Follow TV Tropes


Film / Saw II

Go To

WARNING: All spoilers from previous films in the Saw franchise are unmarked here. Read on or go backmake your choice.

"Oh, yes... there will be blood."

Saw II is the second film in the Saw horror film series, released on October 28, 2005 and directed by series newcomer Darren Lynn Bousman.

Set some time after the first movie, the police manage to track Jigsaw's location and, after a raid, finally have him cornered. However, Jigsaw reveals that there is another game currently underway involving eight people trapped in a house not only full of deadly traps but filling with a nerve gas that they must find the antidotes for before it slowly kills them all.

Jigsaw reveals he'll only tell the police the house's location if one of the officers, Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg), plays a game of his own with him. Eric finds himself having no choice but to do so when he discovers that his son's life is on the line as one of the participants of the game in the house.

Series co-creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell were busy working on Dead Silence at the time that the sequel was greenlit, which freed up the director's chair. Bousman was recruited by the Saw crew as he was trying to sell a self-made script titled The Desperate, which ended up becoming the foundation for Saw II, with the characters, traps and deaths transferred directly, and Leigh Whannell providing some rewrites to further polish the script.

A short film titled The Scott Tibbs Documentary was featured as a Bonus Material in DVD releases of the film. Taking place after the film's events, it follows Scott Tibbs, the frontman of in-universe band Wrath of the Gods who wants to make a documentary about Jigsaw after the learning about the disappearance of his best friend Adam Stanheight (from the first film).

Preceded by Saw. Followed by Saw III.

