Since its debut in 2004, the Saw franchise has cemented itself as one of horror's most successful, most interesting - and most frustratingly inconsistent - franchises. Truly, the trajectory of this franchise is one of ups and downs.
Some of the Saw films, although they have their issues, are haunting, suspenseful, imaginative and overall successful works and are rare good entries in the dubious Torture-Porn subgenre. Unfortunately, this series also has its share of unsuccessful entries and a couple of them are absolute stinkers.
These weaker instalments have led to the Saw franchise becoming a bit of a critical punching bag over the years and while this isn't terribly fair - these movies do have a fair amount going for them, after all - even the most ardent Saw fan would struggle to deny that this is one enormously hit-or-miss series.
With the eagerly-awaited Spiral: From the Book of Saw now out, it's a great time to rank the nine movies and see how they stack up. So, which Saw movie is the overall winner? And which deserves to be locked away in a vault where it can never bother anyone again? It's time to find out...
9. Saw V
Plot: FBI agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) chases Jigsaw apprentice Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), having figured out his true nature, while five luckless citizens are put through a brutal series of tests.
This won't be a controversial placement for the bottom spot, since this is often considered the worst of the Saw films and deservedly so.
Saw V can best be described as a 'nothing' movie. The traps are very bland, most of the many flashback scenes feel completely pointless, nothing interesting or weighty occurs and worst of all, this movie is so atrociously edited and put together that it doesn't even feel like a movie - rather, a group of dull, disconnected subplots that don't add up to anything.
Additionally, the acting is wildly inconsistent, the visuals are poor and the ending is laughably bad. Aside from a few neat moments such as the Water Cube trap, there's little to recommend this one.
Essentially, this one combines all the biggest problems with the weaker Saw movies - jarring non-linear storytelling, not enough characterisation and an emphasis on gore over substance or tension - and turns them up to eleven. As such, it feels very fair to call this the worst Saw film to date.