When Saw first burst out onto the cinematic scene in 2004, one of the things that made it such a phenomenon was its astonishing twist ending, which has endured as one of cinema's most shocking finales ever since.
The eight subsequent sequels have all frantically tried to capitalize on this appeal by trying to one-up the original and deliver big twist endings. In fact, aside from all those gory traps, the twist endings are perhaps the biggest trademark of the series.
But has this insistence on having a big twist paid off for the films?
Well, yes and no. The endings have been inconsistent over the years, ranging from fantastic to howlingly awful, and while some Saw endings have raised the movie right up, others have fatally undermined the film's story.
There is certainly a sense that some of the Saw films, when it came to the ending, prioritized a big shock over wrapping up the story in a satisfying way, but nonetheless, it's hard to deny how entertaining some of these twists were.
In other words, much like the films themselves, the Saw endings are a very mixed bag. So, how do the endings stack up overall?
9. Saw 3D
The End: Bobby fails to save his wife, Hoffman kills Jill, and Dr. Lawrence Gordon, a secret Jigsaw apprentice, kills Hoffman as punishment.
Here's an ending where everything about it sucks, and yes, that means everything.
Bobby's (Sean Patrick Flannery) entire game felt like an unsatisfying waste of time since he failed to save anyone. The death of Jill (Betsy Russell), one of the franchise's best characters, felt empty and unearned. And the Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) twist was both painfully obvious and astonishingly stupid. Why would he gladly join forces with a man who tried to murder his wife and daughter?
It's nothing more than a series of gory, meaningless death scenes in Saw 3D, with the death of Bobby's wife feeling particularly cruel, while none of the franchise's characters get a satisfying end. As a result, this doesn't feel like the ending to a franchise at all and there's a sense that no-one has really gained any closure.
Make no mistake, this is one of the most infuriatingly awful horror endings in recent memory.
In this case, a reboot was justified. Imagine how depressing it would've been had this really been the end of Saw.