Saw II provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

  • Action Girl: Amanda plays with this trope as the film progresses, though most if it is playing keep away when Xavier goes homicidal. Due to her history with Jigsaw from the prior film, she's constantly looking around rooms for hidden clues or items, and picking things up that may be useful later.
  • Agony of the Feet: After Amanda is pulled out of the needle pit, she has several needles stuck in her bare feet. Also, she would have been getting her feet jabbed by them while she was in there, though it doesn't impede her mobility at all after she gets the needles plucked out of her by Daniel.
  • And I Must Scream: Eric ends the film trapped in the bathroom from the first film, in the dark, with seemingly no way to free himself, and with two rotting corpses for company, looking at a slow death from dehydration or starvation. And he does scream, although a lot of it is expletives.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: If this movie was any more realistic, a Nerve Gas House would not actually be possible. Nerve agents in real life like the ones used during the Tokyo subway attacks only take minutes for victims to succumb to rather than two hours as Jigsaw claimed.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Eric lays out the mother of all beatdowns on John toward the climax, one so vicious that it has him writhing in horrible agony between taunting Eric. Even though Eric was failing his game by giving in to his rage, and it essentially boils down to a hardened police officer brutalizing a defenseless old man, it's hard to deny that John deserved every second of it.
    • After knowing who Amanda REALLY is, and what she does in future movies, Xavier pushing her into the Needle Pit is this in hindsight.
  • Ax-Crazy: Xavier starts down this road once he figures out how to get the combination to the safe. He kills Jonas with a spiked bat in a fight, reads the numbers off all the corpses' necks, leaves Addison to bleed out in a trap, slices a patch of skin off the back of his own neck, and tries to kill Amanda and Daniel.
  • Barefoot Captives: Despite the presence of multiple dead people who she could have taken a pair of shoes from, Amanda is barefoot throughout almost the whole film, including the needle pit scene. Subverted by the fact that the first three victims are adult males, and would have had a much bigger shoe size than Amanda could have realistically worn without them falling off her feet when she walked, especially the first victim. Also, the second victim (Obi) was burned, so his shoes would have melted anyway. The third male victim she only comes across after he's been murdered by Xavier, and instead of wasting time trying on his shoes, she instead realizes the homicidal threat Xavier now poses and runs to Daniel's aid. Laura is the first person to die who could have possibly worn shoes in a size similar to Amanda, but by that point, all Hell was breaking loose and shoes wouldn't have been a high priority for Amanda by then, and also may have made her look creepy to the remaining survivors for grave-robbing someone of their shoes, especially Addison. Plus, she'd just "discovered" that Daniel was the son of the man who framed her and got her sent to prison (Eric Matthews) and she was "distracted" by that reveal. In the case of the needle pit, Amanda didn't know she was going to be tossed in there, and while shoes would have helped her feet, it wouldn't have saved her from the pain of all the other places on her body the needles stabbed her in as she searched for the key.
  • Batter Up!: An insane Xavier murders Jonas with a nail-covered baseball bat.
  • Beneath Suspicion: Downplayed with Amanda, one of the supposed victims in the Nerve Gas House. While nobody ever suspects her as being a Jigsaw apprentice, there's a decent amount of Foreshadowing to it over the course of the film before her reveal at the end.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Amanda, shortly after she wakes up in the house and realizes she's in another one of Jigsaw's games.
    • Addison, shortly after Xavier leaves her to bleed to death in her glass box trap.
    • Eric, shortly after he fails his test and is left to die in the bathroom Lawrence and Adam were in.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. Jonas is among the last to die.
  • Blood from Every Orifice: Discussed when John tells Eric that his son and the rest of the victims in the Nerve Gas House are doomed to this fate. Eventually averted, however, as the only victim who actually dies from the gas, Laura, only gets Blood from the Mouth.
  • Blood from the Mouth: A sign of the progression of the toxin's effects in the Nerve Gas House is coughing or vomiting up blood, which several victims end up doing.
  • Booby Trap: Poor SWAT team members one through four early on.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Gus dies.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Daniel is just a troubled kid put into the trials of the city's most notorious Serial Killer despite having done nothing wrong to warrant it, considering the killer's twisted philosophy. As it turns out, his role in Jigsaw's game is merely part of a greater conspiracy concerning his father, and he's betrayed and subdued by the closest person he had to a friend in his ordeal. By the time the police discover him, he's completely broken on an emotional level.
    • Laura, who appears to be the most innocent of the Nerve Gas House victims aside from Daniel, breaks down crying at the halfway point, lamenting about her possible death and the fact that she's going to miss out on so many years of her life and so many people to meet if she dies.
    • Subverted with Amanda. After seeing her tear-filled breakdown in the first film from surviving her first test, and her Big "NO!" reaction to finding she's in another Jigsaw trap here, she almost immediately garners audience sympathy, even though she has a closed-off, loner personality throughout the film, opening up only to Daniel. However, we discover at the end that her presence wasn't further torture from Jigsaw, and that she was in on it all along.
  • Bungled Suicide:
    • Jigsaw reveals to Eric that he had one, which ended up becoming the main impetus for his, er, line of work. He responded to the news of his being terminal by driving off a cliff, which he survived, with his survival even giving him the willpower to pull rebar out of his side. Reportedly, no one was more amazed by his survival than him, so he made it his life's mission to test the will to live in others.
    • Implied with Amanda. In a flashback, we see her cutting her wrists, and she spends the film with bandages over her wrists, indicating that she was discovered before she could die. Her attire (a plain T-shirt, sleep pants, and the fact that she's barefoot) also suggests that she may have been plucked out of some sort of psychiatric institution by Jigsaw to be put in the Nerve Gas House. Subverted at the end, where we discover that Jigsaw was with her when she slit her wrists and encouraged her to do so to be "reborn," and is seen taking her from her apartment, likely to receive medical care.
  • Call-Back:
    • One moment towards the end mirrors a moment towards the end of the first film, with both in the same Bathroom to boot. In the first movie, Lawrence presumably shoots Adam dead before Zep enters the room, and as Zep's about to shoot Lawrence, Adam suddenly gets uphaving only been shot in the shoulder — and kills Zep. In this movie, Daniel presumably dies from the toxin before Xavier enters the room, and as he advances towards Amanda to get her number, Daniel suddenly gets up — having only rested for a moment — and kills Xavier.
    • This film's final scene mirrors that of the first: a villainous character (Amanda, rather than Jigsaw) saying "game over" and sealing the bathroom door shut, leaving a chained-up person who failed the test (Eric, rather than Adam) to die alone in the dark as they scream.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Eric is seen smoking at least four times, once during his argument with Daniel after the latter was busted for shoplifting, and another while calling Daniel to apologize for the aforementioned event.
