Are the Saw Movie Death Scenes Real?

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Scary Movies and Series

Could the Saw Movie Deaths Happen in Real Life?

The Truth About the Saw Traps [Saw Movie Facts]

The Saw movies are incredibly innovative and realistic in presentation. The death scenes may be insanely cruel, but they are also super scary as the audience is able to imagine these traps existing in real life.  As sophisticated as the traps may be, their designs are crude and the audience can usually relate to the components and parts within the contraptions, making them much scarier.  But what is the truth about the Saw movie deaths? Would people actually die in the Saw traps if they suffered them in real life? Would the Saw traps hold up in a real torture house and could the Saw movie deaths actually happen in real life? Were the scenes based on a real life Jigsaw like killer?

Would the Saw Traps Work in Real Life?

Would Jigsaw’s traps actually work in real life? Horror Enthusiast has decided to investigate the traps a little more closely in order to find any plot holes or weak links which may have allowed the victims to easily escape their fate without losing their lives so quickly.

The Timer

A lot of Jigsaw’s traps are timed. In the Saw movies, it is important to time the traps, as the movie only lasts but so long. In real life, a timer would not always be necessary. However, following the same basic foundation of involving a timer that activates a trap’s killing feature if the victim does not overcome the situation, is possible.  Timers are notoriously used by really bad people for really bad things (i.e. bombs), but also for really great people for really great things (i.e. Mom’s good old Thanksgiving turkey). 

Wiring a timer into a trap is most certainly possible.  Unfortunately it would require a MacGyver or a special agent to be able to stop the timer, and even then the chances would likely be slim due to the restrains and anti-tamper mechanisms which could be present.

Body Mutilation

A lot of Jigsaw’s traps involve body mutilation. Sometimes Jigsaw has cut into someone, hid an item inside and sewn them back up. Other times the victim is required to chop off parts of themselves in order to “make weight” to survive.  Regardless of how its done, body mutilation is a regular theme throughout the Saw franchise.  The idea of requiring weight on a scale and only having your own body and a saw present is a chilling concept. 

Requiring body mutilation and/or mutilating a victims body before or during a Saw trap is absolutely possible.  In the event there is a scale that is accessible, it may be possible to trick it, though the traps typically ensure no tomfoolery goes down.  If a key has been implanted behind your eye…you’re pretty much in trouble.

Poison Gas

Many victims have been poisoned. Poison gas is quite simple to work into a trap and is extremely realistic.  In fact, it would be very easy to create a toxic air within a confined space.  Poison gas is essentially used as a timer throughout the entire second movie, Saw II (2005). Unfortunately, it most certainly is possible to find a real life Jigsaw trap house that is rigged up with poison gas.

Poison gas is a really hard adversary to beat. Firstly, it would have to be detectable and a lot of gas used for poisoning can be odorless. Secondly, it requires a chemical respirator.  It is not possible to simply hold one’s shirtsleeve up to their mouth…as the poison particles will fit through the cloth fiber just as easily as oxygen.  Finally, as time progresses, the body weakens when poisoned, so by the time a victim realizes what is happening their motor skills and reasoning ability is on the decline.

Trap Mechanics

A lot of the traps involve actually locking the victim into place, or locking the trap into place on the victim.  These scenarios make it extremely hard for the victims to be able to fully comprehend their scenario, including who else is in the room or who could be involved.  The traps are absolutely possible in real life, and the mechanics in the movie could definitely be replicated, thus, the horror is real (unlike say, a supernatural horror movie villain). It is very difficult to think about anything other than escaping and there is typically a scary doll or voice telling you that you are about to die because you are a bad person.  

The likelihood of escaping a trap due to faulty mechanics, are poor. The mechanical capability of the trap would depend upon the trap designer, however, it is definitely possible to conceive both, simpler and more complicated traps of the similar sort seen in the Saw movies. In fact, the realistic nature of the traps, make the Saw movies some of the scariest of the horror movie franchises.

Final Words About the Saw Traps

Art of a scene from the saw horror movie series

No matter whether a victim could have survived a Saw trap in real life or not, all of the traps seen in the movies are most certainly dangerous. And they all appear to be very well designed, and quite realistic. The danger experienced in these traps is absolutely life threatening in almost all circumstances, the traps even appearing highly intellectual in design and being extremely functional in operation. Ultimately, the Saw traps are extremely dangerous and no one should tread lightly if attempting to survive a Saw movie.

Do you think you have what it takes?

Could Saw Happen in Real Life?

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Scary Movies and Series

What If There Were a REAL Jigsaw Killer?

