Top 10 Most Shocking Plot Twists in the Saw Movies
VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild
WRITTEN BY: Saim Cheeda
There are literally too many twists to count in this horror series. For this list, we'll be looking at the times where this horror-thriller series presented big-time reveals that fans didn't see coming. Our countdown includes "Saw", "Saw II", "Saw III", and more!
Top 10 Most Shocking Plot Twists in Saw
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Shocking Plot Twists in “Saw”.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the times where this horror-thriller series presented big-time reveals that fans didn’t see coming. Since we’re covering all the films in the series, here’s your spoiler alert!
Which “Saw” plot twist did you think changed the course of the series forever? Let us know in the comments below.
#10: The Trap Was the Way Out
“Saw V” (2008)
“Saw V” brought in Peter Strahm as its main protagonist. He’s an FBI agent who's smart enough to piece together that Mark Hoffman is Jigsaw's apprentice. Strahm's time onscreen is spent dissecting his enemy’s M.O. and figuring out where the next game is taking place. He even manages to lock Hoffman inside a coffin trap. But before Strahm can fully celebrate that he’s captured the twisted apprentice, he discovers that the room is an elaborate death trap. And to add insult to injury, the coffin trap inside the room is the only way to escape. But Strahm can’t get it open again. Although he tries desperately to escape as the walls literally close in, he still meets a brutal end.
#9: Jigsaw Plays In the Past While His Apprentice Works In the Present
“Jigsaw” contains a huge mystery. Is the titular villain still alive after his apparent demise? The film spends most of the runtime implying the villain is around. Eventually, a medical examiner named Logan Nelson and Detective Hollaran get stuck in one of Jigsaw’s games. When the villain appears, it seems to be a game changer for the franchise. But shortly after Jigsaw shows up, it’s revealed that all his scenes were flashbacks to events that took place a decade before Holloran showed up. However, that’s not the only twist. It turned out that Logan worked with Jigsaw in the past. Watching someone that seemed to be the protagonist end up as the villain instead was pretty shocking.
#8: Amanda Indirectly Ruined Jill Kramer’s Life
“Saw VI” (2009)
A scene from “Saw III” showed Amanda reading a letter that caused her significant distress. Shortly after reading it, she ended Lynn Denlon’s life. It isn't until “Saw VI” that we find out the contents of the letter were written by Mark Hoffman. He revealed that he knew Amanda encouraged her boyfriend Cecil to rob a clinic. During the robbery, Cecil accidently caused John Kramer’s wife to miscarry their child. Although this traumatic event wasn’t the only reason Kramer became the Jigsaw killer, he probably wouldn’t have been too happy to find out Amanda was involved. Hoffman would’ve revealed her secret if she didn’t take Lynn out. It’s ironic that Jigsaw chose Amanda as his successor after she indirectly caused him so much pain.
#7: The Mother & Son Aren't William Easton's Family
“Saw VI” (2009)
After denying Jigsaw health coverage for his tumor, insurance executive William Easton is forced to try to save his associates from traps under a time limit to free his family. We’re led to believe the mom and son watching him play the games onscreen is related to him. While Easton doesn’t save everyone, he’s able to beat the clock and reach the final room. Instead of being delighted to meet the mom and son there, it’s revealed that they’re not related to him. This duo is part of a family who lost their husband/father because William didn’t provide the deceased man with health insurance. The mom and son have to decide whether they’ll save William. In the end, the son shows no mercy.
#6: Jeff & Lynn's Were Part of Amanda's Test
“Saw III” (2006)
Jigsaw has Amanda kidnap Doctor Lynn Denlon. He wants her to keep him alive long enough for her husband Jeff to reach them. Meanwhile, Jeff, whose son was killed in an accident, faces a series of traps. He has to choose whether to rescue or forgive the people involved in his son's death. When Jeff finally reunites with his wife, a distraught Amanda fatally wounds Lynn. He then takes Amanda’ life in retaliation. As she lays dying, she learns this game was a test all along. After Amanda took the lives of several people, including the original “Saw’s” Adam, Jigsaw wanted to see if she was capable of saving someone. (*xref) But since she chose violence, she met a violent end.
