The 5 Most Horrendous Traps from the 'Saw' Franchise

Do you want to play a game?

Photo: Alexandro Bolaños Escamilla

BY Marriska FernandesPublished Sep 22, 2023

Horror fans love the Saw franchise, a series of 10 gore-filled horror films spanning 20 years, with the latest installment, Saw X, coming to theatres on September 29. Jigsaw, played by Tobin Bell, has become one of the most iconic horror villains in cinematic history, on par with Freddy Kreuger, Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees. And while Jigsaw's intentions are noble (sort of), his kills are creatively horrendous. 

The carefully crafted, complex traps set by Jigsaw serve as a test for victims who seem to be ungrateful for their lives — and that's what brings fans back to the franchise again and again. He believes everyone deserves an opportunity to redeem themselves, and he does so in the ways that makes each Saw movie a worthy watch. 

Before we settle in with our popcorn to watch limbs being sliced open yet again, it's only fitting that we take a look back at some of the most brutal and blood-soaked traps in the Saw franchise. Presses play on tape recorder: "Let's play a game…"

5. The Death Mask
Appears in: Saw II (2004), Saw III (2006) and Saw 3D (2010)

Also known as the Venus Fly Trap, this trap is designed to work like the iron maiden with a device attached around the neck. The metal mask is spiked with nails and has a timer attached to the device. If Michael Marks (Noam Jenkins) doesn't free himself within 60 seconds, the nails will impale his skull. The key to escape the trap was "right before your eyes," according to Jigsaw. In reality, it was surgically placed right behind his eye, forcing him to pluck his own eyeball out to retrieve the key. This one was hard to stomach — performing surgery on oneself is never pleasant to watch.

4. Angel Trap
Appears in: Saw III (2006)

Detective Allison Kerry (Dina Meyer) wakes up to find herself harnessed a few feet above the ground with rods and spikes pierced into her rib cage. The only way out is to get the key that's tossed in a jar of acid. Needless to say, fans will long remember watching the excruciating trap culminate in her ribs being ripped wide open.

3. Reverse Bear Trap 
Appears in: Saw (2004)

One of the most iconic traps that occurs more than once in the franchise, the Reverse Bear Trap serves as a source of nostalgia for fans. Going back to the first instalment, franchise MVP Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith) is seen wearing a massive device on her head known as the Reverse Bear Trap. Springing open instead of closing shut, this horrific apparatus re-appears in Saw 3D, when Jigsaw's wife finds it attached to her head. Once the timer goes off, her mouth is hideously ripped apart. 

2. Needle Pit
Appears in: Saw II (2004)

Slicing and dicing limbs might not be something everyone can relate to, but the idea of falling into a pit of needles feels so visceral, the Needle Pit definitely stings. In Saw II, Amanda is thrown into a pit filled with hundreds of used syringes and the single key to save her somewhere amidst the refuse.  Watching her getting jabbed repeatedly lives rent-free in many Saw fans' minds. 

1. The Bathroom
Appears in: Saw (2004)

While not physically as torturous to watch, the first Saw film gave birth to the trauma that lingers from film to film and is one of the most original and clever plots ever written in the franchise. It's a deeply harrowing experience, as two strangers (Cary Elwes and Leigh Whannel) are locked in a bathroom and have over seven hours to decide whether to saw off their own feet in order to escape. It's a psychological torture as they contemplate this decision. It's also the iconic OG trap that fans have been holding onto for 20 years. 

Latest Coverage