenA
Xavier Chavez Franky G Franky GA Franky GA
Mark Hoffman
Jigsaw
Costas Mandylor
Jill Tuck Betsy Russell Mentioned only
Jeff Denlon Angus Macfadyen Angus MacfadyenA Mentioned only
Lynn Denlon Bahar Soomekh Bahar SoomekhA
Peter Strahm Scott Patterson Scott PattersonA
Lindsey Perez Athena Karkanis Athena KarkanisA Athena Karkanis
Art Blank Justin Louis Justin LouisA Justin LouisP
Dan Erickson Mark Rolston
Mallick Greg Bryk Greg Bryk
Brit Julie Benz
Pamela Jenkins Samantha Lemole
William Easton Peter Outerbridge Peter OuterbridgeP
Bobby Dagen Sean Patrick Flanery
Matt Gibson Chad Donella
Logan Nelson
Jigsaw
Matt Passmore
Tobin BellV
Det. Halloran Callum Keith Rennie
Eleanor Bonneville Hannah Emily Anderson
Det. Ezekiel "Zeke" Banks Chris Rock
Marcus Banks Samuel L. Jackson
Billy Emerson
Det. William Schenk
Max Minghella
Leonidas CastrounisY
Capt. Angie Garza Marisol Nichols

Additional crew and production details[edit]

Film Crew/Detail
Composer Cinematographer Editor(s) Production
companies
Distributing
company
Running time
Saw Charlie Clouser David A. Armstrong Kevin Greutert Evolution Entertainment,
Saw Productions Inc.,
Twisted Pictures
Lions Gate Films 1hr 43mins
Saw II Twisted Pictures,
Evolution Entertainment,
Got Films,
Lions Gate Films,
Saw 2 Productions
1hr 33mins
Saw III Twisted Pictures,
Cinespace Film Studios,
Evolution Entertainment,
Saw 2 Productions,
Ontario Production Services Tax Credit,
Canadian Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit
Lionsgate 1hr 48mins
Saw IV Kevin Greutert & Brett Sullivan Twisted Pictures,
Ontario Production Services Tax Credit,
Canadian Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit
1hr 32mins
Saw V Kevin Greutert Twisted Pictures,
Mandate Pictures,
Ontario Production Services Tax Credit,
Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit
1hr 32mins
Saw VI Andrew Coutts Twisted Pictures,
A Bigger Boat,
Saw VI Productions,
StudioCanal
1hr 30mins
Saw 3D Brian Gedge Twisted Pictures,
A Bigger Boat,
Serendipity Productions,
StudioCanal
1hr 30mins
Jigsaw Ben Nott Kevin Greutert Twisted Pictures,
Burg Koules Hoffman Productions,
Serendipity Productions,
A Bigger Boat,
Ontario Production Services Tax Credit,
Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit
1hr 32mins
Spiral Jordan Oram Dev Singh Twisted Pictures,
Burg Koules Hoffman Productions,
Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit,
Dahlstar,
Serendipity Productions
1hr 34mins
Saw X TBA TBA TBA Twisted Pictures,
Atomic Monster Productions
TBA TBA

Production[edit]

Story overview[edit]

Flashbacks from Saw IV reveal the roots of the series, presenting John Kramer as a successful civil engineer and devoted husband to his wife Jill Tuck, who opened a rehab clinic for drug addicts. Jill lost her unborn baby, Gideon, due to the unwitting actions of a drug addict named Cecil, who fled the scene. Saw VI later showed that another drug addict, Amanda Young, also had an unintentional role in the death of Gideon. John grieved over the loss of his child and distanced himself from his friends and his wife.

John and Jill eventually drifted apart and divorced. After this turn of events, John found himself trapped by his own complacency until he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Extremely bitter over his squandered life and the loss of his unborn son, John began observing the lives of others and became even more depressed as he saw those around him squandering the gift of life that he had just been denied. John went to a man named William Easton to get money for a cancer treatment, but was denied. Flashbacks from Saw II show that, after surviving a suicide attempt where he drove his car off a cliff, John was "reborn", and nurtured the idea that the only way for someone to change is for them to change themselves. Then, in Saw IV flashbacks, he designed the first trap and test for Cecil and decided to use the rest of his existence to design more of these "tests" or "games" as a form of "instant rehabilitation" that would change the world, "one person at a time". John was soon given the nickname "The Jigsaw Killer" (or "Jigsaw"), because he removed a puzzle-piece-shaped chunk of flesh from those who did not escape his traps. John stated that this name was given to him by the media, and that the cut piece of flesh was meant to represent that these victims were each missing something—what he called the "survival instinct".