#5: Rigg Was Never Supposed to Save Anyone
“Saw IV” (2007)
Officer Daniel Rigg watched helplessly as multiple people fell victim to Jigsaw’s games. This made him obsessed with catching the villain. So, when Jigsaw tells Rigg to play games that involve saving people or letting them fend for themselves, the officer agrees to participate. Although Rigg can’t rescue everyone he comes across, he’s given the chance to rescue Eric Matthews and Mark Hoffman. But everything isn’t as it seems. Rigg reaches Eric and Mark just before a timer runs out. While trying to save them, he’s fatally wounded. When Rigg persists, he directly causes Eric’s demise. It’s only then that Rigg learns the trials he went through were ironically meant to teach him to let things go.
#4: Amanda Is Jigsaw's Apprentice
“Saw II” (2005)
Introduced back in the first movie, Amanda Young is presented as one of the few survivors who ultimately appreciated her life. However, she's still among the captives of the Nerve Gas House in the sequel. Although Amanda tries to help, most of the group becomes victims in the games. After Eric enters the house himself to save his son, he’s attacked by someone hiding that iconic pig mask. And that someone was Amanda. She was in on Jigsaw's plans the whole time. After luring Eric into the bathroom trap, she has no problem leaving him shackled to his certain doom.
#3: Hoffman’s Trap Is Jigsaw's Last Request
“Saw VI” (2009)
The beginning of “Saw IV” sets up the conclusion of the sixth movie without Hoffman realizing it. After getting Agent Strahm off his back, Hoffman thinks he's clear to continue his role as the new Jigsaw. However, John's ex-wife Jill receives a set of envelopes as part of his will and hides one of them. Since Hoffman doesn’t see her as a threat, he's completely unprepared when she ambushes him at the scene of William Easton's game. Trapped and bound, he learns that John's last request was to test him in his own game, which Jill tries to make unwinnable on purpose. Although Hoffman manages to escape, this twist serves as a reminder that no one is ever safe from Jigsaw.
#2: Dr. Gordon Was Jigsaw's Accomplice All Along
“Saw 3D” (2010)
The longest mystery in the series was whether Dr Gordon's survived or not. This is answered in the seventh film when Gordon is shown among a group of Jigsaw survivors. Although the reason for his darker personality isn't explained, he disappears for the rest of the movie. This seemed to imply his role was just a cool cameo. But when Mark Hoffman attempts to flee after his role as Jigsaw's successor is exposed, he’s attacked by mysterious men. The leader of the trio is none other than Gordon himself. (**xref) We then see how Gordon was involved in significant moments throughout the series. This huge reveal completely recontextualized the running story of the series so far.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
The Nerve Gas House Events Were in the Past, “Saw II” (2005)
Because It Turns It Was All Over Before It Even Began
The Rainbow Color Combination, “Saw II” (2005)
Because the Clues Were There All Along
The Fatal Five Had to Work Together, “Saw V” (2008)
Because We Find Out That Nobody Ever Needed to Die
#1: Jigsaw’s True Identity
The first film is mostly shown through the protagonist’s point of view. This leaves the identity of Jigsaw unclear. It’s heavily implied that the mastermind might be the hospital orderly Zep Hindle, who holds Dr. Gordon's family hostage. Gordon and Adam are forced to work together to try to escape using any means. They use the clues they find on the lifeless body lying on the floor and Adam even makes an awful attempt to play dead. While the reveal of Jigsaw is teased numerous times without confirmation, Zep was the prime candidate. But after Zep expires, the lifeless dead body rises before Adam's eyes and reveals himself as Jigsaw. In that shocking moment, it's clear who truly won this game.