Conjuring Vs Saw Faceoff: Which Franchise Gives You the Biggest Nightmares?

Conjuring vs Saw franchise faceoff
Conjuring vs Saw Franchise Faceoff

Cinema has always been a home for horror movies, which serve the audience with chilling, adrenaline-inducing scenes that will be on their minds long after the movie ends. This is precisely why horror is such a popular genre. Out of many horror series established over time, two that stand out are ‘The Conjuring’ and ‘Saw’. Movies from these two franchises have attracted huge fanship. What’s interesting is that the first movies of both franchises (The Conjuring (2013) and Saw (2004)) and many more were directed by the same director, James Wan. Movies from these two franchises are infamous for leaving audiences trembling, but which of the two gives the biggest nightmares? Let’s find out! 

Films in the Conjuring Universe

Films in The Conjuring Universe include The Conjuring (2013), The Conjuring 2 (2016), Annabelle (2014), Annabelle: Creation (2017), The Nun (2018), Annabelle Comes Home (2019), The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021), and The Nun II (2023). 

The first film in the franchise, “The Conjuring,” introduces us to paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. They come to Rhode Island in response to a call from Perron and his family, who have been experiencing strange supernatural events after buying a new house. The Conjuring franchise, conceived by director James Wan, is known for its creepy ambiance, otherworldly creatures, and shocking moments.

Films in the Saw franchise

Films in the Saw franchise include Saw (2004), Saw II (2005), Saw III (2006), Saw IV (2007), Saw V (2008), Saw VI (2009), Saw 3D (2010), Jigsaw (2017), Spiral (2021), and Saw X (2023).

The very first movie, “Saw,” shows the twisted games created by a mysterious murderer known as Jigsaw. Two strangers, Dr. Lawrence Gordon and Adam Stanheight, wake up in an abandoned bathroom fastened with chains to opposite walls. At the center of the room lies a corpse clutching a tape recorder that explains to them how they must kill each other before 6 p.m. or their respective families will die. In contrast to The Conjuring, which is full of supernatural terrors, the Saw franchise gravitates towards psychological horror as well as gory violence. The series was created by James Wan and Leigh Whannell and revolves around the sadistic games played by the Jigsaw Killer, who inflicts agonizing ordeals on his victims just to check if they have a desire to live.

Let’s explore the two worlds while comparing the approaches both franchises took towards scares, narratives, atmosphere, and invoking an overall fear! 


Sudden Clapping Jumpscare from The Conjuring
Sudden Clapping Jumpscare from ‘The Conjuring’

Both film series do not employ jumpscares equally. “The Conjuring” is built on sudden appearances and loud sounds, liberally using jumpscares as it inherently falls under horror. For instance, the sudden clapping spirit of the Perron farmhouse in “The Conjuring” or even Valak’s horrible twisting figure in “The Conjuring 2” do suddenly scare the audience.

A torture scene from the 'Saw' franchise
A torture scene from the ‘Saw’ franchise

Also read: Rest In Peace (2024) Plot Summary And Ending Explanation In Detail 

“Saw,” on the other hand, uses a more graphic approach and fewer jumpscares. These movies do not have any demonic possessions or scary ghosts, but rather an antagonist who loves to torture people and play mind games. “Saw” focuses on grotesque scenes that will make one look away with a cringe. 

Storytelling: Haunting vs. Gruesome

creepy Nun scene from conjuring 2
Creepy Nun scene from conjuring 2

“Conjuring” and “Annabelle” tell us about the real-life haunted house incidents that Ed and Lorraine Warren dealt with in their professional careers as paranormal investigators. This “based on a true story” element breeds some unease and confuses what is real from what is not. These slowly build suspense, only to end up with terrifying encounters with paranormal and demonic beings.

A gruesome torture scene from SAW 3 movie
A gruesome torture scene from SAW 3 movie

On the other hand, Saw works on complicated schemes of torture set up by the sadistic killer Jigsaw. These movies concentrate on the psychological and physical misery brought about by the torturer. Although the stories are less realistic, they instill different kinds of fear through extreme cruelty and the clever use of traps. 

Background Score and Sound

The Conjuring universe shows us how sound design can be used effectively to make a film tense. The creaking of floorboards, strange whispers, and out-of-tune musical notes synchronise with what is seen on the screen to create an atmosphere of dread that envelopes all. Remember that scene in “The Conjuring” where we hear the low hum of the basement coupled with Lorraine’s visions. Joseph Bishara, who composed most scores for this movie series, successfully and effectively combined eerie music with James Wan’s visuals, which resulted in one of the scariest auditory experiences in movies.