Few of John's victims can survive his brutal mechanical traps, which are often ironically symbolic representations of the problems in the victim's life and require them to undergo severe physical and/or psychological torture to escape.

Jigsaw depicts one of John's very first games, which never became public. The only survivor is Logan Nelson, the man who accidentally mislabeled John's x-rays, causing his cancer to go undiagnosed until it was too late. Believing Logan should not die over an honest mistake, John saves him before he is killed by one of the traps, and recruits him as his first apprentice. Logan helps John build several traps to be used in future games, but eventually enlists in the U.S. Army and leaves to fight in the Iraq War.

In Saw V, police lieutenant Mark Hoffman's ties with John are revealed in a series of flashbacks . During John's first years of activity, Hoffman's sister was murdered by her boyfriend, Seth Baxter. Seth is arrested; however, a technicality allowed him to be released, and Hoffman, feeling Seth had not served the full capacity of his sentence, kills him in an inescapable trap designed to look like one of Jigsaw's, laying the blame on him. John then kidnaps Hoffman and blackmails him into becoming his apprentice in his "rehabilitation" methods. Though initially being forced to help, Hoffman later becomes a willing apprentice, and helps to set up most of John's tests.

After beating her test, Amanda Young becomes the first known survivor of a Jigsaw game. She comes to view John as a hero who ultimately changed her life for the better, and, upon John's request, becomes his protégée and next apprentice. John shows her rehabilitation to Jill, who becomes aware of his traps and becomes somewhat of an accomplice as well.

In Saw, John chains the man who diagnosed his cancer, Dr. Lawrence Gordon, in a dilapidated industrial washroom with Adam Stanheight, a photographer who has been tailing the doctor due to belief he is cheating on his wife. Lawrence has instructions to kill Adam by six o'clock, or else his wife and daughter will be killed. Flashbacks show detectives David Tapp and Steven Sing, who suspect Lawrence of being Jigsaw, following a trail of clues from other Jigsaw traps. Sing's death from a shotgun trap after saving a victim named Jeff causes Tapp to obsess over catching Jigsaw. Later on, he chases Zep Hindle, who monitors Adam and Lawrence's tests, and gets shot in the chest. Eventually, Lawrence saws off his own foot in order to escape, leaving Adam in the bathroom while Lawrence goes to try to save his family and get help for Adam. It is later seen in Saw 3D that Lawrence found a steaming hot pipe and cauterized his wound, stopping the bleeding and ultimately surviving the trap. John catches up with Lawrence and makes him his next apprentice, a fact which he hides from his other accomplices. Flashbacks from Saw III show that Amanda kidnapped Adam and later returned to suffocate him as an act of "mercy killing".

Central actors of the series. From top-left to bottom-right: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Cary Elwes, Costas Mandylor, Danny Glover, and Betsy Russell.

Saw II begins with the police tracking a severely weakened John to his lair. However, another test is in place, as he and Amanda have kidnapped the son of Detective Eric Matthews and trapped him and a group of seven convicts, previously framed by Eric, in a house that is slowly being filled with sarin gas, with Amanda Young among them. He will trade Daniel Matthews' life for Eric's time, conversing with him until the game is concluded. Eric loses his patience and assaults John, forcing him to take him to the house, only to discover that the video feed from inside the house had been pre-recorded, the events actually taking place much earlier; Eric's son was locked in a safe in John's warehouse, being kept alive with an oxygen tank. Eric is knocked unconscious by a masked figure and wakes up imprisoned in the bathroom from Saw, which is part of the foundation of the house. Amanda reveals herself to Eric as John's protégée before leaving him to die. In a flashback from Saw III, Eric manages to escape the bathroom by breaking his foot. He confronts and beats Amanda, demanding to know where his son is. Amanda fights him off and leaves him for dead. A flashback from Saw IV shows Hoffman later dragging Eric to a prison cell, keeping him alive for a future game.

