Top 5 Saw Traps From the Horror Movie Franchise
The Saw franchise revolutionized the horror franchise in more ways that anyone could’ve imagined. Think of a much darker version of the Canadian science fiction horror film series Cube, but instead of the fantastical and mysterious world of the cube, Saw invites you into the depravity of the world and features more gore, savage brutality and a diabolical villain, Jigsaw, who creates his game or “tests”. With Spiral being the ninth installment of the Saw franchise, let’s take a look at some of the most memorable, agonizing and psychologically torturing traps that this buckets of blood franchise has given us. Note: we will not be including the traps where the victims are designed to lose or the traps that are deemed unsurvivable; such as the traps created by Amanda. So, here we go. Let’s count them down. Spoilers ahead and viewers discretion is advised!
The Reverse Bear Trap
Kicking off our list is the trap that gave us the first glimpse into the sheer horror and stress that this series would be known for and also was featured on the poster for the first film Saw. Imagine you wake up in an unknown location with hardly any memory of what happened to you and then you realize that something is attached to you face. It isn’t a mask and for some reason you have the taste of metal in your mouth. In the first film, Amanda awakens in such a scenario. With only a minute to find a key and unlock the device that is locked onto her head, Amanda has to act fast or she will die. The very idea of waking up only to find that a device is attached to you and will rip open your jaw, thus killing you is horrifying enough and the trap itself is one of the most iconic. Simple, effective and downright scary looking, the reverse bear trap is a staple of the Saw franchise and while it may not be the most brutal, its one that everyone remembers.
Death Mask aka Venus Fly Trap
Saw II had a substantially bigger budget this time around and anteed up on the gore factor. The movie opens with a trap, a common theme for the ensuing sequels, and Michael finds himself in a precarious situation. Billy the Puppet informs him that Michael has to find a key in order to unlock himself from the mask that will close killing him instantly. Since Michael is at a disadvantage here, Billy gives him a clue as to where the key is. It’s right in front of him! This trap is the least gory of the traps on this list but imagine the idea of placing anything near your eye. Your first instinct to look away and cringe if any object come close. All Michael has to do is to have the willpower to remove the key and unlock the mask. It’s a stressful situation to say the least but the idea of cutting on own’s eye is more than enough for most people to sit that one out. If anything else, it’s one way to open a horror movie and Saw II does it brilliantly.
The Glass Coffin
Agent Strahm was almost ready to blow the entire Jigsaw case wide open but his own eagerness got in the way, sort of like Daniel Rigg. If only he listened to the tape recorder in its entirety he could’ve been spared. The ending of Saw V showed the ending of Strahm in one of the most brutalist ways possible. Even though this rarely happens in real-life, we have had a dream of being trapped in a room that is closing in on you! With no way to escape and the walls closing in fast, Strahm realizes too late that the glass coffin was the one thing that could’ve saved him. Instead, he threw Hoffman into the coffin thinking he would be trapped until the cops arrived on the scene. Once he finishes the tape recording, the revelation comes full swing but only too late as the walls seal his fate leaving a bloody and gruesome mess as the film comes to a close. If you’re a claustrophobic person, then this sequence will sure leave you feeling uneasy.
This infamous torture device has secured its reputation throughout history as far back as Ancient Greece, according to some records, even though the it remains unclear which civilization designed or created this device. If people feared the rack, then I can only imagine what they would’ve thought if they took one look at The Rack in Saw III. In this horrifying moment in the movie, Jeff encounters the man who killed his son in a drunk driving accident. All Jeff has to do is reach for a key in order to save the man who is locked into position on the rack. Taking the key means taking a bullet as a shotgun is rigged to fire once the key is removed. Will Jeff take a bullet for his son’s killer? It’s a tough choice but the consequences for doing nothing are even worse for Timothy, the young man strapped to this machine. Similar to the real-life device that this trap is inspired by, instead of stretching the limbs of the victim, this one twists your arms, legs and lastly your neck until they are broken. Jeff has the chance to save his life, so it all falls on him. If you know Jeff, that you know he will take his sweet old time in dealing with anything. Dislocating your limbs is one thing but imagine them getting twisted to the point of be broken beyond repair. Just watching this sequence is painful enough, but to contemplate the severe pain that occurs is something that makes this scene one of the gruesome experiences in the franchise.
Saw VI is largely underrated and features a somewhat interesting plotline involving John Kramer (the Jigsaw Killer) going after the insurance company that denied his health coverage in regards to his cancer. This trap is unique in not only its design but the psychological trauma it inflicts on everyone involved. Six people ride the carousel but only two are allowed to get off. This involves William Easton, a health insurance executive who personally met with John Kramer years prior. William is pitted against his company’s policies and the ability to save whoever he can in the traps that he encounters. In the Shotgun Carousel sequence, six of his employees ride a carousel but a shotgun is designed to expel one round every time the carousel stops moving; it’s loaded with six rounds in total. William has to chance to save his employees by sticking both of his hands inside a device that will puncture his hands; a decision on who to save is symbolized by the blood on his hands. The agonizing reality of having someone’s fate is a powerful statement alone but watching someone die is terrible enough but imagine being one of the riders on that carousel. They are going through extreme fear and will do or say anything to ensure their own survival. It’s a clever design and speaks volume especially involving the debate regarding medical reform that was going when this film was released. In truth, Saw VI was the lowest grossing film in the franchise but actually had an engaging storyline to coincide with the traps that William was faced with.
What are your favorite Saw traps? What made you squirm with fear or had a dream that you had a tape recorder right beside you when you woke up? Let us know on Twitter @Topfivemust.