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Worst Decisions Saw Characters Made In The Franchise

In 2004, "Saw" took the cinematic world by storm with its gruesome yet engaging story of a serial killer named Jigsaw who forced his victims to do the unthinkable in order to save their own lives. The prime example of Jigsaw's mayhem, of course, being the original saw trap, where Dr. Lawrence Gordon and Adam Stanheight are tempted to either kill each other for freedom or to cut off their shackled feet with a hacksaw.

For better and for worse, "Saw" injected new life into the horror genre and inspired a series of grisly imitators. As to be expected of any original movie becoming a big hit, "Saw" produced sequel after sequel until it presumably petered out with the 2017 release of "Jigsaw." However, the franchise was given new life with a spinoff title called "Spiral" starring Chris Rock. Where the "Saw" franchise continues after "Spiral" remains to be seen. However, there is one thing that can be said about "Saw" and its numerous sequels: The people throughout the eight mainline films are far from the sharpest tools in the shed.

Time and time again, these central characters are seen making the worst decisions of their lives — and time and time again, these horrible decisions come with a fatal price. With that in mind, here's a look at the worst decisions "Saw" characters have made in the franchise.

Gordon not using the saw to reach the phone

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and nothing screams "desperate" like sawing off one's own foot with a dirty hacksaw. In the original "Saw," Dr. Lawrence Gordon is given an ultimatum by the Jigsaw killer: kill Adam Stanheight by six o'clock, or else Lawrence's wife and daughter will be killed. As the film goes on, Lawrence desperately tries to find another way out of his situation without resorting to murder.

However, as six o'clock finally hits, Lawrence hears his family screaming while gunshots go off at his home via a cell phone given to him and Adam by the Jigsaw killer. Believing his family's life is in danger, Gordon goes mad and saws off his shackled foot to escape. Given the dire situation, it's easy to forgive Gordon for taking such extreme measures to save his wife and daughter.

Still, if Lawrence had just used the hacksaw to snag the cell phone — which was completely within reach — he could have checked in on his family to see if they were all right, then called for help. Even the shirt Lawrence uses as a tourniquet could have been used to grab the phone. Instead, Lawrence hacks off his foot and crawls away.

Gus peeping into the Magnum Eyehole trap

Jigsaw might be a psychotic killer, but if nothing else, he is a man who always plays by the rules. (His rules, but rules nonetheless). He never designs a death trap that can't be beaten, and he always offers a few clues to help his victims can survive the night. In "Saw II," Jigsaw leaves a very important message for the captives trapped inside his poisoned house.

In a written note, Jigsaw tells his playthings not to use the key provided to them in the room where they awoke. Xavier Chavez, the loose cannon of the group, disregards Jigsaw's warning and uses the key on a locked door located in the starting room. Once the key's turned, Gus Colyard sticks his eye straight into the door's peephole, unaware of a gun triggered to go off on the other side.

Playing out like a sadistic "Looney Tunes" gag, Gus is immediately shot in the face after Xavier is done turning the key. If Xavier had only heeded Jigsaw's warning, Gus would still have a face.

Addison sticking her hands into the Razor Box trap

If there's one rule to surviving a trap-ridden death house designed by a madman, it's to never stick your hands into anything that looks creepy. Addison Corday breaks this rule in "Saw II." When separated from the group, Addison stumbles into a room where a hanging glass box contains the antidote to the nerve agent that's in her body.

To snatch the antidote, Addison has to stick her hands through either of the two holes located underneath the glass box. However, as soon as she sticks one hand inside the box, it's instantly trapped by razor blades placed on top of the holes. After knocking over and spilling the antidote in the glass box, Addison gives in to instinct and sticks her other hand through the second hole.

Addison didn't have to go out like that. If she'd kept her hands to herself and listened to the recorded message she found in the razor box room, she would have heard how to retrieve the antidote without endangering her life.

Jeff is too busy gloating to save anyone

Jeff Denlon is not one to forgive and forget, especially when it involves the tragic death of his young son Dylan. Dylan was killed by a drunk driver named Timothy Young who, in Jeff's eyes, didn't receive the severe punishment he deserved. Throughout "Saw III," Jigsaw subjects Jeff to various "tests" that feed on his hunger for vengeance.

From one death trap to the next, Jeff is given the choice to either save those who were connected to Dylan's death or to let them die for failing his son. The problem is that Jeff always drags his feet on saving these victims, because he's too busy chewing them out for what they did to his son. When he finally decides to save their lives, it's too little, too late — such as letting Danica Scott freeze to death or failing to save Timothy from a torture device that ripped off his limbs.