  • Clutching Hand Trap: Movies typically go the Hand in the Hole route, but this one has a more seriously played version. In one room, a glass box hanging from the ceiling contains a syringe of antidote for the nerve gas that is slowly killing the characters. Addison finds the box, reaches in through holes in the bottom, and finds out too late that the holes are fitted with folding razors that slice into her arms when she tries to pull them out. She is left to die of either blood loss or gas poisoning.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The final words of the film, screamed by Eric to Amanda as she seals him in the Bathroom.
    "You fucking bitch... I'll fucking kill you! You fucking bitch! You fucking bitch! I'll fucking kill you! No! No!"
  • Criminal Mind Games: John does this towards the police, having abducted Eric's son Daniel and left him with numerous other victims — including Amanda, a previous survivor of his games — in a house filled with death traps, and is recording the whole thing, which becomes useful when Eric and a SWAT team show up to arrest him. John says Daniel will be returned alive and safe if Eric just has a conversation with him, but the house is also filling with nerve gas that will kill everyone inside in two hours. Daniel is locked in a safe in John's lair, and the recordings were already made, unlike the team's impression that it was live. Everyone other victim in the house is already dead apart from Amanda, and when Eric shows up to the house thinking he'll find Daniel, Amanda reveals that she's John's apprentice, and the whole thing was a revenge scheme of hers because Eric once framed her for a crime and ruined her life. It ends with Amanda leaving him to die in the Bathroom from the first film.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: When it looks like Eric, the SWAT team, and Amanda and Daniel are going to meet, it's revealed that they're all actually in different places. Eric was in the Nerve Gas House, but Amanda and Daniel (as well as Xavier) weren't there at the same time, with Daniel being shown to be in Jigsaw's lair, and the SWAT team had just entered a decoy building of the house where they can't find any of the dead victims or Eric. Not only that, but it turns out that Amanda is an apprentice of Jigsaw, and she locks Eric in the Bathroom from the first movie as he loses contact with the rest of the police.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Jonas delivers a pretty strong one to Xavier, even though Xavier is larger and more muscular. Subverted in the end because Jonas is overcome with a coughing fit before he can entirely incapacitate Xavier, and Xavier takes the opportunity to bury the spiked baseball bat in the back of Jonas' head.
  • Cut Apart: Near the end of the film, three separate groups (a SWAT team, Eric, and Xavier chasing Daniel and Amanda) look like they're about to meet. It's soon revealed that none of them are in position to meet each other.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: In a flashback, this is how Obi kidnapped Laura for the Nerve Gas House game.
  • Darker and Edgier: Downplayed in comparison to the first film. While the overall tone and aesthetic don't change much, police corruption is addressed with Eric's backstory, the tension and psychological torture among characters is more intense, and Daniel (a minor) is put in more dangerous situations than fellow minor Diana Gordon from the first film.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Downplayed. John doesn't necessarily need urgent life support to stay alive yet, but it's clear that his cancer progressed significantly since the first movie, since he's now on a wheelchair and is shown using oxygen masks.
  • Death by Irony: The intention behind the house is for each victim to encounter an individually-tailored trap that could get them a dose of the antidote or kill them. But the fast-acting nerve toxin and Xavier's rampage means that most of the victims don't even have a chance to discover their own tests. Further, Addison gets her hands trapped in a trap that was actually designed for Gus, and doesn't listen to the taped instructions because the recorder was in the possession of Jonas' corpse.
  • Decoy Damsel: Combined with a Sequencing Deception. Amanda is set up to be the Final Girl of the Nerve Gas House to Daniel's Final Boy, with Eric seemingly coming to find and rescue them. By the time Eric enters were Amanda and Daniel were last seen, however, it turns out that their presence was at different times, and Eric is promptly anesthetized and locked by Amanda, who reveals herself as Jigsaw's protége at the house.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Laura convulses and succumbs to the toxin as Amanda cradles her.
  • Dirty Cop: All of the victims in the Nerve Gas House besides Daniel were people Eric planted evidence on and framed for crimes that they never committed. We also see recorded TV footage of him becoming belligerent and violent with a news reporter asking him about his history of using physical force when talking with suspects, and Jigsaw references Eric's shoot first attitude, and the fact that he broke a suspect's jaw with a flashlight.
  • Dirty Coward: Xavier throws Amanda into the trap intended for him. That being said, he later proves to have enough Villainous Valor to cut the back skin of his neck off when Amanda tells him she wouldn't tell him what the code on it is.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Jigsaw kidnaps Michael because he despises his role as an informant, describing him as a "voyeur." While the role of a criminal informant can be dirty, especially when it concerns someone like Eric Matthews, an informant can be invaluable in assisting law enforcement in saving lives and catching criminals. Plus, the fact John describes Michael as such is pretty rich, considering he spies extensively on his victim's personal lives before testing them.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: It started as an unrelated script called The Desperate but it was that similar to Saw that it was rewritten as a sequel.
  • Driven to Suicide: Amanda reveals to Daniel, partially via flashback, that after surviving Jigsaw's trap, she was psychologically damaged and wasn't being very good to herself, and we see her cutting her wrists. She also spends the film with her wrists bandaged from the failed attempt. Subverted when we discover that Jigsaw encouraged her to slash her wrists and told her she had to face death in order to be "reborn."
  • Dumb Muscle: Xavier really doesn't seem terribly bright, and rather than work with the others to find the code for the safe, he just brutally kills them or leaves them to die after finding their pieces of the code.
  • Dwindling Party: Of the eight victims who wake up in the Nerve Gas House, only Daniel and Amanda survive.
  • Enclosed Space: After the Nerve Gas House game ended, Daniel is abducted and placed into a small metal container with an oxygen mask on his face. Ironically, said container is a safe, making Jigsaw's promise that Daniel will be found in a safe place very literal.
  • Ends with a Smile: The movie ends with Jigsaw, badly beaten and bloodied, eking out a small grin as Eric curses out his apprentice, Amanda, offscreen.
  • Evil All Along: The film's biggest twist is that Amanda is not only John's protege, but has been with him throughout all of the movie.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: As he's about to slip into killing others for his sake, Jonas tries to make Xavier sympathize with him, saying that they have to cooperate in order to be able to escape the house and return to protect their loved ones outside. Xavier coldly rebuffs him in response, saying that he only lives for himself and doesn't care whether others live or die.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Subverted when Eric beats up the already-suffering Jigsaw, but Jigsaw gets the last laugh.
