‘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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