Even when Jeff manages to save one victim, like Judge Halden, he ends up getting him killed because of his hesitation before doing the right thing. Ultimately, Jeff's obsession with gloating over his enemies comes at the cost of his wife, Lynn.

An injured Eric tries to take down Amanda

Eric Matthews did the impossible: He escaped the horrible fate that awaited Adam Stanheight during "Saw" by freeing himself from the shackles Amanda Young placed on him at the end of "Saw II." While Eric's method of escape wasn't as gruesome as watching Dr. Lawrence Gordon chop his foot off, Eric using a toilet tank lid to break his foot and slide it out of the shackle was still a squeamish sight to see.

If Eric had just limped his way out of the tunnels and toward safety, he would have been free from the madness of the Jigsaw killer. Unfortunately, Eric let his emotions overwhelm him when he realized Amanda was still within the tunnels. Eric took the opportunity to launch a surprise attack on Amanda for what she did to him and his son Daniel, who he believed was still in danger.

Even though Eric landed some good hits on Amanda, she took him out by attacking his Achilles heel — well, foot to be exact — stomping on his broken foot until he passed out from the pain.

Amanda not playing by the rules

Throughout the course of three films, Amanda Young went from being one of Jigsaw's innocent victims to his faithful apprentice. Jigsaw, also known as John Kramer, taught Amanda everything he knew about being a crazed serial killer, so she could take up the Jigsaw mantle when he finally succumbed to cancer. While Amanda was able to keep up with John's knack for building death traps, she couldn't comprehend why she should offer redemption to those she believed to be doomed.

As cruel as Kramer was, he wasn't without pity. His death traps were intimidating but beatable. Amanda's traps, however, were not. Despite surviving Jigsaw's reverse bear trap from the first film, Amanda didn't believe people should be given the chance to change their "ungrateful" ways.

Amanda rigged the death traps for Troy and Detective Allison Kerry to where, even after they made the ultimate sacrifice to save their lives, they were still horribly killed. The biggest clash with John's philosophy came at the end of "Saw III," when Amanda refused to free Lynn Denlon from the explosive collar around her neck despite Lynn successfully operating on John. By the end of the film, Amanda is finally killed for biting the hand that feeds.

Lindsey getting near Billy the Puppet

Despite the lyrical suggestion of a popular They Might Be Giants song, one does not have to touch the puppet head — or be anywhere near it, for that matter. Agent Lindsey Perez didn't have the common sense to not touch anything creepy when chasing down the Jigsaw killer in "Saw IV." While Daniel Rigg's storyline was happening, Perez and Peter Strahm were investigating the Jigsaw murders that followed the death of Detective Allison Kerry.

Eventually, the investigation led Lindsey and Peter to an elementary school where they were greeted by Jigsaw's infamous ventriloquist dummy, Billy the Puppet. Despite the fact that at this point in the "Saw" franchise, everyone in the world was well aware of John Kramer's wicked deeds, Lindsey took no precaution in dealing with the puppet. She played the recorded message attached to Billy, which warned her that her "next move is critical."

Ignoring the warning, Lindsey stuck her face up close to Billy's — and the puppet exploded, after which Lindsey was taken to the hospital for her injuries. If she'd just waited for the bomb squad to arrive and analyze the situation, or didn't get within breathing distance of Billy, she wouldn't have ended up with (figurative) egg on her face — or (literal) shrapnel wounds.

Daniel Rigg ruins everything

Daniel Rigg ruined everything. No, seriously, Daniel Rigg ruined everything in "Saw IV." If Daniel had just ignored Jigsaw's wild goose chase and stayed at home, things would have played out very differently — and much more favorably.

However, Daniel wasn't one to just let things go after the mysterious disappearance of his colleague, Eric Matthews. Jigsaw put Daniel's savior complex to the test when he informed him that Eric had 90 minutes to save himself. Near the end of the film, Daniel located Eric's whereabouts and busted through the door to save him from Jigsaw's ice block trap.

What seemed like a miracle was actually a misfortune — the trap Eric was in would have released him after 90 minutes as long as the door to the room remained closed. As Jigsaw said, Eric had 90 minutes to save himself. Daniel wasn't supposed to interfere, but his eagerness to play the hero got the better of him. Eric even fired at Daniel to stop him from opening the door, but it was too late. Daniel opened the door with one second left on the clock, and as a result of his actions, Eric's head was immediately smashed by two ice blocks.