  • Eye Scream:
    • The opening trap, the Death Mask, involves a police informant named Michael awakening with an iron maiden-like mask harnessed around his neck. His tape informs him that the mask's key is surgically placed behind one of his eyes, essentially requiring him to gouge it out. He is given tools to remove it, and though he starts doing so (complete with jittery close-ups of the scalpel dangerously close to his eye), he is unable to will himself to finish, and the mask ends up closing around his head.
    • Gus takes a bullet through his eye as he looks into the peephole of a door with a magnum triggered to be set off when the door is unlocked.
  • Face Death with Despair: In the opening scene, Michael is unable to will himself to complete his test; he throws away his tools, drops to his knees, and can only scream for help and let out a Rapid-Fire "No!" before the Death Mask kills him.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Obi's tape ends by saying "When you're in Hell, only the Devil can get you out." While inside the Furnace, Obi doesn't seem to notice a drawing of a devil-like figure on the furnace wall, next to a valve that would have turned off the gas, thus allowing him to escape. However, it was confirmed by Word of God that Obi was going to have a phobia towards fire, so even if he did see it, he may have been too paralyzed with fear (and likely pain, too) to try to reach it, as it was behind a wall of flames.
  • Fanservice:
    • Laura's top gives a generous view of her cleavage, which was lampshaded by her actress Beverley Mitchell in the film's commentary.
    • Addison's attire is also somewhat revealing, especially considering the situation. In the commentary, it was discussed that a flashback scene was planned, but not filmed, that would have had Addison giving Eric a lapdance, much to Donnie Wahlberg's faux chagrin.
    • Subverted with Amanda. Her T-shirt is short enough that her midriff is often slightly exposed during the film, but Word of God stated that while she was also slated to wear sexy attire, her actress Shawnee Smith pushed for minimal makeup and the very basic attire of the T-shirt and sleep pants to avoid making her look sexy.
  • Final Girl: Subverted. Amanda appears poised to fill this role, but then it's revealed at the end that she was working with Jigsaw all along. Still, she is the final female survivor, and when Xavier goes homicidal and starts killing/leaving people to die in pursuit of the numbers on their necks, she was in unplanned peril, and Xavier almost makes an attempt to kill her before Daniel intervenes.
  • Fingore:
    • A common depiction in the movie's posters (a less graphic version of which is pictured above) is a pair of severed fingers with a decayed appearance, taking place of the "II" in the film's title.
    • In the film itself, Eric breaks one of John's fingers to force him into telling Daniel's location.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The fact that the feed is not live and Eric has arrived long after the events in the house concluded instead of as they are occurring can be figured out a few moments before it's actually revealed by noticing the bodies of the participants Eric passes are visibly rotting and giving off a stench, despite in theory only being minutes old.
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: The film, while subverting the trope with the broken family straits between Eric and Daniel (because both survive at the end), gets this quote from John in to lampshade it:
    John: Seems to me that the knowledge of your son's impending death is causing you to act... Why is that we're only willing to do that, when a life is at stake?
  • Foreshadowing: There are several hints to Amanda's true reasons for being in the Nerve Gas House, namely because she's been working with Jigsaw all along:
    • Just after she wakes up, when Addison describes Jigsaw as a serial killer, Amanda is quick to correct her that he isn't, and she sounds a little defensive. This is because John is Amanda's parental substitute now, and she's part of his crusade to use his traps to "heal" people by putting them in life-or-death situations.
    • Amanda, unlike the other Nerve Gas House victims who live long enough to start feeling the gas's effects, doesn't display any symptoms that can't be feigned with simple acting. She doesn't vomit or cough up any blood. Hinting early on that she's probably already been immunized against the gas so she can watch over Daniel.
    • When Daniel and Amanda, while fleeing from Xavier, run into the door to the Bathroom Trap at the end of a corridor, Amanda doesn't need to look around for a door handle before grasping it and opening the door — she immediately knows where the handle is and how to open the door, hinting that she knows more than she's been letting on and that she's been to the Bathroom Trap's location before.
  • Framed Clue: In the Nerve Gas House, there's a photo taped to the back of a frame. And for extra kudos, it's marked with an "X".
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: The police do have sympathy towards John for having cancer and trying to take his own life, but they make it clear to him that he has neither the right nor the authority to put people through his death traps.
  • Gas Chamber: The Nerve Gas House slowly fills up with gas, with the victims having to search for hidden antidotes in order to survive. Not one character is shown being successful in this through the course of the movie, apart from Amanda who was in on the game and had already dosed herself and Daniel to ensure their safety.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: John reveals that he attempted suicide after being diagnosed with cancer, but when he failed to die, it reinvigorated him by instilling the belief that everyone else is wasting their lives by dwelling on past traumas.
  • The Heavy: Xavier ends up as the single biggest threat to the victims of the Nerve Gas House, who are already racing against the clock in Jigsaw's test.
  • Hope Spot: Even after the furnace goes off with Obi inside, he's still alive when they manage to break the glass door and he gets his head and one arm out - then he dies from his wounds anyway. And the hand that's holding the antidote needles is still inside the furnace.
  • Hot-Blooded:
    • Eric has a lot of trouble keeping his temper under control, which damages his relationship with his son and might account for his habit of rigging investigations to guarantee convictions. It proves to be his undoing in the end.
    • Xavier is always angry and violent, even before he starts killing everyone.
    • Amanda also has flashes of anger, especially when they don't listen to her in the beginning and one of them dies.
      Amanda: He's testing us! He wants us to survive this. But you have to play by the fucking RULES!
  • A House Divided: This happens with the victims of the Nerve Gas House game, although not between all of them at once.
    • Everyone turns against Obi once they find out that he assisted Jigsaw in kidnapping most of them. Likewise, all of them except Amanda turn against Daniel when they realize that he's the son of Eric, who arrested them for numerous crimes they weren't responsible for.
    • Xavier gets progressively angrier with the other victims until he decides to leave them after the antidote in his game (which he had Amanda do for him) ends up locked. Once he finds out that each digit of the code to unlock the safe at the starting room is written on the back of each victim's neck (including himself), he tries to kill everyone in order to get the antidote for himself.
  • Human Pincushion: Xavier's test in the Nerve Gas House involves him entering a pit of used needles to retrieve the key needed to get an antidote out of a safe. Xavier refuses to do the task himself and instead throws Amanda into the pit. As painful and gruesome as the pit is, Amanda completes the task, only for Xavier to accidentally drop the key and waste so much time getting the key into the lock that the timer goes off and the door locks forever before he can turn the key.

