Although Saw 3D was supposed to be The Final Chapter, Lionsgate couldn’t pass up the opportunity to revive the franchise when they were offered the chance to bring the ‘Sawniverse’ back to the big screen with the release of Jigsaw, back in 2017.
Directed by Michael and Peter Spierig, with Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger serving as writers, there was fresh meat behind the cameras as well as in front of it, along with the return of the brilliant Tobin Bell as Jigsaw himself.
So, let’s take a look back at exactly what happened in Jigsaw…
Where do we begin?
The first 10 minutes of Jigsaw are unlike anything we’ve seen from a Saw movie of the past. We kick things off with a high-speed chase, that sees a man frantically searching for a spot marked with an X and, upon reaching it, he grabs a switch that the authorities believe will likely be linked to an explosive device.
Some of the cops know this man to be criminal Edgar Munsen (Josiah Black) and so despite his ramblings about having to choose who lives and dies as part of a game, they shoot his hand when he looks to trigger the device he holds in it; but a stray bullet also hits him right in the chest.
It's here that we meet Detective Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie), who had instructed his officers not to shoot at Munsen and to instead simply focus on the device he had hold of. He scolds those around him for screwing up the task at-hand.
It’s time to play a game…
Focus then shifts to a room in which five unconscious figures are all slumped on the floor, with metal buckets placed onto their heads, connecting them to a chain that leads to a door, which is embedded with stationary circular saws.
Four of these five participants wake up to hear John Kramer’s (Tobin Bell) voice explaining that they have been chosen to play his game, and must each make a sacrifice of blood if they want to progress to the next room. He says that the “truth will set them free” whilst encouraging them to “confess their past sins”.
When his explanation comes to an end, the buzz saws begin to whirr and the chains around each person’s neck tightens, slowly dragging them towards the door. As those who have regained consciousness struggle, Anna (Laura Vandervoort) cuts her finger on the saw in front of her, giving just a small amount of blood, which results in her being able to remove the metal bucket from her head.
Though she tries to help the other victims with their own sacrifices, a struggle with Carly (Brittany Allen) results in her being badly injured after falling backwards into the door and rotating saws. The unconscious figure meanwhile, appears to wake up too late and is locked in the room, seemingly being killed whilst the four others are led into the next room by their necks.
This second room reveals their location to be an abandoned barn and when their chains finish pulling them forward, a trio of syringes fall from the ceiling, each with unique numbers printed inside.
A tape from Kramer explains that one of the participants once robbed a woman resulting in her death, after they had the chance to give her the inhaler in her stolen purse before fleeing the scene. That person - who is revealed to be Carly - has had a poison injected into their system and can only be saved by the antidote, which is in one of the syringes in the room.
The other two syringes contain a saline solution and, deadly acid which would bring about a terrifying death. Kramer tells the group that if a choice is not made, all four of them will be hanged by their necks with the chain that remains secured around them.
“How much is a life worth to you?” Kramer asks, before the tape finishes. Carly realises that the amount she stole from the woman that eventually died - $3.53 - correlates to one of the numbers printed inside a syringe. She refuses to take the chance of injected it into herself however, resulting in each of the ‘players’ being hoisted into the air.
Unwilling to die and fighting for his life, Ryan (Paul Braunstein) grabs all three of the syringes and pumps every one of them into Carly's neck, resulting in her shockingly-brutal death. The chains around the participant’s necks are released and they are able to move on to their next room.
Meanwhile, bodies are piling up outside the barn…
When both the corpse of a man with a metal bucket on his head is found hanging from the side of a bridge, along with another that belonged to a female victim who had been injected with acid, Detective Halloran and his partner Keith Hunt (Clé Bennett) begin to investigate the game taking place more seriously; especially when they notice jigsaw-shaped pieces of flesh have been carved from the victims.
Detective Halloran immediately has suspicions about pathologists Logan Nelson (Matt Passmore) and in particular his apprentice, Eleanor Bonneville (Hannah Emily Anderson). Likewise, military veteran and widower Nelson - who lost his wife two years prior - is suspicious of Detective Halloran’s own motives, wondering if he could be behind the return of Jigsaw-esque killings.
Over at the hospital, we see that Munsen from our opening scene has been placed into an induced coma to try and battle back against his gunshot wound and injuries but, an unknown assailant injects his saline bag with a solution before kidnapping him from his bed.
His body is later found at the cemetery where the authorities order the exhuming of Kramer’s body at his grave, to bring an end to the rumours that the Jigsaw Killer has returned from the dead. So, when his body isn’t found and Munsen’s is, complete with a jigsaw piece cut out of his cheek, the media go into overdrive.
Back at the barn
Entering their third room, the three remaining survivors are faced with a door that says “NO EXIT”; but despite Anna’s pleas to follow the rules, Ryan takes matters into his own hands and tries to break it down. The floor beneath one of his legs immediately breaks, leaving him to get caught up in razor-sharp wires that quickly tighten around his ankle.
Both Anna and Mitch (Mandela Van Peebles) attempt to grab the recorder that’s also beneath the floorboards which reads “PLAY ME”, then begin to explore the room before moving through a door into an unknown location.
When the door slams shut after the two manage to grab a remote control, they press play and a video begins, telling them that they will both be buried alive as they have stepped into a grain silo. Masses of said grain begins to fall into the silo, as Ryan tries to work himself up to pull the lever that will free the pair, but slice off the bottom part of his leg.
