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Saw is a Canadian-American horror franchise. It currently consists of nine movies distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment, two video games published by Konami, three short films, and a digital comic.

Plot Synopsis

The main background of the series is explored in Saw IV. John Kramer, an intelligent and successful civil engineer, is married to Jill Tuck, who runs a recovery clinic for drug addicts and is pregnant with their unborn son, Gideon. However, when the clinic is robbed by one of Jill's patients, Cecil Adams, Jill is accidentally injured and suffers a miscarriage, leading to Gideon's death and the divorce of Jill and John, as the latter begins to suffer from severe depression.

Shortly after this traumatic event, John's physical health declines, and he is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Embittered due to the loss of his child and his terminal diagnosis, John attempts to commit suicide by driving his car off a cliff. However, he survives and finds a new purpose in his life as he decides to spend his last remaining days testing other peoples' will to live to make them appreciate their lives. To do so, he abducts other people and puts them in potentially deadly situations, which they can only escape from by causing physical or psychological harm to themselves or others. The first of these tests, commonly referred to as "games" by John, focuses on Cecil. After Cecil fails his test and subsequently dies, John cuts a jigsaw piece from his victim's skin, which symbolizes Cecil's lacking survival instinct. Due to this signature, John becomes known to the public as the Jigsaw Killer, or simply Jigsaw.

The eighth film in the series, Jigsaw, focuses on one of John's earliest games, which never became public. The only survivor is Logan Nelson, a resident doctor who accidentally mislabeled John's x-rays, leading to his cancer remaining undetected until it was no longer curable. Believing Logan should not die over an honest mistake, John has a change of heart and saves him before being killed by one of the traps. Albeit Logan is heavily injured in the process, he quickly agrees to become John's first apprentice. Logan assists John in setting up future games but eventually enlists in the US Army and leaves to fight in the Iraq War.

In Saw V, the audience finds out about the past of Detective Mark Hoffman, who works on the case from the start. Sometime after the beginning of John's games, the murderer and ex-boyfriend of Hoffman's sister, Seth Baxter, is released from prison due to a technicality after serving only five years of his life sentence. Hoffman kills him by putting him in an inescapable trap and then cuts a jigsaw piece from his skin to imitate Jigsaw's modus operandi and make the murder appear to be another one of Jigsaw's crimes. John, however, finds out about this and abducts Hoffman. By telling him that the public would learn the truth about Seth's death if Hoffman refuses to obey, John blackmails him into becoming his second apprentice. From then on, Hoffman assists him in abducting their victims and setting up their respective games.

Five months before the first film, Amanda Young, a heroin addict, passes her test and becomes the first known survivor of Jigsaw's games. Convinced that he helped her, Amanda overcomes her addiction but remains mentally unstable. Due to her state of mind and isolation from others, John successfully convinces her to become his apprentice and join his cause.

John and Amanda set up a game in a dilapidated industrial bathroom, the primary location of the first film. Two men are shackled by their ankles to pipes in the opposite corners of the room. The first one is Dr. Lawrence Gordon, the oncologist who diagnosed John with cancer. Due to a clue left at a previous crime scene five months earlier, Gordon was briefly suspected to be involved in the murders but was acquitted after providing an alibi. The second man is Adam Stanheight, a freelance photographer, whom Detective David Tapp, the leading investigator in the case, had hired to observe Gordon, as he still was not convinced of the doctor's innocence. Gordon is instructed to kill Adam by 6:00 as otherwise, his wife and daughter, Alison and Diana Gordon, will be executed.

Flashbacks show how Detective Tapp and his late partner, Detective Steven Sing, manage to find the Jigsaw Killer's hideout. However, their subsequent raid on the abandoned building leads to Sing's death in one of Jigsaw's traps and Tapp's discharge from the police force, fueling his obsession with catching Jigsaw. Convinced that Gordon is the killer, Tapp rents a flat across the street from Gordon's apartment. While Adam's and Gordon's game plays out, he witnesses Zep Hindle, who holds Gordon's family hostage. Tapp saves them and pursues Zep to an underground tunnel network, where he is shot by the latter. Zep then proceeds to the bathroom to execute Gordon for not killing Adam in time.

