Follow TV Tropes


Film / Jigsaw

Go To
"The truth will set you free."
"Now, the game's simple. Best ones are. You want mercy? Play by the rules."

WARNING: This page assumes you have seen the first four films in the Saw franchise. Any spoilers for those films will thus remain unmarked. Read on or go backmake your choice.


Jigsaw is the eighth installment in the Saw franchise, the first film in that franchise following a seven-year hiatus, and a sequel to Saw 3D (also known as Saw: The Final Chapter). It was released on the 27th of October 2017, keeping with the franchise tradition of releasing a new film just before Halloween.

Police have no answers when the bodies of murder victims start dropping into their laps, each one having met with a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to the most unlikely perpetrator: "The Jigsaw Killer", John Kramer. But he cannot be responsible for these murders...because he has been dead for over a decade. If Kramer isn't responsible, then who is the copycat behind these new "games"—and can the police stop them before they kill again?

Previews: Trailer.


Jigsaw includes the following tropes:

  • An Arm and a Leg: When Ryan tries to cheat by leaving the barn before his test the floor collapses and 3 pieces of razor wire wrap around his right leg. Jigsaw tells him that Anna and Mitch will be freed from the silo trap if he activates a device that will "free" him—by slicing his leg into pieces.
  • Anyone Can Die: As per the norm for the series. Once again, the protagonists ultimately fail their tests and die as a result. Well, except for one—who later goes on to become the new Jigsaw.
  • Asshole Victim: All of the victims in this film count as this trope to varying degrees, though some are significantly worse than others. Two of them in particular count as karmic deaths and/or Death by Irony:
    • Ryan: Arguably the least terrible, despite being an absolute dick. When Ryan was a teenager, he got drunk while riding in a car with his friends and distracted them, leading to a car crash that killed them and another person. Ryan only survived because he fell out of the car and placed all of the blame on the driver, causing his family a lot of pain and suffering (according to John). He is the only one to act in any way that can be considered heroic, though; chopping off his leg to save Anna and Mitch, never even thinking of shooting Anna, and even trying to warn her about the shotgun trap when she wanted to kill him, arguably pushing him into Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory. He dies of dehydration or blood loss, alone in one of Jigsaw's rooms.
    • Advertisement:
    • Mitch: Despite passing himself off as a Nice Guy, he knowingly sold a bike with faulty brakes to a young man who just so happened to be Jigsaw's nephew, and covered it up in order to get full price for it, directly leading to the man's death in an accident. He ends up being sliced apart in a wind turbine powered by a motorbike that had the exact engine from the original bike that he sold.
    • Carly: A purse snatcher who stole from an asthmatic woman, leading to the woman having an attack and dying. Carly could have helped her but chose to run away with $3.53. She refuses to risk her life for the other players despite the fact that all of them will die if she doesn't, and gets acid injected into her throat, dying an incredibly painful death.
    • Anna: Despite being styled as a typical protagonist with the only genuinely sympathetic backstory, she turns out to be one of the most vile characters in the entire franchise. To wit, she murdered her own baby in a fit of rage and tricked her husband into thinking he did it, which ended with him being taken to an insane asylum where he hung himself. She constantly denies that she's done anything wrong to be put in this situation and doesn't show any remorse or sadness over what she's done, even when John directly confronts her with it. When trapped in the final room, she tries to kill Ryan to save herself, only for the rigged shotgun to backfire.
    • Logan: While he was working at a hospital, he carelessly mislabeled two X-Rays, leading to John Kramer's brain tumor not being found until it was too late. Kramer accidentally overdoses him before he puts him in the buzzsaw trap, meaning he'll be unable to survive it. However, he lasts long enough that Kramer, not wanting to kill someone without giving them a chance, and realizing Logan made an honest mistake, has a change of heart, saving his life and making him one of the first Apprentices.
    • Halloran: A Dirty Cop and Glory Hound of the highest order, not to mention a perverted Jerkass to boot. When trapped with Logan in a dual trap, he goads him into thinking they'll work together, then activates Logan's trap first so he'll have a better chance of surviving. Keep in mind, as far as he knows, Logan is an innocent veteran with a daughter to take care of. As it turns out, Logan is an Apprentice, who goads him into confessing to being dirty, destroying his public image and framing him as the new Jigsaw before he slices Halloran's head apart with lasers.
  • And I Must Scream: Ryan ends up trapped in a room with Anna's corpse and eventually dies of either dehydration or blood loss.
  • Ax-Crazy: Anna, who murdered her baby in a fit of rage then framed her husband for it without any remorse, then she tries to kill Ryan, who calls her out for being a "psycho-bitch," to save herself really says a lot about how utterly fucked up she is mentally.
  • Backwards-Firing Gun: The final trap in the Barn the first time around is a shotgun rigged to fire backwards.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Every single person trapped in the Barn could qualify, albeit to varying degrees. But special mention goes to Anna, who murdered her infant child and made it look like her husband had accidentally rolled on top of and thus suffocated the baby. She keeps up the lie as long as possible and shows no remorse for doing so, despite her husband being Driven to Suicide.
    • The sole possible exception is Ryan, who is something of a Jerkass up front and ends up being closer to a Jerk with a Heart of Gold by the end.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Edgar gets the trigger blasted out of his hands, but he also gets hit in the chest.
  • Call-Back: Many of the traps and scenarios are quite reminiscent to ones from the previous entries. However, the traps being referenced are chronologically the later ones.
    • The Bucket Room trap bears a strong resemblance to the Neck Tie Trap from Saw V, since both involve a group of five people threatened with being pulled into deadly blades on the wall. Unlike the Neck Tie Trap, the blades are in front of the players and they must go up to them and cut themselves to be freed, rather than the blades being behind them and purely being a penalty for failing to free themselves.
    • Ryan trying to break open the door with a shovel is similar to the scene in Saw II where Xavier does the same with a studded baseball bat.
    • The Laser Collar trap is an obvious call-back to the Shotgun Collar from Saw III.
    • The Chain Hangers are a lot like the Mausoleum Trap from Saw IV, as well as the Acid Room from Saw VI, with hints, perhaps, of the antidote drama in the games of Saw II.
    • Similarly to Saw II, the trap plot and the investigation aren't taking place at the same time.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Logan wakes up to one in the film, straight after the scene where Ryan screams when Anna is trying to patch up his recently-amputated leg.
  • Catchphrase: "Live or die—the choice is yours." Not precisely the original ("make your choice"), but close enough to count.
  • Central Theme: "The truth will set you free". Nearly every character in this movie (including Anna and Logan) has committed some kind of crime, and must confess their sins or they'll be in even deeper shit.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Ryan tries to cheat the game by leaving through the No Exit door. He gets his right leg sliced into pieces for his trouble.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Laser Cutter used to cut the bucket from the first victim during the autopsy. A whole bunch of them arranged in a collar are used for the final test of the movie.
  • Dead All Along: John Kramer has indeed been dead for over a decade... along with Carly, Mitch, Ryan, and Anna. They were in one of John's first "games," along with Logan. The bodies the police had been finding were criminals Halloran allowed to walk free, whom Logan killed and disfigured in similar ways.
  • Deadly Disc: The first test in the Barn involves the players being dragged by chains locked around their necks. At the other end of those chains sits a series of rapidly-spinning buzzsaws. The players must give a blood offering to stop the blades from killing them, which involves sticking something out and letting that bleed on the blade. Logan does not hear the rules and gets cut up rather badly. He survives only because of Jigsaw, who saves Logan's life out of a twisted sense of "fair play".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ryan has a couple of good sarcastic quips. When he sees Billy for the first time:
    Ryan: No, that's not creepy at all.
    • And when he tries to wriggle confessions out of Carly, Mitch, and Anna, after Anna reveals hers:
    Ryan: No, no. A confession is "I killed a hooker in Tulsa," or "I ate my fucking neighbors," not "I need marriage counseling."
  • Decoy Protagonist: The protagonist of the Barn storyline appears to be Anna, but it turns out that Anna is the biggest Hate Sink in the franchise and an Asshole Victim. The real protagonist is Ryan.
  • Delayed Reaction: Two examples arise:
    • When the chains retract, Logan, who isn't awake, is dragged to the blades like a reluctant dog on a leash to the blades. When he does awaken, he gets sliced up badly, so John saves him from a gruesome fate.
    • When Mitch's mangled body comes out of the Spiralizer, Ryan, who's laying on a hay bale and pale from blood loss, looks at him and shrugs at first, before realizing the situation, lifting his head and screaming.
  • Dirty Cop: Halloran has basically done it all from taking bribes to framing innocent people.
  • Disney Death: To the other players, Logan dies in the room with the saws, even though John saved him from the fate.
  • Driven to Suicide: Anna's husband hangs himself in his cell after going mad from taking a Frame-Up from his wife, unable to go on living anymore.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Jigsaw's trap for Mitch was because he willingly sold a faulty motorcycle to his nephew, who John describes as "someone who would never hurt anyone".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While John originally intended Logan to participate in his game, John saved him because he didn't wake up in time for the first trap and it didn't seem fair for him to die when he wasn't ready. And while John did blame him for mislabeling his X-Rays, John realized it was completely by accident and he shouldn't be punished for an error.
  • Eye Scream: This is hinted at late in the trailer when one of the participants in Jigsaw's new game falls dangerously close to a set of outstretched spikes. But this never happens.
  • Faking the Dead: The film goes through some lengths to imply the original Jigsaw might still be alive. Subverted by this film's status as a Stealth Prequel. Any scenes featuring John Kramer are flashbacks, and anything that implies he is still alive turns out to be a misdirect planned out by the new Jigsaw.
    • Logan appears to die despite "confessing" in the milking room when his "lasers" reach his neck.
  • Fan Disservice: A naked woman's breasts are seen... but she's already dead, part of her face is melted off, and her chest has been cut open by a mortician.
  • Final Girl: Played With. Anna shows all the traits of a traditional final girl early on: She is a resourceful and intelligent Action Survivor who comes across as kind, compassionate, and level-headed in comparison to the other players. But much of this is an act, so she eventually suffers a well-deserved Karmic Death. This leaves Ryan as the last man standing... but then he dies. The film then reveals that Logan, the first victim of the Barn, both survived his "death"—making him the Final Boy and sole survivor of the Barn—and later became the new Jigsaw. Ten years later, it is shown that Eleanor is somewhat of a final girl in and of herself.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Halloran, after deactivating his laser collar, looks up and sees the burn marks in the ceiling above him. At the same time, he notices there aren't any above Logan, even though there should be. And then Logan gets up...
  • Foreshadowing:
    • As the bodies of the victims are found by the police, Jigsaw attaches a note "And then there were X," not "And now there are X." That combined with almost instant finding of the victims after their death shows that the time-line is skewed.
    • Mitch's attempt to just cut his finger in the first game, only to have the chain jerk him forward and spill much more blood, foreshadows his reticence to reach his hand out to pull the brake in his trap later on, which ultimately dooms him.
    • Eleanor has a collection of replica traps she made with plans from the Dark Web, traps which have been in the previous films. She also shows off an unfamiliar blender trap, which she says was built from plans for a trap rumored to have been used by Kramer in a game that occurred before all the others, even though no body was found that could have been killed in such a device and the game is unproven to have happened. So the fact that we see that blender trap in use during the barn game is a hint that it's actually in the past, and that the game we're shown is the very one Eleanor heard rumors of, rather than the game producing the victims in the police investigation.
    • Anna says she didn't do anything to deserve being put in the game, yet Jigsaw doesn't target most of his victims unless they did something to deserve it. This foreshadows that Anna lied about killing her baby and framed her husband for it.
    • The final confrontation between the Barn victims and the killer has a number of clues pointing to the fact that all the scenes in the farm take place years before the rest of the movie. To wit...
      • Anna is shown to be John Kramer's neighbor and friend, and yet when he reveals himself to her, she isn't in the least bit surprised to see him alive.
      • Anyone as close to John as Anna is revealed to be, would be well aware of the Jigsaw Killer's M.O. and would've brought it up during their ordeal. But she doesn't because at that point in the timeline the general public doesn't know Kramer is Jigsaw and the killer wouldn't be that famous yet.
      • Anna is said to have accompanied John to his chemotherapy, something that would've taken place 10 or 12 years before the present day events of the film, and yet she looks exactly the same during her confrontation with John... because said confrontation takes place before the events of the first movie.
      • All the victims found by the police are said to have connections to Halloran's cases, and yet the deaths Ryan caused happened when Ryan was a teenager, and Halloran would've been a teenager himself at the time, a sign that the people in the barn aren't the same ones the cops are finding.
      • In the barn, the victims listen to recordings on tape recorders - an outdated form of holding audio data. At the morgue/precinct, the investigators listen to recordings on micro-SD cards - a modern form of holding audio data.
