How to Decide the Scariest Saw Movie of the Franchise?
The Jigsaw killer is almost always entertaining..some believe even based on a real killer. The facts remains true that there are traps, story lines and characters which are scarier than others throughout the various movies. Thus, there is naturally a ‘scariest Saw movie’ and a ‘least scariest Saw movie’ in the franchise. Determining the fear felt in a Saw movie boils down to a few important factors including:
- Could one imagine being in the victim’s shoes?
- Are the traps horrifying enough?
- Do many victims meet their certain demise?
- Is there enough pressure on the victims to be felt by the audience?
- Are other victims dangerous to the protagonist(s)?
- Is there any chance of survival?
- Is the environment also dangerous?
- Is the music and ambiance in the Saw movie scary enough?
These factors all make a difference in how scary a Saw movie is, as well as many other factors.
Jigsaw and Saw Movies Ranked In Order of ‘Most Scary’
There are nine Saw movies in the Franchise, including the latest Jigsaw (2017) movie, and the spinoff Spiral in 2021. With another Saw movie coming out soon it’s a good time to rank them in the order of “scariest.” Horror Enthusiast has ranked the movies from scariest to least scare factor as noted below…
#1 Scariest Saw Movie
As many Saw movies as there may have been, it is always hard to beat the innovative genius behind the original movie. Saw (2004) provides a psychological terror that had previously never been felt in the horror genre. There was a “what if it were me” kind of feel to the movie and the audience became extremely empathetic towards the victims. Because there were truly only two main characters, their story line could be involved, allowing the two men trapped in a room to slowly unravel the mystery. The entire movie was a test for these characters…whereas other movies feature many tests. Saw is ultimately the greatest psychological thriller of them all and firmly secures its rank as the scariest Saw movie of all time!
Saw II (2005)
The second scariest movie in the franchise is also the second movie. Saw II (2005) featured a poisonous house and super dangerous victims all responsible for coexisting and working together. The story line was so carefully sewn together as to keep the audience enthralled without overdoing it. With a regular flow of empathetic horror and the pure shock of perfectly timed, periodic deaths, Saw II solidly earns its place on the list! It was also the best performing Saw movie in the United States.
Jigsaw is underrated by fans. Critics are hard on this film probably due to prejudice of the previous film’s title and story line insinuating it would be the ‘final chapter’ in the franchise. The truth is, however, Jigsaw is plenty scary and showcases some pretty realistic acting. The mechanical engineering was believable and the ambiance was right to get pretty close to the fear felt in the second movie, Saw II (2005).
Saw III (2006)
The story continues in an entertaining fashion. The traps are still creative, the characters are still developed just enough without overdoing it and the audience remains captivated. As an added bonus, the movie also performed strongly at the box office too! This was the best performing Saw movie, at the international box office, and the second best performing Saw movie at the United States box office (next to Saw II).
Saw IV (2007)
Saw IV is the first movie in the franchise that starts to see a true drop in audience. It also becomes more about traps and the story line seems too in depth. Many fans seem to claim that they do not enjoy the story as much at all. Even with a good twist, it’s still not as scary as the better half of the franchise.
Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010)
No doubt that 3D movies are really cool. The special effects can be radical, however, 3D movies typically wind up being all about the visual effects and nothing more. The story line felt a little lacking and the emphasis truly was only on 3D effects, rather than the terror that can be found in a single well-designed trap. This movie was most expensive to produce and performed at the far low end of the Saw-revenue scale. Given most of it was not scary at all, it has also earned a solid 6th place on the scariest list!
Saw V (2008)
Saw V was okay, however, it drags the cast from the previous Saw movie through another grind and seems to underperform in all categories. It did not do as well at the box office as its prequels and it is far from scary. This movie ranks in at 7th scariest Saw movie in the series.
Saw VI (2009)
Saw VI feels like it is dragging on and the traps feel redundant. Most fans seem to care very little about the story line and this film greatly underperforms at the box office. That said, it ends up being more about the torture and less about the fear, making this the least scariest Saw movie in the franchise.
This spin-off features a new Jigsaw copycat killer who targets corrupt police officers. While it introduces fresh elements, it lacks the consistent scariness of the earlier films, focusing more on suspense and crime thriller elements.
The Best Saw Movie For Scares
The Saw movies never seem to lack luster and they are always innovative. It is never a bad decision to see a Saw movie. However, just like any other franchise and all competition: there is always a best and a worst. In the case of ‘Scariest Saw Movie Ever Made’, the original Saw movie takes the cake…hands down. The remaining Saw movies are wonderfully done in themselves, however, they are merely riding the tailcoats of the original masterpiece.
There is nothing like a good psychological scare like the one that lives in the original film.
Tritone’s love of horror and mystery began at a young age. Growing up in the 80’s he got to see some of the greatest horror movies play out in the best of venues, the drive-in theater. That’s when his obsession with the genre really began—but it wasn’t just the movies, it was the games, the books, the comics, and the lore behind it all that really ignited his obsession. Tritone is a published author and continues to write and write about horror whenever possible.