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SAW: Celebrate Halloween on the DraftKings Marketplace

Zach Thompson breaks down the history of the Saw film franchise.

To celebrate the spookiest time of the year, DraftKings Marketplace is venturing into new territory with some great NFT releases centered on one of the most well-known horror franchises of all time—”Saw.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 26, five of the most iconic traps from the Chapter 1 Collection will be released. At 3 p.m. ET, 1,000 “Laser Coller Trap” NFTs will be released followed at 4 p.m. ET by 900 NFTs of the “Bucket Head Trap.” At 5 p.m. ET, 800 of the “Water Cube Trap” NFTs will be released, and at 6 p.m. ET, the famous “Death Mask Trap” will be celebrated in 700 NFTs. The final drop of the day is at 7 p.m. ET and features 600 “Reverse Beartrap” NFTs.

On Thursday, Oct. 28, the six drops will focus on the schematics for each of the five traps listed above in addition to a key that completes the full set of 11 NFTs based on the “Saw” franchise.

All great horror franchises need a memorable villain, and the “Saw” series is centered on a serial killer named John Kramer, known as the “Jigsaw Killer” or simply “Jigsaw.” Rather than killing his victims outright, the Jigsaw Killer deployed various traps that he calls “tests” or “games.”

The mechanical traps engineered by Jigsaw and his proteges are probably the most well-known element of the “Saw” series. All of the traps are actual objects, not CGI, but obviously, precautions have to be taken to keep the actors safe in real life. In the storyline of the movies, the traps are designed to be a kind of “test” that gives the victim a method of escape (at least in theory) but usually requires a great cost. Sometimes failure results in the death of the person being tested and other times it results in the death of someone else with which the person being tested has a previous relationship. Usually, the traps are set up to give people a chance to “redeem” themselves, but they end in death most of the time.

The psychological aspect of the torture adds another layer on top of the physical pain and also piles up plenty of drama to the film as protagonists and antagonists alike try to achieve the objective to escape the predicament that the Jigsaw Killer places them in.

The movies are full of surprising twists and turns, so to keep this spoiler-free, we’ll just say that Jigsaw is a killer that comes up with wickedly and horribly ingenious ways to torture and sometimes ultimately kill his victims. Tobin Bell has played Kramer in all nine films in the series, although the character is killed in the events of “Saw III.” He appears in photographs in the ninth film after on-screen appearances in the first eight movies. After the character dies, subsequent films focus on his posthumous impact on the lives of his apprentices and others who try to continue his legacy.

While flashbacks are used throughout the film series to reveal and expound on characters' backstories, the films in the series occur roughly in chronological order with the “present-day” sections stretching roughly 10 years or so past the original Jigsaw Killer’s death. To this point, there have been no reboots of the series, nor has John Kramer’s death been revealed to be anything less than authentic.

Aside from the brutal traps used throughout the series, the puppet named Billy is one of the most iconic symbols of the franchise. He is used by the killers to deliver messages to the victims about the traps they are facing. Usually, he is on screen with a televised message but sometimes in person. Another recurring element in the films is the haunting piece of instrumental score called “Hello Zepp” that appears in each of the films. The music appears remixed and remastered for different characters and locations throughout the series and has been used in every ending as well as usually underscoring major plot twists.

The first six films in the series are identified with Roman Numerals following “Saw,” but “Saw 3D” broke that tradition as the seventh film in the series. “Saw” was released in 2004 with a new installment in the series coming out each year until “Saw 3D” in 2010. The franchise then went on a six-year hiatus until “Jigsaw” was the eighth movie in the series when it was released in 2017. The most recent film released was “Spiral,” which came out in May 2021. In that film, Chris Rock expanded into the horror genre and starred as Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks, who was trying to stop a Jigsaw copycat killer.

As of 2021, the “Saw” films have collectively grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. While the series has never been particularly popular with critics, the public typically turns out for the series at the box office. Before “Spiral” is included in the numbers, the franchise has an average domestic box office average of $75 million on an average budget of $9 million.

There has been some debate as to what comes next for the “Saw” franchise. The events of “Spiral” definitely took place in the same universe but did not necessarily move forward the main “Saw” timeline established in “Jigsaw,” which saw the emergence of a new version of the Jigsaw Killer to take up that mantle moving forward.

Despite the fact that the story in “Spiral” seems more of a standalone plot, it looks like the next film will be called “Saw X” and is currently listed in active development. It isn’t clear whether the next film in the series will resume the Jigsaw Killer storyline from the 2017 film or follow Rock’s character or the villain seen in the “Spiral” film. No matter what storylines are followed, it will definitely be exciting for fans of the series to see what comes next in this series.