Meanwhile, Gordon has cut off his foot with a hacksaw to escape from his shackle and shot Adam in a final attempt to save his family. Adam, however, survives and kills Zep as the latter is about to kill the doctor. Gordon crawls out of the room and promises Adam to find help. While it is revealed in Saw 3D that Gordon had survived the game and was nursed back to health by Jigsaw, flashbacks in Saw III show that Adam was killed by Amanda, who returned to the bathroom and suffocated him to put him out of his misery.

Saw II begins several months later when the police find John's new hideout due to a clue left by the killer at his latest crime scene. However, John already planned for their arrival and presents them with another one of his games, which they can observe via several surveillance monitors. Eight people are trapped in a house and are given two hours to pass various tests and obtain syringes with an antidote for a deadly nerve agent they are breathing in. Among the prisoners are Daniel Matthews, son of Detective Eric Matthews, and Amanda, who pretends to be a victim to observe the game's progress. John promises that Eric will see his son again "in a safe and secure state" if he talks to John for the next two hours, which Eric reluctantly accepts.

Eric, however, eventually loses his patience and brutally assaults Jigsaw, forcing him to take him to the house. Meanwhile, Eric's colleagues discover that the video feed had been pre-recorded, whereas the actual game occurred much earlier. When the timer runs out, Daniel is found locked up in a safe in Jigsaw's warehouse, being kept alive with an oxygen tank.

As he finds and explores a tunnel network underneath the house, Eric enters the bathroom from the first film, where he is subdued by a pig-masked figure and chained by his ankle to a pipe. Amanda then reveals herself as John's apprentice before leaving him to die in the room. However, Eric manages to escape the bathroom by breaking his foot. As he follows Amanda, they engage in a brutal fight. Although she is severely injured in the process, Amanda eventually fights him off and leaves him to die. A flashback in Saw IV later reveals that Hoffman found Eric and took him to a cell somewhere in the tunnels, nursing him back to health and keeping him alive.

The main plotlines of Saw III and Saw IV simultaneously take place six months later. At this point, John is bedridden and severely weakened due to his cancer disease. Therefore, Amanda has taken over most of his work and started setting up traps by herself. However, she has begun to doubt John's philosophy and manipulates her traps to be inescapable, leading to the inevitable death of her victims even if they pass their tests.

Due to his impending death, John designs one last game, which focuses on Jeff Denlon, a man obsessed with revenge after his son, Dylan, died in a car accident three years earlier. Meanwhile, his wife, Dr. Lynn Denlon, must keep John alive until Jeff manages to pass all of his tests. Unknown to Amanda, she is tested as well as John is not willing to let a murderer continue his work. Hoffman, however, knows about the test and writes a letter to Amanda, in which he blackmails her into killing Lynn as otherwise, he would tell John about her role in Cecil's assault on Jill Tuck's clinic and Gideon Kramer's subsequent death. As she follows Hoffman's instructions and shoots Lynn, she is killed by Jeff upon reaching the end of his test. Afterward, Jeff kills John and is locked up in the room.

Meanwhile, in Saw IV, Hoffman oversees a game focusing on Officer Daniel Rigg, who was also present during the raid on John Kramer's hideout in Saw II, which led to Eric Matthews' abduction. Therefore, Rigg became obsessed with saving his former partner. However, as he misunderstands the rules of his game, Rigg's actions ultimately cause his and Eric's death. After the police forces discover the bodies of all the victims involved in the last two games, an audiotape is found in John's stomach during his subsequent autopsy. The tape tells Hoffman that the games are not over and that he will be tested as well.

In Saw V, Hoffman sets up a new game, focusing on five people who were directly or indirectly involved in a severe case of arson, which had caused the death of eight people. As they face the tests prepared for them, every trap claims the life of one of them until only two people, Brit Stevenson and Mallick Scott, remain. During their final test, they realize that all of them could have survived by cooperating. With this knowledge, the two of them work together and pass their last test, albeit severely injured. They are eventually found alive by Special Agent Dan Erickson.