  • I Have Your Wife: An interesting subversion. Eric's son Daniel is taken hostage, but, in order to get him back, John instructs Eric not to steal/kill/etc. but... to talk to him. Eric fails miserably when the climax comes, which is explicitly shown in the ending's twist.
  • It's All About Me: Xavier's aggressive, self-centered attitude and refusal to cooperate creates many needless problems for the group, and leads to the deaths of several people. When Jonas questions him about it, he says that he just likes pitting himself against others. Perhaps his most egregious act is picking up on the fact that the numbers of the safe combination are on the back of everyone's necks and not sharing it with anybody, instead approaching people menacingly without telling them what he's doing, which is universally perceived as a threat.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Eric may be a big jerk, but few can dispute that he makes a damn good point when he points out that John, no matter how he tries to justify the deaths in his games, is a murderer.
    Eric: I don't know what [the cure for cancer] is, but I know it's not killing and torturing people for your own sick fucking pleasure.
    John: I've never murdered anyone in my life. The decisions are up to them.
    Eric: Yeah, well, putting a gun to someone's head and forcing them to pull the trigger is still murder.
  • Jerk Jock: Xavier is an overly aggressive meathead who alternates between bullying the other captives and trying to solve every problem with his muscles.
  • Karmic Death: Obi, an arsonist, burns to death.
  • Kill It with Fire: When trying to retrieve two antidotes from the furnace, Obi gets locked in and the furnace activates, which cooks him alive.
  • A Lighter Shade of Gray: John isn't necessarily depicted as being sympathetic in this film (which mainly comes into play in the following films), repeatedly taunting Eric and being willing to put Eric's teenage son Daniel in danger. However, he fares in comparison to Xavier, the direct threat to the other Nerve Gas House victims, who's an apathetic Jerkass and won't hesitate to kill anyone (including Daniel), to escape from the house.
  • Locked in a Room: The main game's victims are locked in the Nerve Gas House (of which the previous film's Bathroom is part of, as revealed at the end), expecting to work together to escape.
  • Magic Countdown: After John explains his motivation to Eric for four minutes, the timer for everyone in the Nerve Gas House to die drops by 23 minutes from the last time it was seen (which was just before).
  • Metaphorically True: Like Lawrence in the first film, Amanda states that Jigsaw is not a killer because he never killed anyone directly, though this is pretty much a Foreshadowing to her being his apprentice, which is revealed at the end of the film.
  • Moe Greene Special: Gus looks through a peephole with a magnum pistol behind it, and gets this dealt to him for his trouble.
  • Morality Pet: Almost everyone, but particularly Daniel and Amanda, treats Laura protectively as she begins to weaken from the gas. The remaining survivors splinter after her death, though this is also because Daniel's connection to Eric has been exposed by that moment.
  • Murder by Cremation: Obi has to climb inside a furnace to retrieve one of the keys, but inadvertently activates the trap, locking himself in until he's burned to death. He had a chance to escape, however; Jigsaw hinted that "once you are in hell, only the devil can help you out," and inside the furnace there was a painting of the devil pointing to the furnace's gas valve with "Twist" next to it. The problem was that Obi would have had to crawl back into the flames to turn the valve.
  • Murderous Mask: The opening trap is the aptly-named Death Mask, although its structure goes beyond the face. In addition of a metal mask with a spiked interior, there's another panel of the same nature aimed towards the back of the head, which, alongside the harness in the neck and shoulder area, makes the trap function like an iron maiden.
  • Nerves of Steel: Xavier holds a knife to Obi's throat to threaten him into entering a trap to retrieve antidotes. Not only does Obi not do so much as flinch, he willingly reaches up and drags the knife somewhat across his own throat, remarking how if Xavier was gonna threaten him with a knife, "(he) may as well cut (Obi) a little". He then climbs into the trap without any further prompting.
  • Nice Guy: Though he's a juvenile delinquent, Daniel is one of the only one in the house who shows the most empathy and concern for the others, expressing outrage when Xavier throws Amanda into the needle pit, and never putting himself and his safety above anyone else's. Amanda also shows some, helping Laura in the basement when she has her extended coughing fit, and later cradling Laura's head as she convulses and dies from exposure to the gas. This is later subverted, however, when we discover that Amanda was one of the reasons they were all there in the first place.
  • Nightmarish Nursery: The room with the Needle Pit appears to have been originally made as a bedroom for a baby or young child, given details like wall sketches of "ABC" and baby bottles with limbs, and a pair of dolls alongside a chair.
  • Papa Wolf: Eric was extremely worried when Jigsaw had his son and was willing go to huge lengths to get him back. Unfortunately, all that was required of him was to be patient.
  • Paper Destruction of Anger: As he gets frustrated, Eric rips apart numerous papers with plans for traps in an attempt to taunt John. However, it does nothing to faze John, who presumably has backup copies of the plans in other stash locations.
  • Parting-Words Regret: The last thing Eric told Daniel was essentially to go to hell, and it's clear that this is a big part of why he's so desperate to get him back.
  • Patience Plot: Jigsaw's test for Eric is pretty much designed around this, wanting him to simply listen to his life story and philosophy for why he does his actions under a certain time limit so he can see his son again, who's currently trapped in a building with others that's being pumped with nerve gas. Eric, however, becomes too impatient at the halfway mark and ultimately threatens Jigsaw into telling him where his son is, and Jigsaw tricks him into going into a false location. Turns out Jigsaw was being truthful, as the game that was being played on the other end and shown on the monitors was pre-recorded, meaning the events in the building had already transpired. His son had already survived the game and was locked inside a safe standing in the corner of the room the entire time. If Eric had kept his anger under control and waited out the time limit, he would have found Daniel "in a safe and secure state" just as Jigsaw had promised.
  • Perfect Poison: The main game involves a nerve gas released into a Closed Circle that will kill the victims unless they discover antidotes for each of them in time. While one victim (Laura) simply dies from the poison itself, it affects everyone at the same time, with the main sign of the effects being Blood from the Mouth.
  • Playing Possum: Daniel is seemingly dead when Xavier finally corners him and Amanda in the Bathroom. When Xavier moves to kill Amanda and check the number on the back of her neck, Daniel suddenly reveals he wasn't dead, and uses one of the hacksaws from the first film to slice Xavier's throat open.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: When Daniel's eyes close, and he seemingly succumbs to the toxin, Amanda begs him not to leave her for a moment, however, this might be subverted because we find out that Daniel isn't dead, and actually subdues and kills Xavier when he approaches Amanda. It's possible she did know he was still alive, and was putting on a show for Xavier so Daniel could get the drop on him, exactly as he does. Daniel also says this verbally to Amanda earlier in the film, after it's revealed he's the son of the cop that framed all of them and Amanda seemingly takes off, angry and disgusted.
