5 Best Torture Horror Films Like Saw X


Amazingly, the Saw franchise will soon premiere its tenth entry. Like its predecessors, Saw X is one part hilariously convoluted narrative to five parts absurd death traps. Jigsaw’s first outing inspired a wave of copycats, both in the story and at the box office. Saw created the torture horror subgenre. With only 13 hours of content so far, you should try out some other torture horror films to see what they have to offer.

The Collector

The Collector from the 2009 torture horror movie

Image Source: Freestyle Releasing

In many ways, The Collector is the opposite of Saw. Jigsaw brings victims to him, then puts them in traps. The Collector comes to the victim’s house and sets his traps there. The Collector was pitched as The Midnight Man, a spin-off of the original torture horror franchise. It follows a skilled thief named Arkin as his simple break-in operation falls apart. As he’s stealing from the family that employs him, a masked serial murderer fills the house with deadly traps. The titular Collector is a haunting presence, constantly teleporting around and exhibiting incredible foresight. His tricks may not be as complex as those in Saw X, but they’re just as brutal. Torture horror movie fans will love the battle of wits between The Collector and his victims. The sequel, The Collection, has a lot to like for Saw fans, too.

Would You Rather

A shot from torture horror film Would You Rather

Image Source: IFC Midnight

Jigsaw goes on and on about how he’s not a murderer. By even the loosest definition, he’s a serial killer, but his logic is almost consistent. He claims that he doesn’t kill anyone because each of his victims has a chance to save themselves by making a horrible choice. Would You Rather puts a group of desperate people in a fancy dining room and forces them to make similar decisions. A wealthy monster offers lavish financial rewards to anyone willing to attend a dinner party and participate in his sick game. The titular game gives its victims options before exposing them to violence. This film’s answer to Jigsaw, the spectacular Jeffery Combs as Shepard Lambrick, has his own absurd philosophical beliefs behind his brutal actions. Though Lambrick never builds any complex killing machines, his cruelty matches Saw‘s very well. It’s a stripped-down, high-class torture horror movie.


A shot from a torture horror movie Cube

Image Source: Trimark Pictures

Vincenzo Natali’s 1997 science fiction horror classic was one of the most common comparisons to the original Saw when it debuted. Cube follows a handful of strangers who wake up in a mysterious structure. A cop, a doctor, a math student, an escape artist, and a mentally ill savant navigate their new surroundings. They discover deadly traps occupying some of the empty rooms. Like SawCube was made on a tiny budget with only one set. It’s a claustrophobic nightmare that forces you to wonder why the victims are trapped and how they could possibly get out. Natali’s strange fascinations with math and mapmaking add flavor without ever overpowering the character-clash storytelling. Those who particularly enjoyed Saw V‘s extended group sequences will love Cube.


Shot from 2015's Circle

Image Source: FilmBuff

What is it with torture horror movies and one-word titles? Saw, Cube, Circle, Dread, Hostel, and so many more. I suspect their bare simplicity leaves a mystery, compelling you to sit and watch. That’s certainly the case in Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione’s 2015 film Circle. Again, a group of strangers wakes up in a mysterious blank space in a specific shape. This time, 50 people are arranged in two circles around a black dome. If anyone leaves their spot or touches another victim, a beam fires from the center, killing them instantly. Every two minutes, another person will die. The victims can vote on who dies next. It’s a bitter examination of what people will do to survive, just like the traps Jigsaw arranges in Saw. No one is pulled apart in Circle, but the emotional devastation is as stomach turning.


Art the Clown from Terrifier

Image Source: Dread Central Presents

Yes, Art the Clown’s adventures are slasher films, but the long-winded glee with which Art dispatches his victims pushes the extreme entries well into the torture horror subgenre. Clown imagery isn’t absent from films like Saw X, but it’s always been a centerpiece of horror. Terrifier is a movie about an aimless, mime-like serial murderer who butchers every person unlucky enough to cross his path. If you think Saw or its sequels are bitter, venomous, and grim, Terrifier can give new meaning to those words. Saw may bask in blood and gore, but John Kramer doesn’t have the glee of Art the Clown. You’re denied even the slightest meaningful justification. Saw represents a man using violence to make his victims appreciate what they’re left with. Terrifier spits in the face of life as a concept. If you’re ready to get a little darker, this clown might be the missing piece.

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