Meanwhile, Special Agent Peter Strahm suspects Hoffman and begins observing him. Hoffman, however, incriminates him and sets him up as Jigsaw's accomplice. Upon following him to the tunnels underneath the house from the second film, Strahm dies in one of Hoffman's traps.

In Saw VI, Hoffman sets up the next big game at an abandoned zoo by following instructions left to Jill Tuck by her late ex-husband. The game focuses on William Easton, a health insurance executive responsible for dismissing numerous insurance claims, thereby often causing the death of the rejected as they cannot bear their treatment costs on their own. Throughout four tests, William is confronted with the gruesome aspects of his business policy. After passing these tests, William meets Tara and Brent Abbott, widow and son of Harold Abbott, one of William's clients who succumbed to his heart disease after William rejected his insurance claim. Given the opportunity to either forgive William or let him die, Brent chooses the latter and causes William to be killed by a trap.

Meanwhile, Special Agent Erickson and Special Agent Lindsey Perez search for Peter Strahm and work together with Hoffman. They eventually find out about Hoffman's secret but are killed before arresting him. Hoffman then returns to the zoo to oversee the end of William's game but is attacked by Jill, who, unknown to him, was tasked by John to test Hoffman. However, he manages to escape from his trap but is severely injured in the process.

Following Hoffman's survival, Jill reveals his identity to Matt Gibson, an internal affairs officer, and is taken into protective custody in Saw 3D. Hoffman prepares another game, focusing on Bobby Dagen, to distract the police and get to Jill. Bobby gained wealth and fame by publishing his story of how he once survived one of Jigsaw's traps, which, in fact, never happened. Bobby fails all of his tests, resulting in the death of his entire crew and his wife, Joyce.

Meanwhile, Hoffman infiltrates the police station and murders several of his former colleagues before he finally gets to Jill. After killing her with the same trap previously used to test Amanda Young, Hoffman destroys his hideout and attempts to flee but is attacked by three pig-masked figures. One of them reveals himself to be Dr. Lawrence Gordon, who has become John Kramer's fourth apprentice after surviving his game in the first film and was told to act on his mentor's behalf if anything happened to Jill. He chains Hoffman to a pipe in the bathroom and leaves him there to die without any means to escape.

About ten years after John's death, Logan Nelson decides to continue his mentor's work to take revenge on Brad Halloran, a corrupt detective. The latter indirectly caused the death of Logan's wife, Christine. To prove himself worthy of carrying on John's work, Logan replicates the game that previously led to his recruitment by John. Following a complex cat-and-mouse game, he eventually lures Halloran to a pig farm where the original game took place and kills the detective in a trap, revealing that he set him up as the one responsible for the latest killings.

At some point later in the timeline, Spiral, the ninth installment in the series, focuses on a copycat who uses Jigsaw's methods to punish corrupt police officials. The case is investigated by Detective Ezekiel "Zeke" Banks, who eventually exposes his new partner, Detective William Schenk, as the killer. Schenk kidnaps Zeke's father, Marcus Banks, who is mainly responsible for the corruption in the police department. When Marcus used to be the Chief of Police, he instigated Article 8, a law that enabled corrupt cops to get away with most of their crimes.

Schenk reveals that his father, Charlie Emmerson, was murdered by Zeke's former partner, Peter Dunleavy. Seeing him as the only upright cop in his department, he offers Zeke to join his cause to cleanse the police force of corruption. To convince him, Schenk provides him with a choice - Zeke can either kill him or save his father, who is trapped in a deadly contraption. Although Zeke tries to rescue his father, he eventually decides to go after Schenk and brutally attacks him. At the same time, a SWAT team called by Schenk storms into the room and mistakes Marcus for an armed assailant. While they shoot Marcus and force Zeke to his knees, Schenk eludes custody by escaping in an elevator.