Saw’s soundtrack is more inclined towards industrial and techno-thriller. In addition to clocks constantly ticking away and the sound of metallic grinds, it acts as a perfect match for these gory scenes, thus creating urgency while increasing the viciousness of traps. The audio world within the Saw movies is visceral, splintering, and metallic. Sound fills every inch of any “Saw” movie, from blood splatters onto chains or screams that were highly pitched to head snaps, all combine to make an immersive experience for the audience. All soundtracks for all Saw movies were masterfully done by Charlie Clouser.


The Conjuring franchise shows remarkable cinematography as Wan uses innovative camera skills and creative framing to amplify the horror element. In “The Conjuring,” the tracking shot where Carolyn Perron investigates strange sounds coming from the basement is a great example of suspense through camera work. Another example is the disorienting realism brought about by the use of handheld cameras in “The Conjuring” during Lorraine’s trance-like states.

“Saw” makes use of slow zooms, Dutch angles, and close-ups on the gory details of traps in order to make viewers confront the very pain that is inflicted upon victims. One example is the claustrophobic terror, which is heightened by the shaky camerawork in “the bathroom scene” of the movie. Feeling trapped and helpless is effectively conveyed through the claustrophobic cinematography in the Saw franchise, while its characters are locked in by Jigsaw. 

Characters: From Sinister Demons to Deranged Psychopaths

The most frightening demon possessed Annabelle scene
The most frightening demon possessed Annabelle scene

Also read: 10 Scariest Nail Biting Scenes From The Curse Of La Llorona With Ending Explanation And Plot Summary

The Conjuring universe has some of the most famous and iconic demons in existence: the frightening Nun Valak, the twisted Satan-worshipper Bathsheba, and the demon-possessed Annabelle doll. They are pure malevolence, which exploits darkness by feeding on human weakness. On the good side, we had actors playing Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), who did an amazing and believable portrayal of the real-life ghostbuster couple. 

Jigsaw grain silo death trap scene
Jigsaw 2017 grain silo death trap scene

When it comes to characters in “Saw,” there is arguably no one as morally ambiguous as Jigsaw, who constructs complicated death traps that challenge viewers’ conventional ideas about right or wrong. He forces victims to confront their mortality and past sins through his dangerous and complex games. The cleverness of Jigsaw and the extreme nature of his techniques are what make him a chilling antagonist. The series also features a variety of victims and accomplices with differing motivations and secrets.

Scenes that will give you nightmares at night

The Conjuring universe has momentous scenes of sheer horror. These could be the basement scene when Bathsheeba reveals herself in “The Conjuring,” Lorraine and Valak’s painting scene in “The Conjuring 2,” or the horrifying “face on the stairs” scene in “Annabelle” for many individuals. The scene where Valak reveals herself at the end of “Nun II” is another creepy scene that will scare your wits off! 

On the contrary, “Saw” is known for its brutal and complicated death traps. The first movie featured a suspenseful scene where Amanda, a heroin addict, was wearing the reverse bear trap. She managed to kill the man in time to open the trap and survive. However, Jill in “Saw VII” wasn’t so lucky and ended up dying horrifyingly from the same trap. The scene is gory, to say the least. 

“Saws II” presents a scene where Michael is wearing a “venus fly trap,” a deadly mask that will close if he doesn’t get the key from his eye. 

Another gruesome scene is from Saw VI, where a man and a woman have to cut a pound of their flesh, and whoever’s flesh weighs more lives. The Saw franchise is filled with gory, unimaginable scenes, and that just might be the reason why it’s so popular. 


In the face-off between Conjuring and Saw, both series provide different and scary experiences that will give you nightmares. The Conjuring masterfully establishes an authentic horror experience with its well-made jump scares, engaging storylines, and unforgettable characters. On the other hand, Saw is full of physical excitement and mental panic attacks, as it has twisted storylines, horrifying traps, and a morally ambivalent antihero.

Essentially, the difference between them is simply a matter of taste. If supernatural chills and hair-raising shockers go down well for you in horror movies, then surely you will get satisfaction from The Conjuring series. When you are fascinated by sickening violence and heart-pounding psychological horror, then think about watching the Saw franchise, where fear won’t let you go.