John Kramer was diagnosed with terminal, inoperable cancer and becomes a ruthless serial killer by name Jigsaw.  Jigsaw targets those who have not appreciated their own life, or have somehow neglected the common gifts of life and living that John Kramer has realized he is being denied. The victims of a Jigsaw death in any of the Saw movies suffer incredible pain through insanely creative mechanical traps and torture devices. The victims experience unimaginable agony as they are forced to sacrifice comfort, blood and often body parts in order to survive.  Could there be a real life Jigsaw killer? Could any human being put another through the traps and torture available throughout the horror flicks? Let’s break down what a real Jigsaw killer might be like and go from there!

What Would a Real Jigsaw Killer Look Like?

John Kramer is an elderly man, and thus has had the luxury of experiencing a near-full life. Because he has recently been diagnosed with a terminal cancer, the audience finds reason to feel sympathy for him. Similarly, John is able to have sympathy for himself given his predicament.  Because he is terminally ill and so incredibly talented in his killings, it is likely a real life Jigsaw killer would be older as well…well-learned and skilled in a mechanical trade.  While a real life Jigsaw may not necessarily be elderly, he or she most likely would be terminally ill like John Kramer.

Horror Enthusiast speculates it would require an extreme change in someone’s life, leaving them feeling broken and unable to fix themselves, in order to spawn a killer that is this sadistic in trap and torture.  Having a terminal illness (or a similar tragedy such as losing a spouse or child) also provides the self-justification necessary to proceed with the sadistic plot.

Furthermore, a real life Jigsaw killer would likely be wealthy, having done well for themselves working their way up the ladder or inheriting some degree of wealth.  This is a suggested necessary asset of a real life Jigsaw killer due to the expensive devices and traps, as well as the time needed to create such contraptions and plans.  Although it is arguable that a completely broke individual could devise and proceed with a real life string of Saw-like killings, it would most certainly be easier to accomplish with a sizable bankroll.

How Would a Real Jigsaw Killer Kill?

how would a saw murder happen

Almost everyone, whether a fan or not, has seen at least part of one Saw movie.  Whether being dragged to a movie one time, catching a glimpse while a sibling is watching it on an airplane, or becoming a full-time Saw fan and movie-addict, almost everyone knows how the death scenes go down in the Saw franchise.  Lots of blood. Lots of gore. Lots of bodies.

But more important than ridiculous pools of blood all over the movies, is the amount of metal seen in throughout the films. Metal is everywhere.  The characters are normally kidnapped and transported to a new location where they are trapped by metal barricades, doors and hatches which almost never open.  They are then forced to remove one of many devices on their body, remove an item from their body, remove parts of their body, or otherwise push themselves through immense physical pain in order to escape.  The amount of metal used in the Saw films is astronomical. It is important in trapping the victim, retaining the victim as a prisoner, and in brutally forcing the victim to kill themselves. There is no end to the cruelty these traps may employ.

A real life Jigsaw killer would be skilled in mechanical engineering, structural engineering, medicine and sciences (specifically anatomy, biology, chemistry, and physics), as well as a number of other necessities.  It would be helpful to understand electricity, psychology, and basic survival techniques, in order to devise the most creative and sadistic traps which understand a human’s thought process and their anticipated reactions to the traps.  Abandoned buildings or rooms would be required and rigged in a way to kill, only to be found at a later date (no clean up necessary). 

How Would a Real Life Jigsaw Choose His or Her Victims?

Most of his victims lack the knowledge of things one learns in a longer lifespan, thus not having the same opportunity as Jigsaw to right their own wrongs.  This unsympathetic approach is interesting given John has been diagnosed with a cancer that is killing him.  It could be speculated this is the exact reason he chooses his victims: he has no control over his fate and his life is ending, therefore develops natural disdain towards those who choose to end their life through self-abuse and self-neglect.

In the Saw movies, the youngest victim Jigsaw has targeted was a teenager (who ultimately survived).  Usually, however, Jigsaw chooses victims in their 20s, 30s or 40s. This is probably because they are more interesting to see on screen…however, in real life, a Jigsaw copycat would probably have no problem widening the range to all ages.

Have There Been Any Real Murders Like From the Saw Movies?

Yes, there have absolutely been some real life murders which resemble those from the Saw movies.  There are killers who have been inspired by the films.  There are also conspiracies to recreate many of the Saw movie scenes which were foiled before they could be hatched. There have even been rashes of prank phone calls mimicking the voice of Jigsaw.

Check out Is There a Real Killer Like Jigsaw from Saw to read about some Saw-inspired crime!

