ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

The Saw movies are a phenomenon, and with the eighth in the series promised (at long last!) October 20, 2017, you may need some more Saw-like horror action to fill the void. Hmmm, recommending movies like Saw, without just saying "Saw 2 through 7"? I guess there are a few central elements that make the Saw movies so viciously delightful: twisted games, traps, inventive kills and a locked room.

In honor of the eighth Saw movie, here are eight movies that fulfill at least a few of these criteria, ranked in order of least to most similar to the first Saw movie.

8. 247°F

 '247°F' [Credit: Anchor Bay Entertainment]
'247°F' [Credit: Anchor Bay Entertainment]
  • Released: 2011
  • Tagline: Every minute counts when every degree matters.
  • Similarities: Inventive kills, locked room
  • The Set-up: Three attractive youths are locked in an increasingly hot sauna.

OK, OK, it's a film predicated on the rather limited premise that three hotties get locked in a sauna, but the ingenuity that keeps the pace going is impressive. The deaths, when they come, are harsh, and you're really rooting for the characters to escape. Other interesting variations on Locked Room movies include The Exam, Elevator and Nine Dead.

7. Would You Rather

 'Would You Rather' [Credit: IFC]
'Would You Rather' [Credit: IFC]
  • Released: 2012
  • Tagline: Tell yourself it's just a game.
  • Similarities: Twisted games, inventive kills, locked room
  • The Set-up: A group of people hoping to win a quick buck attend a deadly game of Would You Rather?

If Jigsaw was mad at Amanda for making traps nobody could survive, he'd hate the games in Would You Rather! The movie is balls-to-the-wall sadism of the silliest variety, a feast of organized fun. See also: A rather poorer quality version of a similar plot in Are You Scared? and Vile.

6. Fermat's Room

 'Fermat's Room' [Credit: IFC]
'Fermat's Room' [Credit: IFC]
  • Released: 2007
  • Tagline: Think inside the box
  • Similarities: Twisted games, traps, locked room
  • The Set-up: Four mathematicians are invited to solve a great math problem — only to be locked inside a room with shrinking walls. Can they solve the puzzles before they're crushed to death?

Smart Spanish thriller Fermat's Room pulls off an unlikely success in turning mathematical and philosophical problems into a viable thriller movie, with the pace, tension and stakes raising until the very end. Don't worry, you don't have to have a PhD in advanced calculus to understand it.

5. House Of 9

'House of 9' [Credit: Bauer Martinez Studios]
'House of 9' [Credit: Bauer Martinez Studios]
  • Released: 2005
  • Tagline: Nine strangers. One house. Only one will get out... alive.
  • Similarities: Twisted games, inventive kills, locked room
  • The Set-up: Nine people wake up in a strange house after being kidnapped. It soon becomes clear that whoever put them there has a sick game in mind.

House of 9 is as ridiculous as you would expect a horror movie that unites Dennis Hopper, Kelly Brook and Peter Capaldi to be, a demented British horror romp that sees nine strangers rapidly turn on each other in a heavily barricaded mansion. Still, as schlocky as it is, it's surprisingly fun to watch, and you'll be rooting for Kelly Brook all the way (or maybe that's just my high school crush talking).

4. 13 Sins

 '13 Sins' [Credit: Dimension Films]
'13 Sins' [Credit: Dimension Films]
  • Released: 2014
  • Tagline: You don't play the game. It plays you.
  • Similarities: Twisted games, inventive kills
  • The Set-up: A man is offered money to perform a series of increasingly shocking and illegal tasks.

A rare instance of a movie remake better than the original (2006's 13 Beloved), 13 Sins really makes you think about how you would react in a similar situation. How strong is your moral compass when huge quantities of cash are involved? There are two alternative endings available on home release of the movie, so you can pick the kinder or more hateful one, depending on what a sicko you are.

3. Cube

'Cube' [Credit: Trimark Pictures]
'Cube' [Credit: Trimark Pictures]
  • Released: 1997
  • Tagline: The only way out lies within your own mind.
  • Similarities: Twisted Games, Traps, Inventive Kills, Locked Room
  • The Set-up: Six strangers wake up in a giant cube-shaped maze full of lethal traps.

How many kids scared themselves silly watching this movie at sleepovers in the '90s? Cube draws its brilliance from the simplicity of its structure, which was created — like so many great movies — purely to make the movie as cheaply as possible (every new room the characters climb into is actually the same cube set). The traps are clever, the characters interesting and the movie taut; perfect thriller viewing.

2. Seven

'Seven' [Credit: New Line Cinema]
'Seven' [Credit: New Line Cinema]
  • Released: 1995
  • Tagline: Seven deadly sins. Seven ways to die.
  • Similarities: Twisted games, inventive kills
  • The Set-up: A man motivated by religious fervor kills people in deaths inspired by the seven deadly sins.

Many critics of the first Saw movie don't realize how rich in filmic influences it is, and Saw is inspired by Seven more than any other. Specifically, the outlandish murder set pieces, the cop-thriller tone, and the kill methods. Certain kills in the movie even involve victim participation, particularly the Pride murder, in which a model is disfigured then offered the option to kill herself or not. Most people have seen Seven, but it's interesting to rewatch the film with Saw in mind.

1. The Collector

 'The Collector' [Credit: LD Entertainment]
'The Collector' [Credit: LD Entertainment]
  • Released: 2009
  • Tagline: He always takes one.
  • Similarities: Traps, inventive kills
  • The Set-up: A roving, masked psycho breaks into a house, filling it with deadly traps to kill off its unsuspecting occupants one by one.

It's no wonder The Collector has a lot in common with Saw: It was originally intended to be a Saw sequel but the idea was turned down. If anything, this benefits the movie, allowing it to create its own mythology, a brilliant combination of a number of serial killer urban legends, replete with horrifying traps and the single greatest line to shout at a home invader: "I'll eat your fucking heart."


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