History

The Short Film

After finishing film school in Australia, James Wan and Leigh Whannell started working on their script for the first Saw film. Planning to finance the film themselves, they opted for the rather minimalistic idea of having only a contained set with as few actors as possible. However, during the script's development, it became apparent that they did not have sufficient funds to shoot the film independently.

A producer in Sydney optioned the script for a year, but the deal eventually fell through. After other failed attempts to get the screenplay produced in Australia from 2001 to 2002, literary agent Ken Greenblat read the script and suggested they travel to Los Angeles, where they had better chances of finding a studio interested in their concept. Wan and Whannell initially refused due to a lack of travel funds, but the pair's agent, Stacey Testro, convinced them to go. To help studios take an interest in the script, Whannell provided $5,000 to make a short film based on the scene of Amanda Young's interrogation, which they thought would prove most effective. Whannell played David, a hospital orderly tested by Jigsaw. Working at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Whannell and Wan had connections to camera operators who were willing to provide technical assistance for the short film. Wan shot the short movie with a 16mm camera within two days and transferred the footage to DVDs to ship along with the script. Whannell wanted to play the lead character in the feature film, while Wan intended to be the director.

Production

Saw

Eventually, the short film and the script attracted the attention of Oren Koules, Gregg Hoffman, and Mark Burg, who worked as producers for Twisted Pictures. As they were fascinated with the film's concept, they decided to produce it, with Whannell playing the leading role of Adam while Wan directed the film. The film was granted a production budget between $1 million and $1.2 million. On September 22, 2003, the principal photography started at the Lacy Street Production Center in Los Angeles and lasted 18 days. The bathroom was the only set that had to be built. Danny Glover completed his scenes within two days. Due to the tight shooting schedule, Wan could not shoot more than a couple of takes per actor. Wan found he did not have enough shots or takes to work with during post-production as he was mainly shooting rehearsals. With many missing gaps in the final product, he and editor Kevin Greutert created shots to mend together during editing.

Saw II

Following the successful opening weekend of Saw in 2004, Saw II was immediately green-lit. Music video director Darren Lynn Bousman had written a script for a movie called The Desperate and tried to find a studio for the production. Eventually, camera operator David Armstrong, who had already worked on the first Saw film, suggested showing it to producer Gregg Hoffman. After showing it to his partners, Mark Burg and Oren Koules, they decided to change the script of The Desperate and turned it into Saw II. Two months later, Bousman was flown to Toronto to direct the movie.

Leigh Whannell polished the script to fit into the Saw universe and served as executive producer alongside James Wan. Besides them, all of the other crew members from the original film returned, including David Armstrong, editor Kevin Greutert, and composer Charlie Clouser.

Saw II was also granted a higher budget of $4 million. The first shot, which involved shooting police cars and a SWAT van driving around the industrial docklands outside the soundstage, was filmed in Toronto on April 29, 2005. After two months of pre-production, principal photography took place at Toronto's Cinespace Film Studios from May 2, 2005, to June 6, 2005.

Only the crew members and actors involved in the ending were given the whole script to keep it a secret. Additionally, everyone involved in the film had to sign confidentiality agreements, which required them not to reveal any details about the plot. The ending was filmed on May 25 and 26, while the music and sound were recorded in July. By September 9, Saw II was eventually finished. Deluxe provided post-production services while C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures performed the visual effects.

Saw III

Despite the financial success of Saw II, Darren Lynn Bousman, James Wan, and Leigh Whannell initially turned down the offer to work on Saw III. However, they changed their minds when producer Gregg Hoffman unexpectedly died a few weeks after the release of Saw II and decided to make Saw III in dedication to him.

Unlike the first two installments, Saw III was planned to become a more emotional film, primarily focusing on the relationship and character development of Jigsaw and Amanda Young. As with the previous movies, the complete script was only given to the actors and crew members involved in the film's ending. However, Darren Lynn Bousman stated that it was not their primary goal to deliver yet another twist ending as in the first movies. Instead, they wanted to fully concentrate on the emotional aspects of the climax rather than any surprising reveals.