  • Hate Sink: Anna seems like an empathetic Final Girl figure throughout the movie, trying to help others caught in one of Jigsaw's games, but is soon to be revealed one of his most deserving victims. It's revealed she was neighbors with John Kramer, who witnessed how she smothered her baby to death because the crying annoyed her, and framed and gaslighted her husband into thinking he did it. This causes her husband to be institutionalized and commit suicide out of guilt. The reason Jigsaw picked her for his game was to force penance on her. What makes her worse is not only does she not feel remorse, but she believes she did nothing wrong as well and doesn't deserve what's happening to her. She also selfishly tries to kill the last survivor, thinking it'll ensure her survival.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Invoked In-Universe. Logan mentions that as a result of his stealing John Kramer's body and planting his blood on fresh victims, many people will become convinced that Kramer is still alive and in hiding, carrying out his work.
  • Hero Antagonist: Halloran turns out to be this, albeit a Nominal Hero.
  • Hypocrite: Logan has the nerve to judge other people for their sins when he essentially, though not maliciously (it was an innocent mistake) condemned an innocent man to die a slow, painful, and altogether avoidable death out of sheer carelessness/negligence. He was also put into a Jigsaw game himself for that, then likely survived the experience only because of the compassion of the man whose life he doomed.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ryan is fairly abrasive, unfaithful to all his wives, reckless, and irresponsible. But unlike many of the other Barn victims, he is not nearly as self-absorbed or ill-intentioned. The deaths he caused are genuinely accidental, albeit brought on by his own recklessness. He also cuts off his own leg to save Mitch and Anna, then refuses to shoot Anna at the end. He even tries to warn her at the last second what will happen if she fires the gun.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Anna, point blank. She takes the shotgun and bullet John leaves behind, intending to murder Ryan and save herself. Turns out the shotgun was rigged to backfire, so Anna shoots herself in the face. Unfortunately for Ryan, she also destroys their keys to escape.
    • Halloran could also qualify, given how he allowed criminals to walk free and forced Logan into going first in the Laser Cutter trap.
    • Which would make this a literal case of Laser Guided Karma.
  • Laser Cutter: The film's final trap: A collar lined with laser cutters that will slice the remaining two players' heads if they do not confess their sins to Jigsaw. Turns out the trap is a setup—Logan, who is the new Jigsaw, put Halloran into the trap to force out a confession that he let criminals walk free. One of those criminals killed Logan's wife two years prior. Despite getting the confession, Logan notes that Halloran broke the rules twice by not confessing all his sins and forcing Logan to go first. Halloran dies when the laser cutters slice through his face.
  • Literal Metaphor: During the final game, Jigsaw holds up a shotgun shell and says, "Here's your key to freedom," before loading it into a gun. Anna takes this to mean that she needs to shoot Ryan with it, which backfires on her. Turns out, the keys to their shackles were literally hidden inside the shell and firing it destroyed them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: While Carly seems to be trying to decide which of the three syringes to try, Ryan is repeatedly and aggressively demanding she choose one and quickly. While justified due to the game about to start and everyone about to be killed, it clearly wracks at Carly's nerves. When she comes upon the syringe labeled 3.53, she halts as if she's onto something, like she believes this to be the one that will save her. However, Ryan's nonstop demanding and threats to just jam all three into her neck push her into a panic and she refuses to choose. While YMMV on this one, and Carly does appear to be a Dirty Coward for refusing to choose and risking everyone's life, Ryan antagonizing her costs her life.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Eleanor, who's obsessed with the Jigsaw Killer and his crimes, even going to the extent of building replicas of his traps. Other characters call her out on how creepy this is, and she becomes a suspect because of it.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When Halloran realizes he's going to die, he tries to appeal to Logan, saying that his death won't bring Logan's wife back, and that John Kramer gave people a chance to win his games. For a second, Logan seems to seriously consider letting him go... And then Halloran immediately tries to take a swing at him.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The games we see happen are in the past. The autopsy and other scenes happen a decade later.
  • Plot Hole:
    • It seems impossible that Jigsaw could find out about all the crimes and misdeeds the victims in his game got away with. He didn't know them personally, and since the police apparently never discovered their wrongdoing, how could Jigsaw have learned of them?
    • The game is actually taking place a decade earlier, so why does Billy look so different and how does that explain the presence of modern flatscreen televisions?
  • Posthumous Character: Despite his character's definitive and gruesome on-screen death at the end of Saw III — and the ensuing autopsy shown at the beginning of Saw IVTobin Bell returns to play the role of John Kramer in this film. He appears only in what are eventually revealed as flashbacks to one of his first games.
  • Reality Ensues: Rather than all the players in the barn game conveniently waking up at the same time to hear the rules, one of them is too heavily sedated and wakes up moments before he gets killed by the first trap. Later scenes show that Jigsaw felt this was unfair and saved him before he could actually die.
  • Red Herring: The viewers are led to believe that Eleanor is the new Jigsaw killer because she's a Fangirl of Jigsaw and has built replicas of many of his previous traps. Clues then point to Halloran due to his past dealings with Edgar and Hunt finding the missing jigsaw-shaped piecea of flesh from the victims in his refrigerator. It turns out the true mastermind is Logan.
  • The Reveal: The film is partially a Stealth Prequel. The Barn is one of the original Jigsaw's first "games" that took place at least a decade before the events of this film. Logan was one of the players in the Barn; he was saved and recruited by Jigsaw—then eventually became Jigsaw after John Kramer's death.
  • Rugged Scar: Logan has several on his back, both from the game a decade ago and from his time in Fallujah.
  • Sadistic Choice: Realizing he's about to die, Halloran tries to appeal to Logan, saying that John Kramer gave his victims a chance to win their games, a choice as to whether they wanted to live or die. The response he gets?
    Jigsaw: You have a choice. Scream, or don't.
  • Serial Killer: The new Jigsaw is just as much of a killer as the original.
  • The Sociopath: Anna could qualify as a low-functioning one as she murdered her baby then framed her husband for it, which lead to him being Driven to Suicide, while Anna shown no remorse or regret for what she has done. Her empathy towards the other test subjects could be Bait the Dog Pragmatic Villainy attempts to get them to trust her and help her escape. When she turns the gun on Ryan to save herself, she appeared to be an Apologetic Attacker towards him, but her weeping as she aims the shotgun at Ryan were just Crocodile Tears for her to pass herself as victim then a self-centered and heartless witch she is at heart.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The first trailer shows off the kind of imagery associated with the franchise as "Running Scared" by Roy Orbison plays in the background.
  • Stealth Prequel: Not the entire movie, mind, but the scenes with the victims in the barn, which are assumed to take place at the same time as Halloran's investigation, are this for the entire franchise, taking place at some point between Kramer's first murder and his first encounter with Hoffman.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • The Barn players watch as the infamous Billy doll rides a bike towards them, then lets out a laugh. Ryan gets in the line about how that's not creepy at all.—which is followed by the group being pulled into a new "game".
    • Anna seemingly saves Mitch from the blade shredder trap he is in, after stopping the motorcycle powering it by jamming a bar into its wheel. Mitch is elated that Anna saved him and keeps saying "[she] did it". The bar then immediately breaks away and he is promptly killed.
  • Villainous Legacy: The original Jigsaw is dead, but someone has seen fit to carry on his work more than a decade after his death.
  • Wham Shot: Near the climax of the film, Anna and Ryan are chained up in a room with Jigsaw, dressed in his iconic red hood. He eventually removes it to reveal that he's John Kramer, alive and that particular moment.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • This film does not address the the previous film's reveal of Lawrence as a super-secret apprentice of the original Jigsaw. It instead focuses on Logan as Kramer's original "secret apprentice" who predates all others.
    • What happened to Bobby Dagen, after his wife and colleagues were killed for his lies of being a Jigsaw survivor?
    • When the police captain orders John's grave be exhumed, to assure the public that he's truly dead, they discover Edgar's body. We know Logan is responsible, but we never learn where John's body is.
  • Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Logan Nelson is a well-intentioned forensic pathologist. He is also the new Jigsaw.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Anna literally smothered her own baby with a pillow.

"I speak for the dead."


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Saw Legacy


Jigsaw Opening scene

Edgar Munsen gets his hand blown off

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / BlastingItOutOfTheirHands

Media sources:

Main / BlastingItOutOfTheirHands