Peter not listening to the tape

While Peter Strahm had enough smarts to survive the water cube trap in "Saw V," it wasn't enough to save himself from what came next. In the final climax of the film, Peter followed Detective Mark Hoffman, a Jigsaw in training, into the renovated Nerve Gas House from "Saw II." Inside the house, Peter discovered a room with a glass coffin filled with broken glass shards.

Peter played the audiotape located in the room and heard Mark congratulating him for making it this far. Mark's voice instructed Peter to endure the pain and get inside the coffin, but Peter stopped the tape when he heard Mark nearby. After an intense brawl, Peter locked Mark inside the glass coffin, thinking he'd beaten him at his own game.

Unfortunately for Peter, he played right into Mark's hand. The entire room he was in was actually a trap, with walls waiting to close in on him. If Peter had listened to the complete tape, he would have heard that the only way to escape the trap was to get inside the coffin. Mark, however, was already tucked inside, and Peter was crushed to death.

Refusing to work together

Enjoying a "Saw" film always means turning your brain off and enjoying the ride. After all, how can an elderly man with cancer outmaneuver his young victims and put them in such complicated death traps? "Saw V," however, demands viewers suspend their disbelief for an infuriating cast of characters.

The five victims subjected to Jigsaw's traps in this film were, to put it bluntly, as dumb as a box of rocks. Before the games began, Jigsaw told everyone that they were being punished for their selfish deeds. Every death trap required everyone to work together to survive, but alluded to a possible sacrifice. Naturally, everyone worked against each other anyway, leading to a death in every room. When the last two survivors reached the final room, they come to the obvious realization that everyone could have survived the previous death traps if they'd only worked together.

Unlike the previous films, the twist in "Saw V" is a real insult to the viewer's intelligence. Death traps like the room with the ceiling jars made it obvious that everyone could have survived the nail bomb explosions by sharing space inside the large chambers on the wall. However, everyone freaked out because there were only four chambers on the wall, leading them to try and kill each other for space. Not to mention that the movie teaching its audience about the importance of teamwork makes it feel less like a sequel to "Saw" and more like an episode of "Dora the Explorer."

Dina switching sides

Before the release of "Jigsaw," "Saw 3D" was intended to be the final entry in the series. The movie, which goes all in on its 3D gimmick, takes its death traps to new extremes — starting with the first one, which takes place publicly during the day.

Two young men, Brad and Ryan, are told to use circular saw blades to kill one another within 60 seconds. If no one is killed within the time limit, a woman named Dina will be lowered to the center blade below. The kicker here is that Dina was cheating on both Brad and Ryan, without either being aware of the other.

At first, both men try to save themselves and Dina by pushing their saw blades toward one another. As this happens, Dina declares her love for whoever appears to be winning, while cheering for the other man's death. Ultimately, Brad and Ryan decide that Dina isn't worth it and let her get sawed to death.

Lawrence Gordon becomes the next Jigsaw

Out of all the unbelievable things that have happened in the "Saw" series, Dr. Lawrence Gordon joining forces with John "Jigsaw" Kramer might be the hardest pill to swallow. And yet that's exactly what happened at the end of "Saw 3D." 

After the events of the original "Saw," Lawrence limped off to save his family. However, he eventually passed out from his self-inflicted wound. Unbelievably, Lawrence was miraculously saved by John, who took care of his severe injuries. Moved by his mercy, Lawrence befriended John and decided to carry out his final wish.

It made no sense for the character of Lawrence to have this sudden change of heart toward John, considering all the awful things John put him through in the original movie. (John is the reason why Lawrence is missing a foot, after all.) This out-of-nowhere turn for Lawrence feels like a twist created solely for the sake of having a twist.

Ryan can't read

Kids, remember your ABCs. Don't be like Ryan in "Jigsaw," who paid a steep price for not bothering to read. In the film, Ryan and his fellow victims were trapped inside a barn by the Jigsaw killer. Running out of patience, Ryan tried to use a shovel to break down a locked door that had the words "No Exit" on it.

As soon as Ryan charged toward the door, he instantly fell through a trapdoor in the floor, with one of his legs ending up entangled in a razor-sharp wire trap. Shortly after, Ryan was forced to sacrifice his leg in order to free himself and to save the lives of others from a different trap that went off. If Ryan had kept his cool and taken the warning on the door seriously, he might have ended the movie with all of his limbs intact — and improved his chances for survival.