There are a lot of horror franchises, but one of the most influence is undoubtedly the Saw franchise. Kickstarting the western ‘torture porn’ sub-genre, Saw and its six sequels pushed the limits for what could be shown in theaters. While the series was intended to end with Saw: The Final Chapter in 2010, the new movie Jigsaw aims to jumpstart this horror franchise. Set 10 years after the events of the last Saw movie, a new game has begun that is quickly racking up bodies.
However, there is more than meets the eye with Jigsaw and if you’re not paying attention it’s easy to get lost. Here is a complete breakdown of Jigsaw’s story and the twist ending.
(Warning major spoilers ahead!)
Our film starts out with a young man named Edgar Munsen being chased by the police. Edgar makes his way to the top of a warehouse room and grabs a remote trigger by a beam with an X painted on it. When the cops corner him, Edgar pleads for them to get Detective Halloran otherwise people will die. Halloran and his partner Detective Keith Hunt arrive and approach Edgar with their guns drawn. Munsen begs the cops to listen because he does not want to die, but Halloran tells everyone to shoot the trigger if he tries to activate it. However, unknown to the police a timer is ticking down and Edgar is forced to click the trigger otherwise he might die.
The cops all shoot at Edgar blowing his hand off, but a single bullet hits his chest and knocks the young man to the ground. We then move to a different room where five people are laying against the wall with buckets on their heads. A timer slowly ticks down (which Edgar started with his device) causing four of the five people to wake up. Each person has a bucket on their head that they cannot remove with a small eye slit cut open. These buckets are attached to chains which go across the room to a wall full of circular saws.
Jigsaw then comes over the loudspeaker and explains that each one of them needs to make a sacrifice of blood to survive. The saw blades then began to whirl and the chains attached to each bucket helmet pulls them closer. Four of the five people panic, while the unconscious fifth is just dragged across the room. All of the people panic until one of the players realizes that they need to cut themselves in order to be set free. She then slices her arm on a saw causing a green light to go off on her helmet. The woman quickly does this and soon the other three conscious people follow her lead – all of them being freed in the process.
The unconscious person finally wakes up, however, it’s too late and he is pulled into the blades right as the camera cuts away. Our remaining four victims all take a bit of R&R and the scene cuts to the hospital where we learn that Edgar is not dead, but is currently in a medically induced coma until the doctors can save him. Sometime later the Jigsaw victim who was pulled into the saw blades is discovered hanging from a bridge and is brought to the police station.
Here we meet two more key characters, coroners Logan Nelson (who was formally a captured soldier that was tortured) and Eleanor Bonneville who are examining the dead man dubbed ‘Bucket Head.’ Along with Halloran and Hunt, the four discover a jigsaw piece cut into the deceased flesh along with a flash drive. When they play the file on the flash drive, John Kramer (aka the real Jigsaw) gives a small speech. Everyone believes this to be a copycat and they take the file to be examined in a lab.
Meanwhile, back in the barn/death game, our four victims (Ryan, Mitch, Anna, and Carly) look around the room for a way to escape. A Jigsaw puppet then rolls out on a trike into the room with a sign that says the word “Confess” on it. Our players are all confused at what this means, some of which confess to minor crimes like Mitch selling a motorcycle that got someone killed. Nothing happens and soon the chains began to pull them towards the gears in the middle. All of them yell and scream until Mitch notices a cassette player on the trike and grabs it. This stops the chains from pulling but also reveals that they are connected to the ceiling.
Three syringes then drop down with identical looking substances inside of them. Each syringe has a different number etched into them, but no one understands what they mean. Mitch plays the tape and Jigsaw explains that one of four players was a thief who stole a larger woman’s purse. During the pursuit, this woman died because she couldn’t get her medicine and the thief managed to escape. Jigsaw concludes this tale by telling them that said thief is poisoned and only the right syringe will save them. The other two contain either acid or a harmless solution that will do nothing if injected. Kramer then asks them all “What is a life worth?” before the tape ends and the game begins.
Everyone yells at one another until it’s revealed that Carly is the thief and she did cause someone to die. Ryan threatens to stab all three, but when Carly sees the syringes she notices that one has 3.52 etched into it. However, before she can decide which syringe to use the chains start tugging everyone to the roof. A small fight ensues as they hang there until Ryan stabs all three syringes into Carly’s neck. Everyone is dropped to the floor, however, Carly is killed by the acid in one of the syringes. Anna notes that the what a life is worth meant the total amount of money that Carly stole from the woman which was $3.52. They check that syringe and discover it has a combination to the locked door on their left.
Jump forward a bit and when we soon learn that another body has been found, however, this one is heavily disfigured. During the body examination of Carly, we learn that she died due to the acid and that another jigsaw piece was cut out on her body. Everyone is put on edge with the exception of Eleanor who is surprisingly pumped at the idea of Jigsaw possibly coming back.
