In Saw X, Tobin Bell returns as John Kramer, the infamous Jigsaw Killer, and fans are already delighted. While Jigsaw’s apprentices carried on his legacy after his death in Saw III (2006), Kramer remains the central character of the franchise. His return will give a much-needed jolt to revitalize the series.
Kramer’s philosophy is perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of any horror franchise, as his goal is not to kill his morally flawed victims who are ungrateful of life, but instead to put them through games – more accurately, traps – that are designed to test their desire to live. The crucial component of Jigsaw’s traps is that they can be won, though the victim will certainly be put through excruciating pain in the process of escaping. However, after his death, the traps designed by apprentices Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith) and Detective Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) are often unwinnable or involve multiple victims in which at least one must die for the other to have a chance at survival. While many victims fail to make it out of their traps alive, it’s not impossible, so with some determination and critical thinking, here are some of the Jigsaw traps we think we could survive.
Bathroom Trap (Saw)
Along with the reverse bear trap, the bathroom trap is one of the most recognizable traps in the Saw franchise. It serves as the opening scene for the series, and its simple execution and jaw-dropping plot twist make it not only one of the most memorable traps, but one of the most memorable plots throughout all horror movies. Trapped in an old bathroom with shackles and chains around their feet, Adam (Leigh Whannell) and Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes) are both provided with several clues on how to escape throughout the duration of the film, along with tools to aid them in their game. While both think that their only way to get out is by sawing off their feet, neither one of them ever attempt to cut through the rusty pipes that their chains are attached to – which would have allowed them both to escape unharmed. While being trapped in a bathroom for hours, we think we easily could have reached this painless solution.
The Razor Box (Saw II)
The razor box in Saw II has to be one of the easiest traps to survive. While Addison (Emmanuelle Vaugier) fails to escape, this is only due to her own negligence (and probably the poison gas that has entered her system). Rather than sticking your hands inside the holes of the glass box – lined with razor blades to prevent the victim’s arms from being pulled back out – all that must be done to survive the trap and retrieve the antidote inside is to look around to see the lock and key on the other side of the box. Really, there’s no need for any pain at all with the razor trap, so with a quick investigation before diving right in, we could easily survive this trap.
The Furnace (Saw II)
Similar to the razor box, this test requires just a little bit of thinking to survive, but once you figure it out, it’s easily one of the more manageable traps and really doesn’t even have to cause any amount of pain. Two doses of an antidote are inside of a furnace, with one locked on a chain that will close the furnace door once pulled. The flames in the furnace begin to roar once the door is locked, but the fire can easily be avoided altogether if the valve controlling the gas supply is turned off. Again, simply just listening to the directions and thinking before acting would allow the victim to survive this trap, but that’s unfortunately not the case for Obi Tate (Timothy Burd).
The Needle Pit (Saw II)
While the needle pit doesn’t result in blood loss like many of the other traps in the Saw franchise, it’s still stomach-churning to watch Amanda be tossed into the pit and sift through tens of thousands of used needles to find a key for an antidote. While extremely painful with hundreds of needles stabbing the victim at once and with every move they make, we think we could make it out of this trap, and Amanda is proof of this. There’s no fear of needles here, so that’s half of the battle already won. It just might be advisable to seek immediate medical attention after escaping, as well as hoping that your vaccines are up to date, though that’s the case with many of the traps on this list.
Glass Coffin (Saw V)
Originally designed by John Kramer, the glass coffin is one of the easiest traps in the Saw series to survive. In fact, it’s so easy that all you must do is step inside it. While there’s a small amount of pain caused by the glass shards that fill the box, the test is simply a matter of trusting the directions that are provided on the tape recorder. Entering the box is the only way to survive the room, which is made of heavy metal walls that will soon close in on each other, though the glass coffin is able to escape to safety through a trap door on the floor. Not following directions is the only way to not survive this trap.
Ceiling Jars (Saw V)
Many of the traps in Saw V are ridiculously easy to survive given that they are designed as a series of tests rather than one singular trap. The purpose of the Fatal Five’s Trial is to test the five victims’ abilities to work together to survive and make it to the next stage as a group, rather than let their selfish instincts get the better of them. Only four of the five victims progress onto the ceiling jars trap, of which the victims must smash glass jars to retrieve keys that open a chamber where they can safely cover from an impending detonation. The problem? There are only three keys, but four victims. However, that’s not actually a problem at all, as the chambers are big enough to easily fit multiple people in each one. The test is easily designed for everyone to survive so long as you think before diving in.
10 Pints of Sacrifice (Saw V)
The final test in the Fatal Five’s Trial is the most gruesome, though still originally designed to be winnable. At the start of the test, the victims are advised that while the human body has ten pints of blood, it only needs five to survive. So, with five victims each sacrificing two pints of blood, all of them would be able to make it out (and then get some much-needed medical attention after escaping). If you’re able to collaborate and work together, it’s easy to win, but if you’ve been selfishly after only your own gain throughout the trial, then you wind up having to lose more blood than necessary in this final stage.
Pound of Flesh (Saw VI)
Given that the test is designed by Hoffman, it’s not surprising that it’s not completely winnable for everyone, and thus goes against Jigsaw’s code. While two people must compete against each other, only one of them can survive. All you must do to beat your opponent is sacrifice more flesh than they do. It’s one of the less fair traps, but unlike some of Hoffman’s other designs, it at least allows for one survivor, if you have enough determination and don’t mind losing a limb. Again though, you’re going to need medical attention after getting out of this one.
Suspended Cage (Saw 3D)
The suspended cage serves as only the beginning of Bobby Dagen’s (Sean Patrick Flanery) trial, so if it wasn’t easy to pass this test, it would make for a pretty boring, and nonexistent trial, so we think we could also easily survive this one. Once the victim is trapped inside a metal cage suspended over a floor covered in spikes, the bottom of the cage falls off, and the victim is forced to grab onto the cage’s bars to prevent themselves from falling. The cage is attached to pulleys, so the only way to get out and survive is to swing back and forth and jump a short distance over the spikes to safety. It’s a painless and relatively easy trap to win.
Bucket Room (Jigsaw)
Even easier than the ten pints of sacrifice trap from Saw V, though similar in concept, the victims of the bucket room are pulled forward by chains towards a wall of blades. The only way to escape is to cut yourself with the blades, in turn freeing you from the chains that would otherwise pull you toward your demise. While the ten pints of sacrifice trap requires at least two pints of blood to be lost by each victim, only a small drop of blood is needed to survive this trap. It’s straightforward and simple and only requires a moment of pain.
Make your choice to witness the long-awaited return of John Kramer and get tickets to see Saw X in theaters on September 29.