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The 10 Best Games/Traps in the ‘Saw’ Franchise

It didn’t start out as torture porn. In fact, the first Saw film only contains a single sequence that could conceivably be labeled as such. But with its success came a slew of sequels, each one focusing on the splatterific ways the main villain—a dying man named Jigsaw—would pick off his preselected victims. Thus the new horror subgenre, and in part, the last legacy of James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s celebrated Sundance hit, Saw.

Coming out of nowhere to take the fright film society by storm, the efforts of these two talented Australians (with further developmental help from Parts Two through Four guide Darren Lynn Bouseman) became the benchmark for fear over the last 10 years. Dozens of movies, made in conjunction with the real gorno purveyor – Eli Roth’s Hostel -took inspiration from this taut, post-modern thriller and, soon, the masked slasher made way for a clever criminal, his (or her) disembodied voice, and a series of cruel, brutal games.

Actually, they’re moretraps” than anything else, ways for the main villain to test the l;ife and death mantle of those he’s targeted. In the first film, Wan and Whannell (who are, now, more famous for their reversion to old fashioned bloodless boo’s a la Insidious and The Conjuring) only offered a couple of these concepts. It was Darren Lynn Bouseman and his influence in the series that took it from a murderous mindgame to more and more gore-oriented contraptions. By the time the series was wrapping up, the motives behind Jigsaw’s revenge became murkier and murkier, while the splatter-ific games became quirkier and quirkier. With that in mind, and the 10th anniversary re-release of Saw to theaters this Halloween, we’ve come up with our Top 10 Traps in the series. Yes, there are more graphic and gruesome examples, but for some reason, these examples stuck with us. In many ways, they represent why Wan and Whannell’s baby remains so popular.

# 9 – The Ice Block Trap (Saw IV)

This is the finale for Saw IV, Darren Lynn Bouseman’s last gasp as Saw‘s main guide, and it’s a doozy. Basically, a series of frozen bricks are positioned around Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg), with a heater slowly melting the two holding him up. He’s also suspended around the neck by a rope and his head is placed in such a way that, if a door mechanism is triggered, two of the blocks come smashing together where his skull should be. The set-up is excellent and the tension palpable. Of course, the payoff proves that nothing in a Saw film satisfies better than blood.