How to Watch the “Saw” Movies in Order: From Jigsaw’s First Trap to His Shocking Demise

The 'Saw' franchise is one of the longest-running horror series

<p>Evolution/Saw Prods Inc/Kobal/Shutterstock ; Lionsgate / Courtesy Everett Collection</p> Left: Cary Elwes in

Evolution/Saw Prods Inc/Kobal/Shutterstock ; Lionsgate / Courtesy Everett Collection

Left: Cary Elwes in 'Saw'. Right: Octavio Hinojosa in 'Saw X'.

2004’s Saw remains one of the most influential horror movies of the modern era.

In the film, a sadistic killer known as Jigsaw kidnaps his victims and forces them to suffer through elaborate traps and games. What made the movie so complex was the revelation that Jigsaw picks his victims based on their terrible past choices which he believes they need to “atone” for.

With a budget of $1.2 million, Saw became a smash hit and grossed over $103 million at the box office. This spurred a series of sequels that ultimately turned the franchise into one of horror’s longest-running series.

Over the years, the Saw franchise has enlisted a bevy of big actors including Chris Rock, Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Danny Glover and Donnie Wahlberg.

The franchise now has 10 films, an 11th on the way in 2025 and even a theme park attraction in England. The movies were released from 2004 to 2023 but their premiere order doesn't follow the same timeline as the story. Instead, the films bounce around in time and connect in compelling ways.

To find out how to watch the Saw franchise in chronological order, keep reading.

How to Watch the Saw Movies in Release Order

  • Saw

  • Saw II

  • Saw III

  • Saw IV

  • Saw V

  • Saw VI 

  • Saw 3D

  • Jigsaw

  • Spiral

  • Saw X

How to Watch the Saw Movies in Chronological Order

Jigsaw (2017)

<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Paul Braunstein, Mandela Van Peebles, and Laura Vandervoort in 'Jigsaw'.


Paul Braunstein, Mandela Van Peebles, and Laura Vandervoort in 'Jigsaw'.

Saw 3D (2010) was originally deemed “The Final Chapter," which put 2017’s Jigsaw in a unique position to revive a franchise that had been dormant for seven years — not to mention the fact that Jigsaw died in the third film.

Jigsaw cleverly divided its story into two parts, making it both a prequel and a sequel. One half takes place in the modern day after the events of the other movies, with a copycat killer on the loose torturing his victims in traps resembling Jigsaw’s.

The other half is a prequel, revealing one of Jigsaw’s games that took place before the first film.

Saw (2004)

<p>Evolution/Saw Prods Inc/Kobal/Shutterstock </p> Leigh Whannell in 'Saw'.

Evolution/Saw Prods Inc/Kobal/Shutterstock

Leigh Whannell in 'Saw'.

The original film reveals Jigsaw's sadistic methods. When fans met the serial killer for the first time his game was to chain two men in a bathroom and force them to compete for survival.

The other trap scenes in the first movie are all flashbacks — including the now-famous “reverse bear trap” worn by Amanda Young (Smith) who became a prominent character throughout the franchise.

The film also starred big names Glover and Monica Potter. Saw was directed by James Wan, who has become a massive name in horror thanks to hits like The Conjuring and Insidious.

Related: How to Watch 'The Conjuring' Movies in Chronological Order

Saw X (2023)

<p>Lionsgate</p> Octavio Hinojosa in 'Saw X'.


Octavio Hinojosa in 'Saw X'.

Despite being the most recent film released, Saw X surprised viewers by taking place between the first and second movies.

Anthony Stabley, the movie’s production designer, explained the reasoning for this timeline choice. “I think a lot of this comes down to the fact that we love the first two Saw films. We wanted to go back to that world,” he told PEOPLE in 2023.

The movie sees John Kramer (a.k.a. Jigsaw) head to a Mexican medical facility to receive treatment for his advancing cancer. However, upon arrival, he discovers the facility is a con being used to rob the sick. He then works alongside Amanda to teach the criminals what it’s like to fight for their lives.

Saw II (2005)

<p>Twisted Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> 'Saw II'.

Twisted Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

'Saw II'.

In Saw II, a group of eight people wake up trapped together. Jigsaw informs them that nerve gas is slowly being pumped in through the vents and will kill them in two hours — unless they can follow the rules and find a way to escape.

One of the victims is Amanda, who, at the start of the movie, reveals she relapsed back into drug use, which is what she thinks Jigsaw is punishing her for this time. However, at the end of the movie, it’s revealed that Amanda was actually part of the game and had been helping the serial killer the entire time.

This time around, 7th Heaven star Beverly Mitchell starred as one of Jigsaw’s victims and Wahlberg starred as detective Eric Matthews.

Saw III (2006)

<p> Lions Gate Films/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Shawnee Smith and Bahar Soomekh in 'Saw III'.

Lions Gate Films/Kobal/Shutterstock

Shawnee Smith and Bahar Soomekh in 'Saw III'.

Taking place shortly after the events of Saw II, more victims find themselves in more traps, but this time something is different. Many of the traps are rigged and have no actual way for the victims to escape.

It’s later revealed that Jigsaw’s cancer has progressed, pushing him closer to death so Amanda is the one creating the new devices. Because she has been consumed by her rage, Amanda no longer believes in giving the victims a chance to survive the horrific torture machines.

At the end of the movie, both Amanda and Jigsaw are murdered for their crimes. Saw III remains the highest-grossing film in the franchise, raking in over $164 million.

Saw IV (2007)

<p>Lions Gate/Twisted/Kobal/Shutterstock </p> 'Saw IV'.

Lions Gate/Twisted/Kobal/Shutterstock

'Saw IV'.

Saw IV begins with a medical team performing an autopsy on Jigsaw’s body. Being the sadistic mastermind that he is, it turns out that shortly before his death, Jigsaw swallowed a micro cassette which reveals a message: The games aren’t over. In fact, they’re just beginning.

Like all things Saw, victims once again begin waking up in traps — and we later learn the new killer is Jigsaw’s other apprentice, Detective Mark Hoffman from Saw III.

Despite the original villain being dead, Bell reprises the role through flashback scenes that reveal his tumultuous past and why he started creating these twisted games.

Saw V ( 2008)

<p>Twisted Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Scott Patterson in 'Saw V'.

Twisted Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

Scott Patterson in 'Saw V'.

Picking up right after the events of the fourth film, Saw V shows Detective Hoffman getting promoted for his work solving the Jigsaw murders, while simultaneously being the one committing them.

Later in the film, a group of five strangers (including characters played by Meagan Good and Julie Benz) wake up in a sewer and are forced to survive a series of trap-filled rooms.

Saw VI (2009)

<p>Twisted Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Tobin Bell in 'Saw VI'.

Twisted Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

Tobin Bell in 'Saw VI'.

Hoffman continues his maniacal rampage in Saw VI, which picks up just days after the events of Saw V. This time around, the main victim is an insurance broker who denied coverage to Jigsaw during his cancer battle.

Intensifying things even further is that Jigsaw had given his ex-wife Jill a task before he died: to place his apprentice Hoffman through a test of his own. Near the end of the movie, Jill ambushes the detective and straps him into a reverse bear trap, which he only narrowly escapes.

Saw 3D (2010)

<p>Lions Gate/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> 'Saw 3D - The Final Chapter'.

Lions Gate/Kobal/Shutterstock

'Saw 3D - The Final Chapter'.

Saw 3D, also known as Saw: The Final Chapter, continued the Hoffman and Jill duel while also treating audiences to more gruesome traps and kills. The movie centers around a man who pretends to be a survivor of Jigsaw's games only to find himself actually caught up in one of his traps.

Both main characters are killed by the end of the film, and it’s revealed that one of Jigsaw’s original victims from the first Saw film, Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes), is the new apprentice.

As the seventh Saw movie to be released consecutively, Saw 3D closed out the franchise’s original run.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021)

<p>Lionsgate/Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Chris Rock in 'Spiral: From the Book of Saw'.


Chris Rock in 'Spiral: From the Book of Saw'.

2021’s Spiral doesn’t directly say when it takes place in the Saw timeline, but based on the movie’s plot, it’s certainly sometime after the events of the main series.

In the movie, Detective Zeke Banks (Rock) investigates a series of macabre murders that closely follow the work of Jigsaw. As he digs deeper, alongside characters played by Samuel L. Jackson and Max Minghella, Banks discovers he’s somehow intertwined in the new killing spree.

When speaking to, director Darren Lynn Bousman said that Spiral was so gorey that it was given an NC-17 rating by the MPA 11 times before finally being edited enough to get an R rating.

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