  • Poison and Cure Gambit: The main game's victims are trapped in a house that's filling up with Deadly Gas, with multiple antidotes scattered throughout and locked behind various traps. All of the antidotes end up being wasted.
  • Poor Communication Kills: As lampshaded by Xavier himself near the end, he doesn't need to murder anyone to get the number codes behind their necks. He could have just asked politely...
  • P.O.V. Cam: How the scene of the film's opening trap starts, with the camera's quick swiping representing Michael frantically looking around the room.
  • Predator Turned Protector: Though Amanda was sent into the Nerve Gas House as a set of eyes and ears for Jigsaw and was in on the plan the whole time, she develops a sense of responsibility for Daniel, what with him being just a teenager and really only being in the house because of his father's actions. She speaks openly with him and the two of them cling to each other as they run from Xavier. She's genuinely heartbroken when she thinks Daniel succumbed to the poison and died, and clings to him when he's crying after he kills Xavier. Also, for the majority of the film, Amanda is either in the same room as him or near him at every location he visits in the house, likely to subtly intervene if things went wrong and he ended up in real danger.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: When Xavier fails to reach his antidote in time after Amanda (whom he forced to do the dirty work for him) gives him the key, he starts sobbing and flipping out like a little kid. He also blames her for his own inability to get the key into the lock in time (even dropping it once), and moves threateningly to hurt her before Jonas stops him.
  • "Psycho" Strings: The soundtrack that plays during Amanda's struggle in the Needle Pit once she gets up features a squeaky string melody prominently, although not over its whole length.
  • Pun: Jigsaw gives several, which overlap with Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor.
    • When Jigsaw gives Michael a hint as to where the key for his mask is (flashing a picture of his X-ray, revealing that the key is located behind his right eye), he says "It's right before your eyes", and even gives a sinister chuckle afterwards.
    • Jigsaw telling Eric that his son is in a "safe and secure place" is also this, as the ending reveals that he was literally in a safe a short distance away from Eric the entire time.
    • The victims inside the Nerve Gas House are told the numbers are "in the back of your minds," possibly alluding to the fact that they're written on the back of their necks.
    • Jigsaw telling the Nerve Gas House test subjects that looking for a key to a locked door will be like trying to find "a needle in a haystack" as the bed is moved to reveal a pit of used syringes in a hole in the floor.
  • Rabid Cop: It's revealed that Eric has a very nasty record of violence towards most of the suspects, and near the end of the film he beats John to a bloody pulp, also breaking one of his fingers in the process.
  • Rage Quit: Michael gives up midway into his test, angrily throwing away his scalpel and screaming for help in vain until he dies.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Michael, the film's first trap victim, has one of these as his last words before the Death Mask closes around his head.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Laura, who is never presented as anything but kind and terrified, expires right before the rest of the cast begins to die en masse.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Jonas, who for the entirety of his appearance was the most reasonable and level-headed of the trap players, and the only one (since Gus is killed quickly) that was even a slight physical match for the brutish Xavier. After Jonas dies, and Addison gets trapped and left by Xavier to die, it's up to the diminutive Amanda and the teenage Daniel to eventually face Xavier alone. Since the audience is unaware of the twist, things look very bleak for Amanda and Daniel's survival once Jonas is no longer alive to help them.
  • Say My Name: Eric screams Daniel's name multiple times when he awakens chained in the Bathroom.
  • Schmuck Bait: The Razor Box. It's a glass box which holds one of the antidotes for the toxin pumped in the house. If you reach both hands into it, razors will press into your arms and keep them trapped inside until you either bleed to death or die from the poison. Addison falls victim to it, and is left screaming after Xavier leaves her to die. If she had only reached one hand in and used the other hand to keep the blades propped open, she could have gotten the antidote and escaped the trap free of harm. Or, if she'd been able to listen to the tape, in the shot of the opposite side of the box from her face, there's a key dangling from the top of the box, likely to open it without having to put hands into it at all if the person is paying attention..
  • Seamless Scenery:
    • Eric walks out of his bedroom... and right into the crime scene where the opening trap took place.
    • And that scene also ends this way, with the camera panning over the message left for Eric, over a beam, and then down into the precinct, where Kerry is analyzing Jigsaw's tape.
    • After Xavier discovers the number on the back of Gus' neck, the camera pans from that... to Daniel and Amanda running down a hallway, as if the floor was part of the wall they're running past.
  • Secret Test of Character: Not necessarily as secret as others, but the entire point of the movie is testing whether Eric has changed, and seeing if he can sit and wait instead of resorting to violence. He fails.
  • Sequencing Deception: It turns out that the closed-circuit TV footage is recorded, and Eric's son is in fact in the same building in which he's watching the recordings. This is an interesting example since the characters have the same mistaken impression as the viewer — to tragic effect.
  • Shame If Something Happened: The brown desk, second drawer down. John further pushes Eric's buttons by revealing that the victims in the Nerve Gas House are people whom Eric personally arrested after planting evidence on them during his career, and tauntingly notes, "It would be a shame [for Eric's son] if they discovered who you are."
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Several traps end with people going through hell but ultimately making zero progress for the group.
    • Obi dies as a result of his furnace trap; by the time the group breaks open the glass door and enables him to free his head and an arm, not only does he keel over moments after, but the arm holding the antidotes is still in the furnace, and they were likely burned up as well.
    • While Amanda manages to find the key in the Needle Pit (which wasn't intended for her) after fighting through excruciating pain and under a tight time limit, upon throwing it to Xavier (who the trap was intended for), he drops it while trying to unlock the door, and the time for the trap runs out.
  • Shout-Out: At one point, Jigsaw notes that his house is The Last House on the Left.
  • Shown Their Work: When trapped inside the furnace, Obi forces himself to keep his mouth closed for as long as possible, clearly aware that the hot air searing his lungs will kill him before the fully burns to death from the fire. Sure enough, once Obi can't stop himself from screaming, he expires shortly afterwards and before they can get him out of the furnace.