The events of Saw III and Saw IV occur concurrently. Saw III begins with John, weakened and near death, confined to a makeshift hospital bed. Amanda has taken over his work, designing traps of her own; however, these traps are inescapable, as Amanda is convinced that John's traps have no effect and that people don't change. A kidnapped doctor is forced to keep John alive while another test is performed on Jeff, a man obsessed with vengeance against the drunk driver who killed his son. John, unwilling to allow a murderer to continue his legacy, designs a test for Amanda as well; she ultimately fails, and it results in the deaths of both John and Amanda. Saw IV, meanwhile, revolves around tests meant for Officer Daniel Rigg, which are overseen by Hoffman. Rigg fails his test, resulting in the death of Eric Matthews. Rigg is left to bleed to death by Hoffman, who later discovers the bodies of John and Amanda. When an autopsy is performed on John, a cassette tape coated in wax is found in his stomach; the tape informs Hoffman that he is wrong to think that it is all over just because John is dead, and he should not expect to go untested.

The events of Saw V show Hoffman's first solo test: five people connected by different roles in a disastrous fire that killed several others are put into four interconnected tests of teamwork, killing off one person in each trap. The two remaining test subjects realize at the final trap that each previous trap was meant to be completed by each of the five people doing a small part, rather than killing one person per trap. With this knowledge, the two work together and barely manage to escape. They are found alive by Special Agent Erikson. Meanwhile, Hoffman has set up FBI Agent Peter Strahm to appear to be Jigsaw's accomplice, while Strahm pursues Hoffman and is eventually killed due to his inability to follow Hoffman's rules, leaving Hoffman free to continue Jigsaw's "work".

Saw VI begins with Hoffman setting up a game as per John's instructions left in a box for Jill during Saw V. This game centers on insurance executive named William Easton who oversees a team responsible for rejecting two-thirds of all insurance claims. As William progresses through four tests, he saves as many people as he can and learns the error of his choice to reject so many policies, which inherently "kill" the rejected. His last test is revealed to be a test of forgiveness by the family of Harold Abbott, a man to whom William rejected a policy in the past, whose son ultimately chooses to kill William using hydrofluoric acid. Meanwhile, Agent Erickson and the-previously-thought-to-be-dead agent Lindsey Perez search for Agent Strahm with the assistance of Hoffman. Upon finding irregularities in previous murder scenes, Perez and Erickson discover Hoffman's identity, but are killed by him before they can go public with his involvement. Hoffman travels back to the site of William's tests in which Jill attacks him to obey John's final request. She leaves Hoffman in a new trap left behind by John, though does not leave a key for him to free himself. He is able to manipulate the trap and escapes wounded.

Saw 3D picks up with Jill and Hoffman battling for control of John's legacy. As Jill enters protective custody and makes Hoffman's true identity public, Hoffman sets up a new game involving skinheads to find a way to Jill. Meanwhile, Bobby Dagen, a fraud who has written a book about escaping a Jigsaw trap he never experienced, is captured and forced to confront people who knew that he lied about being in a trap. Three of Dagen's friends die and his test concludes with him being forced to reenact the trap that he claimed to have survived before. He fails, which results in the death of his wife. Meanwhile, Hoffman has posed as a corpse and killed several officers to infiltrate the police station. He finds and kills Jill using the Reverse Beartrap. Hoffman attempts to leave town but is captured by Lawrence Gordon and his accomplices, then placed in the bathroom from the first film. John is revealed to have saved Lawrence after his game and, in return, Lawrence helped him with subsequent traps. Gordon leaves Hoffman shackled in the bathroom to die.

The present-day portion of Jigsaw takes place roughly ten years after John's death in Saw III. When a new Jigsaw game leaves several people dead, the police comes to believe that either John has been resurrected, or a Jigsaw copycat is involved. It is eventually revealed that Logan is the new Jigsaw killer, and that he recreated the game he was once part of using new victims. At the end of the film, Logan abducts corrupt Detective Halloran and kills him as revenge for him being indirectly responsible for the death of Logan's wife. Having successfully framed Halloran as the killer, Logan escapes and is free to continue Jigsaw's work.