Saw III was also granted a higher budget of $10 million. Instead of rebuilding the bathroom set from scratch, the crew borrowed the set used for Scary Movie 4, which parodied the first two films, to keep the costs low. The principal photography took place at Toronto's Cinespace Film Studios from May 8, 2006, to late June.

Almost all the shifts from one place to another were not made using digital effects. Instead, the transitions were shot on the spot, which was a technique that Darren Lynn Bousman already used for Saw II. This way, he wanted to maintain the fast pace and rhythm, which were essential to the first two films' visual styles.

Saw IV

The script of Saw IV was written by Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan, and Thomas Fenton, making it the first film in the series not written by Leigh Whannell. Nonetheless, he was credited as the film's executive producer alongside James Wan. Saw IV was also the last film in the series directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, despite his original plans to stop after the second film.

Like its predecessor, Saw IV was granted a budget of $10 million. The principal photography took place in Toronto from April 16, 2007, to May 3, 2007, while the post-production began on May 19. As in Saw II and Saw III, many transitions from one set to another were shot on the spot.

Saw V

Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan returned to write the script of Saw V. It was directed by the production designer of the previous three films, David Hackl. While Mark Burg and Oren Koules also returned to produce the film, Leigh Whannell and James Wan were again credited as executive producers. Additionally, Gregg Hoffman was still listed as one of the producers, despite his death on December 4, 2005.

With a budget of approximately $10.8 million, principal photography took place in Toronto from March 17, 2008, to April 28, 2008. By mid-July 2008, there had been three photos released of David Hackl at the set of Saw V. The first trailer, which showed Agent Peter Strahm in the Water Cube Trap, was released at the San Diego Comic-Con as a short clip. The official website opened on August 6, 2008. A new clip became available on September 17, 2008, showing the film's intro sequence.

Saw VI

Saw VI was the first film in the franchise directed by Kevin Greutert, the editor of all previous installments, who made his directorial debut. Therefore, he was replaced as an editor by Andrew Coutts. As with all the preceding films, Mark Burg and Oren Koules returned as producers, while Leigh Whannell and James Wan were listed as executive producers again. Charlie Clouser once more composed the soundtrack, while Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan wrote the script. A week before filming began, Lionsgate informed Greutert that the movie was planned to be post-converted to 3D. However, these plans were later abandoned due to time restraints and because Greutert was not happy with the idea as the film was aesthetically envisioned as a 2D film.

Saw VI was granted a budget of $11 million. The principal photography took place at Toronto's Cinespace Film Studios from March 30, 2009, to May 13, 2009. Several actors from previous movies returned to reprise their roles, including principal and minor characters. Before filming began, a TV reality show called Scream Queens aired in 2008 on VH1, showing ten unknown actresses who competed for a "breakout" role in Saw VI. Eventually, actress Tanedra Howard won the show and got to play Simone in the film. Lionsgate made a public statement, ensuring her a leading role. However, her character turned out to be a minor one.

Saw 3D

Saw 3D was green-lit in July 2009 and was planned to be directed by David Hackl. While producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules and writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan returned, the cinematographer of all previous installments, David Armstrong, was replaced by Brian Gedge.

Pre-production began on September 14, 2009, with a budget of approximately $17 million. While initially, an eighth film was planned to be shot as well, this plan was changed due to the box-office failure of Saw VI. Therefore, Saw 3D was supposed to be the last film and concentrated on answering the remaining open questions of the series while also incorporating parts of the story planned for the eighth film.

In January 2010, another unexpected change was made when David Hackl was dismissed as the director by Twisted Pictures. By enforcing a contract clause, Kevin Greutert, who planned to work on Paranormal Activity 2 at that time, was indentured to direct Saw 3D instead, much to his dismay. When he arrived on the set two weeks before the principal photography began, he changed significant parts of the script. These changes were described as quite problematic by writer Patrick Melton, as they had already built sets, cast actors, and bought or created props for the film.

