‘Saw’ Movies: The Complete Guide in 6:66

Published 4 years ago by , Updated May 22nd, 2011 at 8:10 pm,

Saw Movies Complete Guide Saw Movies: The Complete Guide in 6:66

Since debuting on October 29, 2004, the Saw movies have become one of the most recognizable and successful franchises in modern-horror cinema, paving the way for the “torture-porn” horror genre.

While the initial film offered moviegoers one of the most original twists in movie history, the subsequent sequels have done little to mix-up the formula, instead relying on an increasingly violent set of gut-wrenching set-pieces that escalate the brutality and shock with each new installment.

The Saw movies, while still enjoyable as pre-Halloween horror entries, have become increasingly convoluted. As a result, the franchise peaked with Saw 2 (domestically) and Saw 3 (internationally) – and box office numbers have since been steadily decreasing. However, the franchise may have found new life amidst the buzz of 3D filmmaking by offering up Saw 3D to moviegoers on October 29, 2010 (exactly six years after the original). Just because Saw 3D (aka Saw 7) is reportedly the last film in the iconic franchise (though, don’t hold your breath for that), doesn’t mean that Jigsaw is going to go out with a whimper. Saw 3D could be the biggest Saw film to date.

In anticipation of Saw 3D, we’ve combed through the Saw franchise film stock, putting together a brief summary of each chapter – as well as our “Saw in 6:66″ feature video – in order to fill in the blanks for any fans who may have missed a movie or two (or all of them up to this point).

It goes without saying that this feature article will be FULL OF SPOILERS – detailing the over-arching story of each film, who the killers are, as well as who lives and who dies.

If you’ve already seen a few of the movies, feel free to skip ahead with the links below. Now that Saw 3D has been released (read our review), we’ve updated the guide with a full summary of the most recent film. However, in order to protect our un-spoiled readers, please refrain from Saw 3D spoilers in the comments of this guide. If you want to discuss Saw 3D, head over to our Saw 3D Spoilers (and Discussion) article:




Check out Screen Rant‘s “Saw movies in 6:66″ feature video (produced by Mike Eisenberg) which gives a quick overview of the series, then read on for the more detailed film-by-film summaries.

Warning! The video below contains graphic images as well as language and is definitely NSFW or younger audiences:


For the totally unindoctrinated, the Saw movie franchise revolves around the Jigsaw Killer (a.k.a. John Kramer), who tortures victims he believes are complacent or guilty, in order to make them appreciate their time on Earth. Jigsaw never murders anyone with his own hands, opting instead to force his victims to play “games” by placing them in brutal situations that can only be escaped after a tremendous amount of physical and/or psychological pain. The “inspiration” for Jigsaw’s killings came as a result of being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, the loss of an unborn child (Gideon), as well as a failed suicide attempt, which led Kramer to test other people’s will to live.

Saw 1 Movies Complete Guide Saw Movies: The Complete Guide in 6:66


Tagline: Every puzzle has its pieces
October 29, 2004

Summary: Adam Stanheight and Dr. Lawrence Gordon awaken inside a decaying washroom and discover a corpse with a gunshot wound to the head. The corpse is holding a cassette player in one hand, and each man quickly discovers a tape in his respective pocket. Adam has been tasked with escaping the bathroom and Lawrence has been instructed to kill Adam before 6pm. If Lawrence fails to kill Adam, Jigsaw will instruct Zep Hindle (who is also a victim of the game) to kill Lawrence’s wife (Alison) and daughter (Diana).

Thinking Lawrence might be Jigsaw, Ex-Detective David Tapp is monitoring the Gordon household after he became obsessed with Jigsaw following the death of his partner, as well as hearing the testimony of Amanda Young (Jigsaw’s only surviving victim). Tapp is able to rescue Alison and Diana before Zep can kill them, by shooting at Zep before chasing him underground. As the clock ticks closer to 6pm, Lawrence gets restless and, upon hearing Tapp’s gunshots on the other end of a cell phone call from Alison, grabs a hacksaw, cuts off his foot and shoots Adam.

Saw 1 Gordon Movies Guide Saw Movies: The Complete Guide in 6:66

Cary Elwes in a scene from the first 'Saw' movie

Zep enters the bathroom where Lawrence and Adam are being held and is beaten to death by Adam, who survived the gunshot. Shortly thereafter, Lawrence crawls out of the open door promising to help Adam. The “corpse” in the room rises (revealing Jigsaw was with them the entire time) and walks out of the room, leaving Adam behind to die.

Note: While Detective Tapp survives the events of Saw, he later commits suicide in the “Freedom” ending of the official tie-in, Saw: The Video Game. The alternate “Truth” ending to the game asserts that Tapp is sent to an asylum, having gone insane as a result of his experiences.