Final Words About a Real Life Jigsaw

real john kramer

Although there has not been a real life John Kramer who even remotely closely compares to the fictional serial killer, there are most definitely Saw inspired deaths.  There are also infinite possibilities and combinations for human creativity, mechanical traps, and devious plots. A real life John Kramer, Jigsaw killer is most definitely possible. A real life “Saw” is absolutely possible. History and countless murder files show that there is no limit to human cruelty. Fortunately, however, society has been spared from suffering the fate of an actual Saw movie…except for the minimal inspiration of a murder or two here and there anyway.

History and Making of the 1st Saw Movie

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Featured Scary Movies and Series

How Did the Saw Creators Feel About the Movie?

The original Saw movie is a horror genre masterpiece…a landmark film in all things horror.  In fact, Saw (2004) altered the course of horror movie history by using innovation to revamp the sub-genre of torture and traps.  Screenwriter and Leigh Whannell and director James Wan may have succeeded in turning a low budget film into a box office hit, but they started out as friends who met at film school. The two started out learning how to make films together and showcasing their small pieces in the same classrooms.  So what did James and Leigh think about how large and behemoth the Saw franchise has gotten? When they reflect, how do they feel about the terror they have spawned?

Horror Enthusiast has dug through a number of interviews to determine the original creators consensus on the Saw franchise.

The Inspiration for Working on a Project Together

After James showed a short film in a movie class, “Zombie Apocalypse,” Leigh approached him about his shared interest in horror movies, and they became friends.  Leigh took note that the rest of the school felt they were “above” or “better than” the horror genre, which probably strengthened their bond.  A few years down the road, post-film school graduation and living in poverty, they decided to build a movie for $5,000 that would be shot inside a single room with only 2 people.  James explained that it was difficult to work jobs they did not enjoy to get by, but that they waited for years before finally coming up with the right idea they could film in their own home or backyard. 

The movie Saw was more than 2 guys in a room trying to figure out how they got there and how to get out.  The movie was about following in the footsteps of self-made directors and success stories, people like ‘Kevin Smith  and Robert Rodriguez, two of their heroes.  James explained that they had several ideas over the years, both of them, but that they were very hard on one another and constantly rejected each idea. They even almost made a movie about nightmares, as well as about astral projection.

Paving the Path

Saw horror movie character drawing

After they finally came up with the idea, there was a lot to come up with to get their dream into motion.  They already determined the movie would focus around the story of two guys in a room with a dead body, a gun and a tape recorder; and they already determined the twist which is the end of the movie and the saw traps would be critical. The parts that were missing were the guts of the movie…the stuff that happened in between.  Leigh took over this part, and wrote a killer script.  James worried heavily about producers belief in him as a director, so he insisted they shoot a short scene on their own money, which James admits is mostly Leigh’s money at the time. And then the two of them wind up impressing everyone with their shoestring budget clip that is the birth of “Saw.”

What the Creators Wanted From Saw

The objective of Saw was not to create or otherwise contribute to a “torture porn” genre of horror. The goal when James and Leigh set out to write Saw, to get funded, and to direct and produce Saw, was not to create critics (although all movies do). The original creators of Saw wanted to prove themselves. They wanted to make a big movie, but realized after getting out of film school that money is required to make a big movie. So they found a way to prove themselves anyway.  To show that they could direct, that they could write, that they could even act if necessary, and that they could make a film that was great even with their own money. They wanted to make a big Hollywood movie.

The creators look back and consider Saw a “rough around the edges” project, something that was shot in too little time and without enough scenes. They look back and compare it to other horror movie franchises that are loved by fans around the world, franchises like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. They look back and realize how life changing it has been for them, but also how life changing it has been for others who enjoy the franchise.  The Saw franchise has an entire cult of fans who love every movie…and it all began with the first…two guys in a room. 

True Saw Fans

Saw (2004) is one of the most original and truly scary horror scenarios in any horror movie. In fact, it deserves an award for creating an original and terrifying situation and story line.  The directing is on point and the acting is awesome! Considering the budget these guys were working on and the fact the entire movie was shot in just 18 days, it is amazing that it was able to become a blockbuster hit and instant masterpiece!  This movie was a wildly successful film both at the box office and in generating a huge cult fan-base who have continued to enjoy the franchise for more than a decade!

How Much Did Tobin Bell Get Paid For Saw?

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Scary Movies and Series

How Much Money Did Tobin Bell Make For Each Saw Movie?

The infamous laugh of Jigsaw was not Tobin Bell’s only contribution to the Saw movies.  Saw would never be what it is today if it weren’t for the iconic voice and judgmental nature of Tobin’s John Kramer. His mere presence on-screen today is chilling and creates a curious, yet still scary tone. This meticulous actor has a movement about his physical nature that fits the Jigsaw killer’s character. The way Tobin speaks, his delays, and his piercing eyes make him one of the most interesting and entertaining horror movie slashers of all time.  But what did they actually pay Tobin Bell for his role in the Saw films?