Saw 3D was the first film in the series filmed entirely in 3D, using the SI-3D digital camera system rather than filming on set traditionally and later transferring the footage to 3D. The camera system was one of the reasons why the film was the most expensive installment in the series at that time. Therefore, several scenes, mainly the trap scenes, were filmed to take advantage of the new techniques. Principal photography eventually began on February 8, 2010, at Toronto's Cinespace Film Studios and continued until April 12, 2010.

The casting began in mid-December 2009. As with Saw VI, the second season of Scream Queens aired. Like in the first season, ten unknown actresses competed for a role in Saw 3D. Ultimately, actress Gabby West won the show and played the role of Kara in the film. Other actors were offered to reprise their roles. While some of them, such as Tanedra Howard and Cary Elwes, returned to the franchise, others turned down the offer, mainly due to scheduling conflicts.

Jigsaw

After the intended conclusion, Lionsgate ceased making Saw films while waiting to hear a pitch they thought made it worthwhile to resurrect the series. Jigsaw was conceived when writers Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger, who had spent two years pursuing the opportunity to write a Saw entry, proposed their vision. It became known in July 2016 that brothers Michael and Peter Spierig would direct the film, once again produced by Mark Burg and Oren Koules. Composer Charlie Clouser has described the film as a "reinvention" of the series, opining that "the Spierig brothers can deliver a fresh take on the material that will establish a new storyline and new characters that can carry the saga into the future." The directors further detailed their approach as being "Saw for 2017", and Michael Spierig explained, "It's perhaps not quite as vicious, and more fun. But it's still full of gore, that's for sure. It's got a really great mystery, and there are very interesting twists."

In October 2016, production was confirmed to have commenced under the working title of Saw: Legacy. The film was shot in Toronto in November 2016 and entered post-production by January. On March 2, 2017, Bloody Disgusting revealed the first plot details and a complete list of actors, confirming that Tobin Bell would return in the role of John Kramer. In June 2017, the Motion Picture Association of America listed the film under the official title of Jigsaw, rating it R, for "sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and for language." On August 14, 2017, the film passed uncut in the United Kingdom with an 18 Certificate by the BBFC. Regarding the new title, writer Josh Stolberg clarified that "when a writer is writing a movie, they put something on the cover page to separate it from other films. So when we were writing this film, the title read Saw: Legacy but it was never official or decided."

Spiral

Following the release of Jigsaw, Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger pitched a new Saw film focused solely on John Kramer. However, Mark Burg and Oren Koules eventually called them to inform them about a concept suggested to them by Chris Rock. Before that, Stolberg and Goldfinger had come up with eight different versions for the film before merging their ideas with Rock's. Rock aided Stolberg and Goldfinger during the writing process.

According to Rock, the origins of his involvement came from a chance meeting with the vice chairman of Lionsgate, Michael Burns, at a friend's wedding in Brazil. He felt doing something in the horror genre would be a new avenue to take in his career, though he planned to include some comedic elements in the film. Lionsgate's CEO Joe Drake said that Rock's idea was "completely reverential to the legacy of the material while reinvigorating the brand with his wit, creative vision, and passion for this classic horror franchise."

On May 16, 2019, Spiral: From the Book of Saw officially entered pre-production. Former series director Darren Lynn Bousman, who initially refused to direct another entry after Saw IV, turned down the chance to work on a Broadway show in New York City after Rock insisted he direct the film. Rock worked as an executive producer and starred as the film's primary protagonist, Detective Zeke Banks. With the announcement, Rock stated, "I've been a fan of Saw since the first film in 2004. I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place." Burg and Koules said that Rock's treatment of Saw was comparable to what Eddie Murphy had done for buddy cop films in 48 Hrs., giving the series a "completely fresh perspective."

Likewise, Bousman stated that the new installment included less violence and gore, expressing the conviction that these elements were merely a gimmick for him back when he started working on the Saw films but would now serve the story in a meaningful way. Josh Stolberg also confirmed that the ninth installment would exist in the same canon as the previous eight films but would not be a direct sequel to Jigsaw.