  • Slashed Throat: Daniel kills Xavier in this fashion, with the hacksaw Dr. Gordon threw across the room after sawing off his foot.
  • The Snark Knight: Amanda. After her initial Big "NO!" realization she's in another Jigsaw trap, Amanda falls into this role, keeping on the peripheral, occasionally telling people to listen to instructions instead of going off half-cocked, and staying closed off from pretty much everyone except Daniel and partially Laura. She definitely has an air of world-weary disdain over the situation she's in, and some of the others trapped in the house, as well as herself, telling Daniel the reason she's being tested again is because she was so psychologically damaged from the first trap that she tried to kill herself. Subverted when we find out that she's Jigsaw's apprentice, and her distant demeanour was largely so the other test subjects could learn the hard way from the traps, and that her suicide attempt was actually encouraged by Jigsaw, but the two of them were able to save her before she bled out.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Michael Marks served a criminal informant for Eric Matthews.
  • Team Dad: While not exactly a father, Jonas is by far the most reasonable Nerve Gas House victim, and tries to corral the rest of the party to work together. He even tries to relate to Xavier, but Xavier had gotten too Ax-Crazy by that point and ends up murdering him.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: The main game has a group of apparent strangers finding themselves locked in an abandoned house, which is obviously full of Jigsaw's traps. They soon learn that something links them all together... and one of the "survivors" was actually in on it.
  • Time Bomb: Subverted for the most part in contrast to other movies in the series, as very few of the traps are actually timed.
    • One is the Death Mask, which Michael fails, leading to his head finding an unfortunate meeting with a lot of spikes.
    • Another is the Needle Pit, which doesn't hold any penalty other than one of the antidotes being lost forever.
    • The biggest one is the Nerve Gas House itself, with its gaseous neurotoxin that will kill the players in two hours if they don't find antidotes or escape quickly enough.
    • Ironically inverted for Eric's test, since instead of a countdown toward doom, the clock is counting up toward Daniel's freedom. Eric fails by being a ticking time bomb himself and going off before the game has time to finish and thus sealing his doom.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Aside from the main game's victims' general arguing and screaming in the face of danger and/or with the toxin filling the air, three traps in particular prey on nothing more than the victim making a particularly illogical decision:
      • The group finds a note specifically telling them not to try a key to a door. Xavier then immediately goes to unlock the door anyway, with Gus looking in the peephole. What he was looking into? The barrel of a loaded gun which fires when the door is unlocked.
      • The group later finds a furnace with an antidote inside of it, which Obi volunteers to retrieve (since the trap was made for him in mind anyway). He walks into the furnace and, after nothing bad happens when he removes the first syringe, goes for the second and grabs it without a second thought, immediately locking the exit door, setting the furnace off and burning him to death. If he took the time to look around inside, he would have seen the valve that turns the fire off, but once he notices its existence it's already too late, Also, the second syringe was clearly attached to a pull chain, but instead of removing the syringe from the chain itself, he just pulled the syringe and the chain down together.
      • Addison, after sticking her hand inside of the Razor Box and having it get caught, immediately pushes the other hand inside! There was also a key on the back of the box that could have opened it up safely, but she didn't take the time to look and wound up trapped. In Addison's defense, she was pretty heavily under the effects of the nerve gas by that point, even having trouble walking straight. If her motor function was that affected, it stands to reasoning that her critical-thinking skills would also be pretty badly affected as well.
    • There's also the fact that there's an antidote in a safe, and the combination numbers are written on the back of each victim's neck. If everyone had just worked together and acted less impulsively, somebody would likely have noticed this rather quickly and that antidote would have been their's.
    • Xavier is duped by Daniel into believing Daniel is dead. When he advances on Amanda to kill her for her number, Daniel takes the opportunity to subdue him with a kick before slicing his throat with a hacksaw he'd been hiding.
  • Treasure Chest Cavity: In the Death Mask, Michael has a key implanted behind one of his eyes, which he has to take out in order to deactivate it and survive. Despite said eye appearing damaged enough to remove it safely, Michael hesitates to do so, of course having never done such a thing before, which leads to his death.
  • Villains Out Shopping: John is in the middle of eating cereal when Eric, Kerry, and the SWAT team backing them barge into his new lair at the Wilson Steel Plant.
  • Wham Line:
    • Kerry delivers one when she realizes that the Nerve Gas House's footage was pre-recorded. "It's not live.". Prior to this, she asks the SWAT team and Eric "Where the hell is everybody? What is your 20?"
    • At the end, when Eric pushes the play button on the tape recorder in his hand, instead of John Kramer's voice, it's Amanda's, who says "Hello, Eric..."
  • Wham Shot: When they finally find what appears to be the Nerve Gas House, the SWAT team enters a room with several monitors and DVRs, one of which says "PLAY." When they press pause, both the footage in the house and at Jigsaw's workshop freezes.
  • Where It All Began: The climax drops the bombshell that the movie's main game took place in the same building as the first movie, and that the Bathroom (the first film's centerpiece) is connected to the house through a long underground passage.
  • White Shirt of Death:
    • Xavier wears a white tank top that gets progressively covered in the blood of the other Nerve Gas House victims (including the ones he directly murders). His own blood eventually gets to the tank top when he cuts out part of his nape's skin and Daniel then slashes his throat.
    • Gus dies when his left eye is shot by the Magnum Eyehole, with the ensuing blood getting his white shirt drenched in the process.
  • Worf Had the Flu: When Xavier attacks Jonas for the code number on the back of his neck, Jonas overpowers him, but briefly succumbs to the nerve gas and has a violent coughing fit. This allows Xavier to win the fight by clubbing him in the head with the spiked bat.
  • "X" Marks the Spot: In the Nerve Gas House, the backside of a picture hanging on the wall with the glass shattered into an "X" reveals the true commonality the victims share — they were all falsely convicted by Eric.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: In the main game, a group of eight people wake up in a house (of which the first film's Bathroom is part of) that's slowly filling with poison gas, and have to pass various "trials" to escape with their lives. While six of them are actual victims, Amanda (now an apprentice of Jigsaw) was sent in as a watchperson, and Daniel is kept inside the house (and secured by Amanda) as part of preparations for Eric's test (which is also a partial purpose for the victims).
  • You're Insane!: Eric rightfully calls out John for being batshit insane in their conversation, to which he only responds with amusement.

