As October 31st draws near, there is only one thing that matters to those of us who are too old for trick-or-treating: Horror movies. This year, we have once again been blessed by a sequel from the Saw series
, Leigh Whanell's gory little idea that could. In honor of the Saw V
premiere, here are our top traps/deaths from the first four "Saw" movies. "Saw V" has been excluded from this list to avoid spoiling anything for those of you who have not yet seen the latest installment.
Saw - The Bathroom Trap
The movie that introduced the world to Jigsaw and his demented brand of justice did so with one hell of an elaborate set-up. Dr. Lawrence Gordon and Adam are chained to opposite corners of a filthy bathroom. Dr. Gordon's family has been kidnapped, and will only be spared if he kills Adam. Adam must survive, but to do so he must saw his foot off. A third man, Zep, is responsible for monitoring the situation in the bathroom, and must kill Dr. Gordon's family if Adam survives the game. If Zep does not comply, he will not get the antidote for the poison he has been given.
Three men, all forced to kill and endure unimaginable pain in order to save themselves and their loved ones. This trap forces a hard choice onto all of its victims: Die, or carry the guilt of having survived.
Saw II - The Razor Blade Box
This movie was a significant step back from the original, and the traps suffered for it. The best of a bad bunch was the Razor Blade Box, if only because its victim would have benefited from having a little bit of patience.
Addison comes across this trap in the movie, and immediately thrusts her hands into the box, reaching for an antidote that will save her life. When she tries to pull her hands out, however, she realizes the flaps she pushed her hands through are actually razor blades which will slice into her arms the more she pulls them out. It is a terrible thing to watch, and even worse to think about being trapped there, slowly waiting to die.
If only Addison had taken to the time to walk around the box, she would have found a lock with the key still in it. This would have opened the box and rendered it harmless.
Saw III - The Rack
The third installment of the Saw series regained some of its swagger, and there is no trap in this movie as terrifying as the Rack. It is a crucifix shaped contraption that twists its victims' limbs, slowly breaking all of them. This trap is a return to the complexity that made the first Saw movie so suspenseful - this is a game not only for Timothy, who is strapped to the rack, but for Jeff, who must be willing to take a bullet in order to save Timothy. And oh yeah, Timothy is responsible for killing Jeff's son.
One trap, two tests - one physical, one psychological. The genius of Jigsaw.
Saw IV - The Mausoleum
The fourth Saw movie continued the franchise's tradition of gruesome, innovative ways to let people die. The mausoleum trap is the best of this bunch, bringing together a mind game and a physical challenge as only Jigsaw can.
Two men find themselves in a mausoleum, each chained from a collar around the neck. One man has his eyes sewn shut and cannot see; the other has his mouth sewn shut and cannot speak. The chain which connects them runs through a motor which starts as they struggle to free themselves, and begins to pull them towards it. As they fight to pull away from the motor, the victim who still has sight notices a key on the back of his sightless adversary's neck. He thinks this key may release the lock which holds his end of the chain. He notices some conveniently provided weapons, and realizes what he must do to free himself.
This trap is so frightening because it epitomizes helplessness. One of the victims can't see, while the other is completely aware of what is going on, but powerless to explain the situation. Should he simply kill, or rip his mouth open and try to get them both out alive? As Jigsaw would say, the choice is his.
Story by Jose Flores
Starpulse contributing writer