Failing to find the nerve, Anna and Mitch are buried up to their necks before objects including spades, knives and nails begin to fall into the silo, some of which injure the two.
Eventually, Ryan does pull the lever just in time to save the two; losing his leg in the process which is cut up like a juicy salami.
Ryan passes out and is moved to the next room, where Mitch will face his test. A tape reveals that he sold a motorcycle which he knew the brakes were faulty on to a young man, who just so happened to be the nephew of Kramer. That young man died when the brakes failed and he was hit by an oncoming truck.
Mitch is caught by the legs and hung upside down, before being lowered into a spiral-shaped trap that is being spun by a motorcycle using the same engine as the one he sold to Kramer’s nephew. To survive, he must reach carefully down to the bottom of the trap and pull a brake; but upon trying this he cuts himself.
Though Anna tries to break the trap by jamming a metal bar into the motorcycle’s wheel, it only pauses the contraption for a few seconds. It starts up once more, subsequently shredding Mitch to death in the process.
Could Eleanor’s obsession have turned her to a life of crime?
As pathologists Logan and Eleanor chat in a bar about their mutual distrust of Detective Halloran, the two head to Bonneville’s studio, which reveals her to be a cult obsessive of the Jigsaw killings. There, she keeps a number of trap replicas which we have seen throughout the Saw series to-date, along with one that she claims has never been used before; the very same spiral shredder trap that kills Mitch.
The pair don’t realise that they have been tailed by Detective Halloran’s partner, who reports back to his leading officer who in turn, instructs him to place the pair under arrest. After working with Detective Hunt in the past however, Nelson manages to convince him that it is Detective Halloran who is being more shady than anybody else.
After their exchange, Bonneville and Nelson depart for the barn, after Bonneville finds the game's location after examining Kramer's ex-wife Jill Tuck and her family history of property. Detective Halloran pursues them to the location.
Back at the barn, we see Anna almost escape through a small gap in a door, but a hooded figure is waiting for her on the outside and subdues her. She awakens in a room where she is chained up opposite Ryan, and the hooded figure stands between them. This figure reveals themselves to be the one and only John Kramer.
It’s revealed that Anna used to be a neighbour of Kramer’s when he was first diagnosed with cancer. He discovered that she had seen her husband locked up for accidentally suffocating their baby in his sleep; but it was actually her who deliberately murdered their child due to their constant crying. Her husband killed himself after being convinced he was responsible.
Kramer says that both she and Ryan haven’t yet learned their lessons, before placing a loaded gun between them, telling them that it is the key to their freedom whilst holding the one bullet round in his hand. He also says that they have gotten his message “backwards”.
Anna quickly jumps into action, grabbing the gun and apologising to Ryan before firing; only the gun has been rigged to backfire and so Anna is killed. Ryan realises that the keys were in fact placed inside the bullet and they both could have simply taken the shell out and both been set free. Now though they are destroyed; and the pair are left to rot.
Are you ready for the big twists?
Nelson and Bonneville begin to explore the barn, hoping to reach the end of the game so that they can potentially save anybody still breathing. Detective Halloran interrupts them however, knocking Nelson out before he himself is attacked by a hooded figure.
The pair wake up in a room where they have been placed inside neck collars which contain multiple laser cutters, used for the dismembering of human bodies usually after death.
Kramer's voice rings out and informs them that they must confess all of their sins or they will die. Detective Halloran claims he wants to go first but, presses the button on Nelson's side which drags him backwards and into position. Despite his confession that he had messed up the lab reports and missed an opportunity to tell Kramer earlier than he was told about his cancer diagnosis, the lasers move over his face and he falls to the floor after an explosion of blood.
Then comes Detective Halloran's turn. He admits to being a crooked detective who has allowed criminals to walk free simply so he can personally gain from whatever they have offered in return. His lasers turn off and though he is at first happy to have ‘won’, his smile turns to a look of pure horror when Nelson rises from the floor.
Nelson reveals that he had faked his death to trick Detective Halloran into confessing. He reveals that the game we have been seeing take place actually happened a decade ago; and he was the participant right at the start who had failed to wake up. Instead of being killed however, Kramer had rushed into the room to save Nelson, having a change of heart and realising that an honest mistake shouldn’t lead to the death of a man.
Taken on as the first Jigsaw acolyte, Nelson had worked together with Kramer long before the events of even the original Saw film. Nelson was now honouring the late Jigsaw Killer by recreating the game in the barn, leaving himself and Detective Halloran as the final two survivors. As the rules of the game were broken however, he sentences the detective to death.
After pressing a button, the lasers turn back and slice right through Detective Halloran’s head, which flops open almost like a flower, killing him instantly.
“I speak for the dead,” Nelson says, before he slams the door shut and the credits roll.
Spiral: From the Book of Saw is now available in cinemas across the UK!
- Saw revisited: Looking back at the film that changed the horror genre forever
- Saw II revisited: The twists that shaped the future of the franchise
- Saw III revisited: A test within a test... within a test
- Saw IV revisited: A new Jigsaw Killer rises
- Saw V revisited: The walls are closing in
- Saw VI revisited: The beginning of the end
- Saw VII aka Saw 3D aka Saw: The Final Chapter revisited
- Jigsaw revisited: The Saw franchise is brought back from the dead
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