Tobin Bell’s Saw Movie Salaries

Tobin Bell’s performance as Jigsaw, the horror movie killer in the Saw franchise, is absolutely jaw-dropping (pun intended).  He has received great reward for his fantastic performances, evident by the suspected salaries he has raked in!

The first movie was extremely low budget. The role of the Jigsaw killer required 14 days of laying on the floor. It was cold, dirty, grungy, and difficult, but Tobin insisted on doing it himself without a double or fake body to substitute for him. While it is speculated he did not make that much, monetarily, from this film…he is most definitely profiting in the form of a full blown successful career as Jigsaw.

In Saw II (2005), the production budget was five times larger than the first movie, at $5,000,000 and it made far more than the first movie.  The second film in the franchise probably meant much more for Tobin. Maybe even earning a percentage rather than a flat rate.

Saw III’s budget also went up, doubling the previous movie’s budget and probably dishing out more percentage earnings Tobin than the previous movie.  While it did not perform as well as the second movie, it still greatly outdid the original again and likely earned Tobin a huge reward.

The fourth Saw movie is where the franchise’s earnings begin to decline.  Despite the budgets still all being around $10,000,00 (with an exception of a $17 million budget for Saw 3D in 2010), all of the rest of the movies in the franchise did pretty poorly at the box office when compared to the first few films.  Still, Tobin was probably one of their greatest expenses (if not the greatest expense).  Whether these remaining films earned the producers as much as they would have liked or not, they probably earned Tobin an absolute ton!

All this and also being the smartest horror movie slasher of all time? Not so bad, Tobin!

What Did the Actors Make in the Saw Movies?

Tobin Bell may have earned the most out of any of the actors in the Saw franchise, however, he was not the only cast member to bank! Some of the other top paid Saw actors and actresses may have included the following cast members.

Donnie Wahlberg

One of the Wahlberg brothers likely made a killer in Saw II (2005).  He was one of the primary stars and brought a well-known, already famous face to the Saw sequel.  He also starred in one the best performing movies of them all (Saw II made the most in the United States of all the films, while it made second most worldwide, next to the third movie).  He even returns for some fun in the third film!

Shawnee Smith

saw movie

Smith started out in the original Saw movie alongside Tobin Bell…however, she made a centerstage appearance with a lead role in the second, third and sixth movies.  She also reprised her role via archived footage in the fourth movie.  Her heavy involvement and familiar face throughout the Saw movies gives credence to her being one of the top benefactors of the Saw films.

Costas Mandylor

Playing the role of Mark Hoffman in Saw IV (2007), Costas may not have made so much. However, it is speculated that he made a pretty penny being able to reprise this role in the subsequent Saw V (2008), Saw VI (2009) and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010) movies.

Scott Patterson

Patterson played Agent Peter Strahm in the Saw movies, starting in Saw IV (2007). He then reprised his role in Saw V (2008), probably making a ton!

Betsy Russell

Like her costar Costas Mandylor and Scott Patterson, Betsy started out in Saw IV (2007) and played the role of Jill Tuck.  She then returned for Saw V (2008), Saw VI (2009), and Saw 3D (2010), more than likely earning a lot more for the later films.

Cary Elwes

Cary as Dr. Gordon

Cary Elwes played Dr Gordon in the first Saw movie.  Dr Gordon then returned for Saw 3D: The Final Chapter to be explained as an accomplice to Jigsaw.  Elwes most likely got paid A LOT more for this role reprisal.

Saw Salaries: Final Notes

Saw (2004) was a box office hit and launched many careers.  However, Saw did not start out the high-paying household name in horror that it is today, and it started out extremely low budget. Still, it was pivotal for director James Wan (his first feature film as a director), and also for Tobin Bell, Jigsaw himself.  Tobin Bell was an awesome Jigsaw killer and without his involvement in the Saw movies, it is questionable as to how much the franchise could have grown!

Check out some surprising facts about the Saw movies and learn some more about how Saw was made!

How to Survive a Saw Movie

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Scary Movies and Series

Is It Possible to Survive a Saw Movie?

Jigsaw is a very crafty, extremely intelligent horror slasher. While he believes his intentions are just and for the greater good, he is ultimately responsible for many victims. The fact of the matter is: most victims do not survive Jigsaw and his Saw movie traps.  Many Saw fans wonder, however, how would one survive a Jigsaw torture trap or Saw movie? Is surviving a Saw movie even possible?

Horror Enthusiast has plunged into the Saw franchise in an attempt to identify and classify the greatest threats in a Saw film.

Threats Found in a Saw Movie

Although there are a multitude of unique and creative threats throughout the Saw movies, some of the greatest threats can be easily identified and outlined.  A horror fan can use this guide to survive a Saw movie or Jigsaw trap house!

The Traps

The most obvious threats in a Jigsaw house or Saw movie are the traps.  Jigsaw is a highly skilled mechanical engineer who is able to create the most intimidating (and deadly) traps of all time.  Jigsaw uses all types of mechanisms and gadgets to force his victims to take action or lose their lives.  Jigsaw is famous for “giving his victims a chance to live,” even calling it “a game;” However, most of his victims will tell you (the very few who have survived) that it is not a game and it is not very fun.  The traps are oftentimes custom-made to match the victim and their atrocities.

In order to survive a Jigsaw trap or a trap from a Saw movie, you have to be willing to shed some blood and possibly lose a limb or other important part of your body (an eye, fingers, your stomach, etc).

Bleeding Out

Even if a Jigsaw victim makes it out of a trap, they are still frequently left in no condition to retrieve help…and violently bleeding out.  Sometimes, they die trying to get help after literally cutting off a limb. Other times they sever parts of their body to beat a Jigsaw game only to still fail and bleed out.  Because most of the traps involve sharp metal or torture devices meant to inflict pain, people typically bleed a lot and thus bleeding out becomes a grave concern when trying to survive a Saw movie.

To ensure you do not lose too much blood after getting out of a Saw trap, be sure to issue first aid…cauterize when necessary and possible.

Psychological Madness

A lot of people panic almost right away when waking up into a Saw trap.  This panic is a ‘fight or flight’ response and releases a lot of adrenaline.  The adrenaline can be useful in survival, but ultimately may cloud the victim’s judgment and thinking process. There is also some serious psychological torment in explaining to someone that they must torture themselves.  Unfortunately, many of Jigsaw’s traps require a steady hand and clear head to successfully accomplish.

Beating a Jigsaw trap requires patience and smooth thinking in what limited time remains, therefore, maintaining your sanity is important in surviving a Saw movie.

The Location

Not every Saw game is created equally.  Some games are set in a single, tiny room…while other times elaborate trap houses are setup by Jigsaw. While the actual size of the location makes a huge difference, it is important to remember that other factors may be at play as well.  Seeing as the victims cannot usually escape unless they beat the game, they are often met with many reasons to WANT to leave. In Saw II, for example, the house is filled with poisonous gas.

Surviving a Saw movie means being aware of your environment and remembering that typically nothing is what it seems!

The Timing

Some games are more time-sensitive than others.  There are smaller, faster-paced games that give the victim only a few moments to live after waking up from their abduction and playing a tape.  And then there are longer games that can keep a group of 5 or 6 people active for the entire duration of a movie.  Depending upon the time given for survival, a victim may be more or less likely to consider all of their options for a Jigsaw game victory.

In order to survive a Jigsaw trap, it is important to identify how much time you have been given, and the best way to spend the time you have left!

Other Game Players

A lot of the “games” Jigsaw plays involve more than one player. It is often times quite hypocritical…as on the one hand he is trying to “give the players a chance to live” but on the other hand, they are forced to compete with one another (assuring a loser dies).  Since the players are often in a competition-style environment, they are almost always a threat to one another, whether immediately, eventually, directly, indirectly, or discreetly. Sometimes (like in Saw II for example), the players kill each other.

Having social skills and always watching your back is a priority when stuck in a Jigsaw Trap House or Saw movie!

Tetanus

jigsaw movie how to get out alive painting of a man facing a spinning saw

Although most people these days have their Tetanus shot, a Jigsaw house would be a NIGHTMARE for anyone who has not been vaccinated. So much metal, especially salvaged junk are used in Jigsaw’s traps.  Additionally, the places he chooses to manifest his crimes are typically less than sanitary environments.

Make sure you always have your Tetanus shot prior to being abducted by Jigsaw or participating in a Saw movie!

Final Notes: Getting Out of a Saw Movie Alive

Remembering to identify the threats is key in surviving a Saw movie.  Depending upon the type of trap, the location, the other players involved and several other facts…a player may be able to overcome a trap and ultimately survive. Still, Jigsaw is one of the deadliest horror movie killers and the traps are oftentimes custom designed for the victims. Entering a trap house designed by Jigsaw does not provide very good probability of survival for anyone. 

Most people who wind up in a Jigsaw trap will not make it out.