“Saw” made waves after its Sundance Film Festival premiere in 2004, gaining recognition for its shocking narrative detours and grisly, “Se7en”-esque filmmaking style. After earning over $103 million at the box office (on a $1.2 million budget), sequels inevitably followed, and “Saw” quickly became a Halloween tradition for the next six years. Every sequel expands in scale and spectacle, and watching them in their original release order allows you to see that clever (and crazy) build-up of storytelling. Here is the entire “Saw” series in release order:
- “Saw” (2004)
- “Saw II” (2005)
- “Saw III” (2006)
- “Saw IV” (2007)
- “Saw V” (2008)
- “Saw VI” (2009)
- “Saw 3D” (Also known as “Saw: The Final Chapter”) (2010)
- “Jigsaw” (2017)
- “Spiral: From the Book of Saw” (2021)
- “Saw X” (2023)
Touted as “The Final Chapter,” the seventh installment of the “Saw” series appeared to be the end of the franchise, especially because it provides answers to some long-awaited questions. Nearly a decade later, the franchise made a not-so-triumphant return with “Jigsaw.” The film has sleek visuals but a lackluster story, yet it marks a fresh phase in “Saw” storytelling that expands beyond the central character of Jigsaw to explore his enduring legacy. “Saw X” has been the most successful entry, garnering critical acclaim for maintaining its torture porn roots while infusing the narrative with an emotional gravitas that reveals the humanistic side of Tobin Bell’s John Kramer character.
While all of these films go back and forth between timelines, such as “Saw X” technically taking place in the past between “Saw I” and “Saw II,” watching them in release order makes everything easier to follow — even when the twists are baffling.