Spiral takes place an unknown amount of time after John's death, as another Jigsaw copycat creates their own games to punish corrupt police officers and detectives. The case is investigated by Detective Ezekiel "Zeke" Banks, who eventually discovers that his new partner, William Schenk, is the killer. Schenk kidnaps Banks' father Marcus, who is largely responsible for the corruption in the police department, and reveals that his own father was killed by a dirty cop and that he hopes to recruit Banks as a partner in cleansing the department of corruption. Banks is then forced to choose between killing Schenk or saving his father; he manages to rescue Marcus, but Schenk calls a SWAT team and makes it appear that Marcus is the aggressor and is holding a gun. Schenk then escapes as the SWAT team restrains Banks and shoots Marcus to death.

Recurring elements[edit]

Billy

Billy is a puppet resembling a ventriloquist's dummy, sometimes seen riding a tricycle, that has appeared throughout the films and has become a type of mascot for the series. It is used by the Jigsaw Killer to communicate with his victims by delivering televised messages or occasionally in person to describe details of the sadistic traps and the means by which the victims could survive. Viewers have sometimes incorrectly identified the puppet itself as Jigsaw, because of its presence and connection to the killer.

Age and use of the puppet over the course of the films necessitated its reconstruction. According to Wan, the original puppet's face for Saw involved clay, papier-mâché, and black ping-pong balls with the irises painted in for the eyes, but in later films more sophisticated construction included waterjet-cut foam for the body and remote-controlled animatronics.[13]

The endurance and popularity of the franchise has resulted in the production of Billy merchandise, as well as references in other media and its use in promotions for the films.

"Hello Zepp"

"Hello Zepp" is a piece of instrumental music that was originally composed by Charlie Clouser for the first film in the series. In Saw, the implied villain, Zep Hindle, is revealed to actually be a victim of the Jigsaw Killer. (The character's name in the script is spelled "Zep", whereas the music titles are spelled "Zepp" as a reference to the popular 80s band Zapp.)[14][15] As the series continued, the piece was reused in every film as a leitmotif, often being renamed and remixed to accommodate the changing situations and characters. The music was used in every Saw ending, usually during the revealing of plot revelations and twists which Saw films often use and it serves as the main theme tune for the whole films.

Traps
An important component of each film is the variety of (usually mechanical in form) traps Jigsaw and his apprentices use on their captives to communicate his message.

According to David Hackl, all of the traps are real objects, and not CGI. They were designed to look horrific but ultimately be safe for the actors in them. Writer Marcus Dunstan said: "It's built to function there on the day", and added: "It works. So if there's a scalping chair—there really was a chair with working gears to grind and pull your scalp back." The most potentially dangerous item was a "water box" used in Saw V, in which one of the actors (Scott Patterson, as Peter Strahm) had to keep his head submerged as long as possible. Another element of the traps is that Hackl desired a specific look of rust and menace, but he also wanted them to have a type of beauty about them.[16]

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

The Saw series was placed in the Guinness World Records as the "Most Successful Horror Franchise".[17] Pictured here is director Kevin Greutert receiving the award at the 2010 Comic-Con.[18]

Saw grossed $18.2 million its opening weekend and had become Lionsgate's second-best opening, after Fahrenheit 9/11's $23.9 million (2004).[19] Saw went on to gross $103 million worldwide,[20] and is the third-lowest-grossing film in the series after Jigsaw and Saw VI.[21] At the time, it became the most profitable horror film after Scream (1996). It is the seventh-highest-grossing Halloween opening weekend.[22] Saw II opened at number one with $31.7 million,[23] and set a Lionsgate Halloween opening weekend record and is also the third-highest-grossing Halloween opener. It became at the time, the widest release in Lionsgate history and one of the best opening weekends for a horror sequel. It is Lionsgate's fourth-highest-grossing film in the United States and Canada.[24] Saw III placed first by grossing $33.6 million its opening weekend, making it the biggest Halloween debut ever[22] and at the time, Lionsgate's highest-opening weekend.[25] It is the highest-grossing film in the series worldwide.[21][26] It has the highest-grossing weekend in the series and also Lionsgate's fifth-highest-grossing film in the United States and Canada.[21][24]

Saw IV premiered at number one with $32.1 million making it the second-best Halloween weekend opener.[22][27] In Saw V's opening weekend it placed second, being beat by High School Musical 3: Senior Year, and made $30.1 million.[28] It is Lionsgate's tenth-highest-grossing film.[24] Saw VI opened in second place behind Paranormal Activity to $14.1 million,[29] which is the lowest of all the Saw films worldwide. It is also the lowest-grossing film in the series.[21] Saw 3D placed first grossing $22.5 million its opening weekend, with 92% of tickets coming from more than 2,100 3D-equipped locations.[30][31] It had the fifth-best opening weekend in the Saw series.[32] It is the most successful film in the franchise since Saw IV.[33] In the United States and Canada, Jigsaw was released alongside Thank You for Your Service and Suburbicon, and is projected to gross around $20 million from 2,941 theaters in its opening weekend.[34] It made $1.6 million from Thursday night previews at 2,400 theaters, just below the $1.7 million Saw 3D made from midnight screenings seven years prior, and $7.2 million on its first day. It went on to open to $16.64 million, finishing first at the box office but marking the second lowest debut of the franchise.[35] In its second weekend the film dropped 61% to $6.56 million, finishing third behind newcomers Thor: Ragnarok and A Bad Moms Christmas.[36] In its third weekend, the film dropped another 47% and made $3.43 million, finishing fifth.

The Saw series, when compared to other top-grossing American horror franchises - Alien vs. Predator, Candyman, Child's Play, The Conjuring, The Exorcist, The Evil Dead, Final Destination, Friday the 13th, Godzilla, Halloween, Hannibal Lecter, Hellraiser, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Jaws, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Omen, Paranormal Activity, Psycho, The Purge, Scream, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - with figures adjusted for 2011 inflation,[37] is the fifth-highest-grossing horror franchise in the United States and Canada at $457.4 million.[38] This list is topped by Friday the 13th at $687.1 million,[39] followed by the Nightmare on Elm Street series with $592.8 million,[40] with the Hannibal Lecter film series closely behind with $588.7 million.[41] Then comes Halloween with $557.5 million,[42] the Scream series with $442.9 million and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with $304.6 million,[43] and lastly comes the Child's Play film series with approximately $203 million.[44]

The box office numbers, unadjusted for inflation are as follows:

Film Revenue Budget References
United States
Canada
Other markets Worldwide
Saw $55,185,045 $47,911,300 $103,096,345 $1–1.2 million [20][45]
Saw II $87,039,965 $60,708,540 $147,748,505 $4 million [46]
Saw III $80,238,724 $84,635,551 $164,874,275 $10 million [26]
Saw IV $63,300,095 $76,052,538 $139,352,633 $10 million [47][48]
Saw V $56,746,769 $57,117,290 $113,864,059 $10.8 million [49]
Saw VI $27,693,292 $40,540,337 $68,233,629 $11 million [50]
Saw 3D $45,710,178 $90,440,256 $136,150,434 $20 million [51]
Jigsaw $38,052,832 $64,900,056 $102,952,888 $10 million [52]
Spiral $15,873,020 $6,720,000 $22,593,020 $20 million [53]
Total $473,529,920 $529,025,866 $1,002,555,788 $97 million

Critical and public response[edit]

On IGN's list of the top twenty-five film franchises of all time, the Saw series ranked as 25th.[54]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[55]
Saw 50% (185 reviews)[56] 46 (32 reviews)[57] C+
Saw II 37% (122 reviews)[58] 40 (28 reviews)[59] B+
Saw III 28% (92 reviews)[60] 48 (16 reviews)[61] B
Saw IV 20% (81 reviews)[62] 36 (16 reviews)[63] B
Saw V 13% (76 reviews)[64] 20 (13 reviews)[65] C
Saw VI 39% (72 reviews)[66] 30 (12 reviews)[67] B
Saw 3D 10% (79 reviews)[68] 24 (17 reviews)[69] B–
Jigsaw 33% (87 reviews)[70] 39 (18 reviews)[71] B
Spiral 36% (165 reviews)[72] 38 (29 reviews)[73] B–
Saw X TBA TBA TBA

Other media[edit]

Video games[edit]

Japanese video game company Konami currently owns the rights to the Saw interactive video game property. Konami stated in mid-2009 that they wanted to make Saw a series of video games to supplement the films. They also wish to make Saw their next big survival horror franchise next to their other property, Silent Hill. They stated that because Saw focuses on visual intensity and Silent Hill focuses on psychological terror, both could exist in the video game industry without directly competing against each other.[74]

The first game in the series, Saw, set between the first and second film in the series, was initially released on October 6, 2009.[75][76][77] with a sequel Saw II: Flesh & Blood, released on October 19, 2010, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, ten days before the release of the seventh film, Saw 3D.[78]

David Tapp and Amanda Young were released as part of the downloadable Saw Chapter for the video game Dead by Daylight.[79]

A bundle featuring an operator dressed up as Billy the Puppet was released in Call of Duty: Warzone as part of the Haunting of Verdansk Halloween event.

Comic books[edit]

Saw: Rebirth, a comic book prequel to the original film released to promote Saw II. Its canonicity was later contradicted by events in Saw IV. It is, however, the first canonical appearance of Jigsaw's wife, Jill, who was later introduced into the film series in Saw III, and established still-canonical elements of Jigsaw's backstory (an engineer who is dying from brain cancer).

Theme park attractions[edit]

  • "Saw: The Ride" is a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter roller coaster themed around the franchise, which opened on March 13, 2009, at Thorpe Park in the United Kingdom. It features an enclosed dark ride section with special effects, before traveling outside and are pulled up a 100-foot vertical lift hill into a steep 100-degree beyond-vertical drop seemingly into what looks like some spinning saw blades below.
  • Thorpe Park opened a temporary Saw attraction called "Saw — Movie Bites" for their 2009 Fright Nights event.
  • It was announced in October 2009 that Thorpe Park would also be adding a permanent, year-round live action horror maze themed around the Saw movies. Named "Saw: Alive", It opened at the start of the 2010 season, and features six scenes representing one iconic trap from each movie to date, although now it is no longer a permanent year-round attraction, and it only operated during Thorpe Park's Halloween event called Fright Nights. Until the mazes final year, in 2018, the park announced that it would close permanently and not return for the 2019 event.[80]
  • "Saw: Game Over" was a 2009 Horror maze made by Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights, based on characters, traps and scenes from the films.[81] At the Universal Studios Hollywood rendition of Horror Nights it was titled Saw: Game Over, while at the Universal Studios Florida rendition, it was simply titled Saw.
  • "Saw", a themed haunted house, operated during the month of October at Fright Dome, Circus Circus Las Vegas. It featured interactive, handcrafted replicas of the "games" set by Jigsaw. It was introduced in 2009 and partnered with Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures.
  • In 2018, it was announced there would be an Saw themed escape room called "Saw Escape Las Vegas", which was made by the creators of Fright Dome. It is officially licensed by LionsGate and is also located in the city of Las Vegas in Nevada, USA as the name suggests.
  • In 2010, "Halloween Fright Nights" at Warner Bros. Movie World featured a maze created by Sudden Impact Entertainment, featuring characters, traps and scenes from the films. The maze was simply titled "Saw Maze".
  • "Saw Haunted Attraction" was a maze at the Brea Plaza Shopping Center in 2008 created by Sinister Pointe Haunted Attractions.
  • "SAWMANIA" was a fan event in New York. Eventgoers were able to meet actors and directors, and view props used in the films.

Possible television series[edit]

In April 2021, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs announced in an interview with Deadline Hollywood that Lionsgate TV is in early talks on a television series adaptation of the upcoming film Spiral: From the Book of Saw, from Mark Burg and Oren Koules' Twisted Television.[82]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The directors of Jigsaw consisted of twin brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, known colloquially as The Spierig Brothers, who just count as one director in the total.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Databases
Official sites
Other links