Principal photography began on July 8, 2019, in Toronto, Ontario, under the working title of The Organ Donor, with Jordan Oram serving as cinematographer. Actors Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, and Marisol Nichols were announced to be starring in the film. Joe Drake stated, "We think Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock, along with Max Minghella and Marisol Nichols, make this film completely special in the Saw canon and we can't wait to unleash this unexpected and sinister new story on fans of this franchise. This is next level of Saw on full tilt." On August 28, 2019, filming wrapped up. During post-production, editing was completed by Dev Singh.

Reception

Box Office

Film Revenue Budget
United States
Canada
Other markets Worldwide
Saw $55,185,045 $47,911,300 $103,096,345 $1–1.2 million
Saw II $87,039,965 $60,708,540 $147,748,505 $4 million
Saw III $80,238,724 $84,635,551 $164,874,275 $10 million
Saw IV $63,300,095 $76,052,538 $139,352,633 $10 million
Saw V $56,746,769 $57,117,290 $113,864,059 $10.8 million
Saw VI $27,693,292 $40,540,337 $68,233,629 $11 million
Saw 3D $45,710,178 $90,440,256 $136,150,434 $20 million
Jigsaw $38,052,832 $64,900,056 $102,952,888 $10 million
Spiral $23,216,862 $17,392,032 $40,608,894 $20 million
Total $477,183,762 $539,697,900 $1,016,881,662 $97 million

Critical Reaction

Due to the low budget needed for the production, most of the films in the franchise were financially lucrative. However, despite this, most critics for all of them were unfavorable. The most prominent points of criticism were the explicit depiction of violence, and the story, which was deemed incoherent and illogical by many people. The general acting and directional style were also criticized on some occasions. However, one aspect praised by most reviewers was the acting of Tobin Bell, who played the character of John Kramer and appeared in almost all of the films.

Saw: Rebirth

On October 25, 2005, IDW Publishing published Saw: Rebirth, a digital comic set in the Saw franchise. It was written by R. Eric Lieb and Kris Oprisko with art by Renato Guedes. The comic served as a prequel to the first three films in the series, focusing on the early life of John Kramer and the events that eventually made him become the infamous Jigsaw Killer. However, it was later declared to be non-canon, as the events depicted in the comic contradicted the events seen in the films in many ways.

Video Games

Saw: The Video Game

On October 6, 2009, a video game set in the Saw franchise was developed by Zombie Studios and published by Konami. The story begins directly after the first film's events, revealing that Detective Tapp survived his encounter with Zep Hindle during the movie's climax. He is then taken to the abandoned Whitehurst Insane Asylum, where Jigsaw has prepared a series of tests for him. Throughout these tests, he has to save other people trapped all around the asylum. These victims include Amanda Young, a crime scene investigator named Jennings Foster, Detective Sing's widow, Melissa Sing, a sensational reporter named Oswald McGillicutty, Obi Tate from Saw II, and Jeff Ridenhour from the first film. At the end of the game, Tapp has to choose whether to let go of his obsession with Jigsaw and thereby save everyone still trapped at the asylum or continue his pursuit and condemn the other prisoners.

Saw II: Flesh & Blood

On October 19, 2010, a second video game titled Saw II: Flesh & Blood was released. Following his escape from Whitehurst, Tapp commits suicide after letting go of Jigsaw to save the other victims. Therefore, his son, Michael, is abducted by Pighead II, another accomplice of Jigsaw, who forces Michael to face a series of tests to uncover the truth about his father's death. Thereby, Michael finds out about a drug cartel, which Tapp had accidentally stumbled upon during his investigation of Jigsaw's crimes, and has to save the members from Jigsaw's traps. At the same time, a drug addict named Campbell Iman faces another test. As both reach the end of their respective games, they have to choose who of them is allowed to survive while the other one inevitably dies. Again, the decisions of the players determine the ending.

Attractions

Saw: The Ride

On March 13, 2009, a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter roller coaster was opened at Thorpe Park in the United Kingdom under the name Saw: The Ride. The roller coaster, designed by Merlin Studios with the assistance of John Wardley, a British developer for theme parks, is themed around the Saw franchise and includes several references to the films.

See Also

Films

Short Films

Video Games

Comics

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