Scariest Movie Moments Of All Time

Scariest Movie Moments Of All Time

There is no doubt of Saw’s place in horror history; since its debut in 2004, audiences have been on the edge of their seats with each new release. The films may have found their fan base with intricate traps, but the underlying themes created a surprisingly strong social commentary.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of scares to be had in the franchise, from creepy traps and situations to unexpected deaths. Here are the scariest moments across the franchise.

10 Marcus’s Death – Spiral


Marcus is exposed for his past as police chief, and that’s more than enough for the Jigsaw copycat, in Spiral. He’s placed in a trap that slowly drips blood, but Marcus’ son Zeke can save him — or so the character and the audience are led to believe. Zeke’s decision to save his father reveals there is no way out of the trap.

Marcus’ last moments as he’s set up to be killed by a SWAT team are both disturbing and terrifying. Samuel L. Jackson brings his unrivaled talents to the scene, offering a performance that amps up the terror.

9 Carlos Experiences a Trap – Saw X

Tobin Bell in Saw X (2023).
Lionsgate Films

There’s nothing scarier than seeing an innocent person put in danger, especially when it’s a child. While the morality code around horror might be more complicated than many claim, it’s still hard to find children placed in the same murderous situations as adults — that doesn’t mean younger characters can’t experience horror.

Related: If You Like Saw, Then This Horror Movie Is For You

Saw X’s Carlos has his own run-in with a deadly situation as the boy is recruited into a trap by Cecilia. Anyone would be frightened for the kid who’s just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it gets worse seeing him deal with a blood-drenching experience.

8 Lawrence’s Amputation – Saw

Lawrence reaches for his phone in Saw.

The original Saw finds some of its strongest, and difficult, moments in that grimy bathroom. The final part of Lawrence and Adam’s test pushes both men to disturbing places. Lawrence’s decision to saw through his foot is not only troubling, it makes the skin crawl as audiences contemplate their own reaction to the situation. Details about his fate, and even the foot left behind, are scattered throughout the rest of the franchise films.

That wasn’t the case when the first film was released, or even for those who just found the film. Instead, the lack of knowing what will happen after his amputation and subsequent escape makes it all the more frightening.

7 The Reverse Bear Trap – Saw 3D

Jill in the reverse bear trap in Saw 3D.

No trap is arguably more recognizable than the reverse bear trap; this odd contraption has been featured on various promotional items for the franchise, especially touting the time Amanda faced it and lived. If there was any curiosity about how it worked, Saw 3D ended the suspense.

Jill, Kramer’s ex-wife, is the unfortunate victim of the legendary trap. The scene’s quick cuts and constant flashes back to her important moments build the tension; it’s all the more upsetting to know Hoffman is the one who selects this trap and uses it on her.

6 The Torture Rack – Saw III

A man standing in front of the rack in Saw III.

Yet another Saw III scary moment comes from a brutal trap known as the rack. The item is part of grieving father Jeff’s test; in the machine is none other than the drunk driver who killed Jeff’s child. Its twisting mechanisms start with the hand and arm but soon the contorting moves to his other arm and legs.

Every movement of the gears makes it all the more excruciating to watch throughout the scene. The final turn is a painful lesson in forgiveness that is nonetheless intense for viewers.

5 Adam’s Kidnapped – Saw

Adam in Saw.

Saw is not necessarily known for producing jump scares, but the film series delivers some great ones anyway. The original Saw features a great scene where Adam is taken for the bathroom game, its dark atmosphere seamlessly blends with his time in a red-lit photo development room. Suspense builds with every flash among the dark spaces until everything comes together in a scary conclusion where Adam is kidnapped.

4 Bathtub Surprise – Saw II

A man in a bathroom in Saw II.

Eric Matthews becomes a main figure in Saw II, but it’s later in the film when audiences get a scare at his expense. The corrupt cop is set on a task to find his son, one that finds him back in the original Saw locations. Matthews encounters a terrifying jump scare thanks to Amanda; she’s waiting for him to arrive and is clad in the now-infamous pig mask. It leads to a dark and scary moment that seems to seal Matthew’s fate, something that changes with the release of Saw III.

3 The Needle Pit – Saw II

Amanda crawls in a needle pit in Saw II.
Lions Gate Film

There are few things that scare people like needles — causing some to even pass out at the sight of them. Saw II takes advantage of the common fear with a devastating trap. The so-called needle pit lives up to the name; full of used syringes, there’s no avoiding the painful piercing of the skin when traversing it.

Related: Did Saw X Turn Jigsaw Into a Controversial Hero?

Amanda ends up in the pit and must crawl through to find a key. Every move she makes is absolutely excruciating, even for those who don’t count themself as trypanophobic. Some fans have even speculated that a certain doctor in the series might be responsible for providing those used syringes.

2 The Death Mask – Saw II

Venus Flytrap trap in Saw V.

The death mask makes several appearances throughout the franchise. Its design is simple, yet all too diabolical. Both sides of the metal contraption hang off the neck, just waiting to snap into place. It would be bad enough for anyone unlucky enough to be trapped, but the added sharp metal accents make it truly deadly.

A police informant named Michael is the recipient of the trap. He wakes to find himself tasked with digging out a key behind his eye. It’s a terrifying ask to do such a thing and seeing it play out is even more frightening. He eventually succumbs after failing to manage the pain of what was required to survive.

1 Game Over – Saw

A man reaching out in Saw.
Lions Gate Films

Nothing in the Saw franchise comes close to the first film’s conclusion. The shocking reveals come fast in the final moments as viewers learn about the mysterious corpse, Lawrence’s brutal attempt at escaping, and Adam’s shocking fate.

Seeing the door slam on the bathroom in the last shot is a startling way to close out the film; even the sound of it slamming shut is a shock sure to make anyone jump. The film also stops without providing the all-too-common follow-ups, leaving a sense of dreadful mystery.


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