    The Scott Tibbs Documentary

  • Ax-Crazy: Downplayed with Scott. While he's not violently unhinged or murderous, he progressively becomes more psychotic as he isn't able to get any information in regards to the Jigsaw case. It culminates in him building a copycat trap with his bandmates, which he tests himself in order to prove John's philosophy.
  • Deadline News: Downplayed. One of the video clips Scott used to research about the Jigsaw victims involves a news reporter trying to make Amanda (whom she anticipated would be crossing by) give information about how she got out of the Nerve Gas House, only for Amanda to punch her to the ground and run away from her.
  • Documentary Episode: Though it chronologically takes place after the film instead of during it, and it's filmed in a Found Footage manner.
  • Found Footage: The short film plays like a found footage documentary, including the use of hand camera that causes constant screen shaking when affected by movement.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Downplayed. Detective Jenkins angrily tells Scott to stop asking him about things that only the police can have knowledge of when he asks him for what reason Eric was tested.
  • Uncertain Doom: Scott's fate in his trap is left unknown, as the outcome isn't seen due to his bandmates taking the camera and leaving the room he's in before the trap's timer runs out. He does panic and yell at the bandmates just before the timer ends, though, so his chance of survival isn't probably good.

"Those who don't appreciate life do not deserve life."


Video Example(s):


"I'll be right there"

One of the many examples of this trope from the Saw series.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / SeamlessScenery

Media sources: