Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Freshman Alex Beiga holds a Central flag at the DuPage Valley Conference boys swim and dive championship on Feb. 3. Beiga was killed in a ski accident on April 1 in Switzerland. Photo courtesy of NCHS Swim and Dive.
Loved and lost: Freshman leaves legacy of joy after tragic passing
Jay Deegan, Print Managing Editor • April 22, 2024
Kirsten Dunst and Cailee Spaeny star in Alex Garlands Civil War.
Review: “Civil War,” or how to be so safe you accidentally say nothing
Mack Gowan, Opinions Editor • April 18, 2024
Sophomore Deven Patel sits at his computer trading stocks during his lunch period. Patel has made over 30 times his investment by trading stocks.
Sophomore makes 'massive profit' trading stocks
Jinan Parves, Correspondent • April 17, 2024
Sophomores Amy Yang and Claire Cameron fundraise to support breast cancer awareness during a lunch period on Oct. 19 for Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA).
HOSA Chapter unable to attend state competition
Jayanthi Dar, Staff Writer • April 13, 2024
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Ranking every “Saw” movie

Billy+the+Puppet+as+seen+in+Saw+II
Lionsgate Films
Billy the Puppet as seen in Saw II

The “Saw” franchise has long been controversial, for its focus on gory torture and wildly confusing timeline full of retcons and plot twists. With legendary auteurist Kevin Greutert returning for the newest entry in the franchise, “Saw X” (releasing on Sept. 29), I thought, what better time to rank these movies?

9 – “Saw 3D / Saw: The Final Chapter” (2010)

No matter what name you give it, the seventh “Saw” feels like the last dying breath of the franchise. Forgettable traps (outside of the car segment), shockingly bad effects, and maybe the worst attempted retcon/twist of the series make this the worst entry in the series

8 – “Spiral: From the Book of Saw” (2021)

This attempt to revive the “Saw” series with a mostly disconnected spinoff featuring Chris Rock is bad. Rock seems to be workshopping his comedy specials the entire time (and is not very funny), the twist is predictable practically from the beginning and Samuel L. Jackson is severely underused. No thanks!

7 – “Saw V” (2008)

This is the movie that suffers the most from the franchise’s yearly release schedule. It peaks right at the beginning, with two great traps in a row. The rest of the movie is a flashback-filled bore that attempts to connect the dots between the previous two sequels and mostly just leaves you more confused.

6 – “Jigsaw” (2017)

With the least interesting visuals of the franchise, ditching the grimy green aesthetic of the originals for a clean visual style, “Jigsaw” is still solid, with a series of good traps and another twist that somehow manages to make these all fit into one timeline.

5 – “Saw II” (2005)

“Saw II” served as a turning point for the franchise, bringing the series to the trap-filled rooms and nasty gore that is now expected of it. This and “Saw IV” are pretty close for me, but I found the characters in IV to be more compelling which gives it the upper hand. Both are solid entries, though.

4 – “Saw IV” (2007)

The finality of the previous entry left “Saw IV” with a difficult place to pick up from, but it mostly works. A solid main trap in the ice block room and the introduction of Agent Strahm (and the expansion of Detective Hoffman’s role) add a fun setup for the future of the franchise. This movie also features the craziest scene transitions which makes for a fun watch.

3 – “Saw” (2004)

Completely unburdened from the oncoming timeline, “Saw” is a relatively easy watch compared to the rest of the series. It’s got a few traps and is still filled with exposition and flashbacks, but its two core characters are strongly performed and what they managed to pull off with its small budget is cool to see. It also features arguably the best twist ending, fresh especially because you haven’t sat through eight other wildly edited reveals yet.

2 – “Saw III” (2006)

“Saw III” served as a sort of finale for the franchise (at least until IV came out a year later). The film’s main character Jeff somehow works for me, even as he moves so slowly through all of his tests, and the race to save Jigsaw from his terminal cancer makes for a compelling story.

1 – “Saw VI” (2009)

The sixth installment bravely made the “Saw” series political. In this one, Jigsaw targets private healthcare after an insurance executive denies him coverage. “Saw VI” is full of good traps, like the iconic shotgun carousel, and it makes for an easier watch when the people in the traps are bad, rather than like, being depressed. If only this one wrapped it up, so the franchise could go out on a strong note.

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About the Contributor
Mack Gowan
Mack Gowan, Opinions Editor
Mack Gowan is the opinions editor for Central Times. Mack is a senior and this is his third year on staff. He loves putting information all over his stories. In his free time, he enjoys solving puzzles, cooking and listening to Dolly Parton, Marty Robbins as well as Bladee. Mack wants to be a filmmaker when he grows up.
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