Primary Characters (Deceased = Strikethrough):

  • Jigsaw (Tobin Bell)
  • Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes)
  • Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell)
  • Zep Hindle (Michael Emerson)
  • Detective David Tapp (Danny Glover)
  • Alison Gordon (Monica Potter)
  • Diana Gordon (Makenzie Vega)
  • Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith)

Saw 2 Movies Complete Guide Saw Movies: The Complete Guide in 6:66

Saw 2

Tagline: Oh yes… There Will Be Blood
October 28, 2005

Summary: Detectives Eric Matthews and Allison Kerry, as well as Sergeant Rigg, discover an extremely sick John Kramer (aka Jigsaw) at an abandoned mill. Kramer points-out video monitors revealing eight people including Amanda Young as well as Matthews’ son, Daniel, trapped inside a house. According to Kramer, the group has two hours to escape before the house fills with nerve gas – killing everyone inside. However, Kramer promises that if Matthews will sit and talk with him, the detective will get to see his son “safe.” In order to buy time for the police, who are attempting to trace the video feed, Matthews agrees.

Inside the house, one of the victims, Xavier, realizes that each of the victims has a number on the back of their neck and begins hunting the other occupants in order to discover their numbers, which Xavier assumes represent the combination to a safe that contains a key to his escape. The victims are killed off in a variety of ways – by accident, at Xavier’s hand, or in desperate attempts to reach freedom – until only Daniel, Amanda, and Xavier remain. When Xavier comes for Daniel and Amanda, Daniel kills him with a hacksaw.

Saw 2 Xavier Movies Guide Saw Movies: The Complete Guide in 6:66

A scene from 'Saw 2'

Back at the mill, Matthews sees Xavier advancing toward Daniel and forces Kramer to take him to the house. The two escape by way of an elevator platform Kramer has been sitting on the whole time. Once at the house, Matthews is attacked by Amanda Young, who is revealed as Jigsaw’s protege. Amanda locks Mattehews in the same bathroom where Dr. Gordon and Adam Stanheight were held captive in the first film, and it’s revealed that the events on the video occurred hours before; at the same time, a safe at the mill opens – revealing Daniel Matthews alive and unharmed.

Primary Characters (Deceased = Strikethrough):

  • John Kramer (Tobin Bell)
  • Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg)
  • Allison Kerry (Dina Meyer)
  • Sergeant Rigg (Lyriq Bent)
  • Daniel Matthews (Erik Knudsen)
  • Xavier(Franky G)
  • Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith)

Continue to Saw 3 and Saw 4

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TAGS: Saw, Saw 3d
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  1. Will screenrant be doing a review of Saw 3D?

    • Yep.

      • Yay! I noticed there was only a review for the original so I was just making sure :)

        Will you (Kofi Outlaw) be reviewing it?

        • Don’t know about myself but one of the equally talented and good-looking SR Reviewers will ;-)

          • haha. Nice :D

            As long as it’s someone good-looking

            • foopher -

              Sounds like I’ll be reviewing it – as well as updating the guide with the new info ;)

              • Alright!

                Just out of curiosity, what’s your opinion of the series this far…?

                • Watching them back-to-back for the guide definitely gave me a better appreciation for the connections that they’re making in the franchise. Though, I remember (with a year in between each installment) feeling like the series was really convoluted.

                  The genre can be a little intense for my horror tastes but they’ve certainly got some great twists – and a pretty interesting premise (the game/will to live angle).

                  The first Saw is one of my favorite twists/concepts of all time.

                  • I cant wait for your review :D

                  • Mine too :)

  2. I cant wait for saw 7!

  3. If I could get past the possible viewing of too much torture gore, I would be tempted to watch all these in one sitting just to see how it all ties together but alas, I can’t stomach grusome horror flicks.

    • They do get pretty gross. But they do all tie together and haven’t gotten ridiculous like most horror franchises (Jason takes Manhattan??)

  4. By far the best Saw moment was the twist in the first movie revealing that Jigsaw was in the room the entire time. I don’t know anyone who saw that coming. They’ll never be able to surprise use like that again. But I’m still looking forward to seeing the last one and reading the SR review.

    • I don’t know. I was completely shocked after watching the first one. BUT, while the second one wasn’t that great all together, I do think the ending of Saw II was even more of a shock than the first one.

      That’s what I really like about the Saw films, the endings always twist it all around. You never see it coming. Can’t wait for Friday! (Or whenever I get around to see it :) )

    • I really loved the surprise in Saw 1 as well. Definitely ranks as one of the greatest twists of all time. In reality, it’s kind of ridiculous but, in the moment, I agree – no one saw it coming.

  5. i enjoy all the saw movies. they once talked of plans to do 9 of them and tie everything up in part 9. too bad box office receipts and hollywood big wigs control creativity in the movies. they do a great job with rebuilding the sets and tieing up loose ends in the saw movies.

  6. I recently saw saw6 and i liked it! The only one i havent seen is saw 5…

    • I’ll warn you, it’s not the greatest. But you do have to watch it to know what the heck is going on. haha

      • eh,i get it pretty much already…

        • Oh no my friend… You haven’t got it… YOU HAVEN’T!!!


          • LOL well ill get to it sooner or later

  7. I am anxious to see how everything ties together in Saw 7. Also can’t wait to see how Dr. Gordan is reintroduced. I’m also wondering whatever happened to detective Matthew’s son fom Saw 2. Also at the end of Saw 6′s credits it shows Amanda talking to Jeff’s daughter through a door telling her not to trust the one who saved her. (Hoffman) I hope they deal with these two things in Saw7. I’ve looked at the Saw movies as one big puzzle. Each one is a piece and in the final film all the pieces come together to give us “the big picture”.

  8. Really it’s a complete guide in 7:06. Just sayin’

    • But where’s the fun in that? ;)

  9. i don’t get it who were the… (Spoilers)?

    • Robert – I’ve edited your comment in order to remove spoilers for Saw 3D (to protect viewers who haven’t seen the film yet). Comments in this thread should be limited to Saw 1-6. Please ask Saw 3D questions in our spoiler thread – http://screenrant.com/saw-3d-spoilers-benk-85114/

    • PS: This question has officially been addressed in the Spoiler article now.

  10. In one of the movies of Saw…they go back to the dreaded bathroom seen and you see the decaying corpse of the kid that was chained to the wall. When they were walking down the hall to the bathroom you see the body of Dr. Gorden decaying so how the hell is he back in the last movie?

    • Maybe it was Zep? Who was also killed in/around the bathroom in the first Saw. Or, it could be someone else entirely.

      It’s also possible it’s just a continuity problem (they probably didn’t expect Cary Elwes to return after Saw).

      • Its adam

  11. In the last installment, does it really clarify that Bobby Dagen dies? Did I miss this during the end of the movie? Please let me know if anyone has any insight on this because if he did not die, then how can the series end?

    • I dont think so..

      • You don’t think he died either, I wasn’t sure with your comment….

        • Tamara

          Bobby does NOT die it says so on the “saw 3D spoilers” thread.

  12. Like I said when we were doing interviews – just tell Carey Elwes to just freaking admit he’s the one.

    Glad I saved my money…ever since Saw 4 :-P

  13. You lost me at Saw 4.

    Why is that guy a Jigsaw Apprentice?

    • watch saw 5.

      ’nuff said.

  14. After reading this, I would like to watch the movies, but I don’t want to fill my head with all the blood gore and violence, If they could make it a PG movie (swearing is allowed, and off screen splatter, but nothing directly on screen) then I’d consider watching it. Pity, such a good plot hook twist concept, has to be spoiled by such filth.

  15. Here’s my problem. innocent people don’t usually die. like-technically, in Saw The little girl and the mom live. Okay, that was fine. The unsurane adjuster guy was killed as a result of his activities. And Hoffman’s games suck because he doesn’t give anyone a real chance–I have issue with Dagen’s wife getting incinerated–That seems the most utterly unfair aspect of that one. His other friends were complicitly complicit in the lie–she was an utter vicitim, and if Cary Elwes orchestrated that game, that seems unlike his character.

    Thats the problem i have with the last one. Jill Tuck’s behavior concerned me, because I was unsure how much she had to do with the situation, Hoffman saying she knew, seems to smack of hypocracy.

    The Good cops all seems to suffer for no reason too. John does seem to not want to hurt the innocent.. Hoffman doesn’t care and from what I can remember, Amanda really was a true disciple, she was just manipulated by Hoffman.

  16. just as few things- at the bottom of your “who died” list under saw 3 you said agent kerry was still alive…she died in saw 3, they just found her body in saw 4. also, when talking about agent strohm and the glass box he must enter right before the room closes in around him, you said that kramers voice was on the recorder, when really if you listen its hoffmans voice. just helpful pointers

  17. Can anytone tell me how come kramer is still in one piece after the autopsie ,when they find him in saw Iv.

  18. Saw 3D ends with dr. Gordon locking away Hoffman. Is that a cliffhanger or is that how it’s supposed to end?

  19. i loved the whole summeries but i have a question that wasent answered……………………..ummmmmm did jigsaw or john really dies when they slashed his troath and how did hoffman know about dr.gordon………..please answer them…thank you

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