Back in the death trap farm, our remaining three players aimlessly walk around a new room looking for an exit. Ryan notices a door that says “Not An Exit” and decides to break it open with a shovel. Before he can strike the door the floor gives out and several wires wrap around his leg tightly. Both Mitch and Anna go to help Ryan, only to discover another tape waiting under the floorboards. They play the tape and learn that this isn’t a test, simply a way to punish those attempting to take shortcuts in life. Ouch.
We then cut back to the police station where the detectives learn that the voice recording is a perfect match to John Kramers, along with the blood sample found under Bucket Head’s fingernails. Back at the barn, Mitch and Anna look for a way out while Ryan just kinda chills there with his leg caught in the wires. Eventually, a door opens and two enter a grain silo, which causes two televisions (one in each room) to turn on. A remote control is suspended in the air and once Mitch and Anna grab it the silo doors lock.
Jigsaw then appears on the television and explains for these people to survive Ryan has to pull a lever under the floorboards by his trapped leg. The catch is when he does this the cables will pull and sever his leg completely off. Grain begins to pour down from the vents above, but Ryan can’t bring himself to pull the lever. We then cut to the police station where Detective Halloran questions Eleanor about her whereabouts the previous night. Eleanor explains that she was home alone, but the detective doesn’t buy it. Halloran then confronts Logan and explains to him that Eleanor has been visiting a Jigsaw fan website on the deep web. Logan assures the detective that she couldn’t be Jigsaw, but now his head is filled with doubt.
The story then returns to the grain trap where Anna and Mitch are buried up to their shoulders making them immobile. Soon all types of sharp objects begin to drop from the ceiling, some of which stab the two trapped in the silo. Ryan eventually musters up enough courage and pulls the lever saving them, but losing his leg in the process. We then rejoin Eleanor and Logan who are at a bar now, where Logan urges his partner to explain what is happening. Eleanor reveals that she has a secret, but was afraid to tell the cops because of how it would make her look.
The two travel to a storage building but are silently followed by Detective Hunt. Eleanor then shows off a massive room filled with old Jigsaw traps from the other movies. She explains that she collects them and then reveals a massive device with a corkscrew-like blade running along the outside. Eleanor tells Logan that this trap allegedly pre-dates all of Jigsaw’s other devices, but she had to make it herself since a real one was never found. Hunt secretly snaps photos of this room and runs away before anyone can see him.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, Edgar is drugged and kidnapped by someone without the guard outside noticing. We then jump back to the farm and a truck’s lights turn that draws everyone’s attention. Mitch approaches the vehicle and finds a tape with his name on it. He presses the button which causes him to be dragged in the air upside down. A cover is pulled off revealing the corkscrew device that Eleanor had in her storage unit, only this one has a motorcycle strapped to the top. Jigsaw explains that while Mitch did confess to selling the bike, he didn’t tell everyone that he knew the brakes were broken. Because of this, the young man (who is revealed to be John Kramer’s nephew) died in an accident.
In order to win this game, Mitch must be lowered into the device and pull the brake handle to stop the machine. If he does, the corkscrew blades will rip him apart and eventually end his life. The game starts and Mitch is slowly lowered towards the blades. Anna quickly grabs an iron rod and climbs up onto the rafters. Before Mitch is killed she jams the bar into the wheel stopping the blades and saving Mitch. However, the celebrate too soon and bar brakes causing the machine to start up again, killing Mitch.
At the police station, Hunt shows Halloran the photos of Eleanor’s storage unit and Holloran believe this is proof she is the killer. However, the mayor wants them to big up Kramer’s body from the cemetery to prove that he is indeed dead. Hunt heads off to handle this and Halloran tries to follow up on any evidence regarding Eleanor. We then get to see Jonh’s body exhumed only his corpse isn’t there and instead, it’s Edgar. Halloran orders a raid on Eleanor’s storage unit but what they discover is the completely shredded body of Mitch.
Hunt heads off to arrest Logan, but the coroner convinces him that it has to Holloran since he has a well-documented streak of being a bad cop. It’s then revealed that Hunt is with Internal Affairs and has been on Halloran’s case before all of this started. The two go to the police station and Logan examines Edgar’s body, pulling a bullet that matches Halloran’s gun from his chest. This is all the evidence that Hunt needs and he quickly rushes to Halleran’s house. Logan returns to his home but is met by Eleanor who explains that she figured out where the victims must be kept. Both head off to try and save them but are secretly tailed by Halloran.
In the barn, Anna tries to escape but he is drugged before she manages to slip through a chained door. Both she and Ryan awaken in a room with a hooded figure who is revealed to be the real Jigsaw, John Kramer. He then explains why each of them is here, with Anna being guilty of framing her husband for their baby’s death and Ryan causing the death of his two friends when he was younger. At the same time, Eleanor and Logan arrive at the barn which is fully lit. Eleanor explains that this used to be a property of Jill Tuck who was John Kramer’s wife.
Both enter and begin to investigate the rooms with the circular saw wall and the area with Carly died. In another room, Jigsaw pulls out a double barrel shotgun and sets it on a mount. He then loads it with one shell and tells the two that this is the key to their survival. Jigsaw leaves the two to decide what to do next. During all this, Hunt discovers a bag with four jigsaw pieces made of skin inside of Halloran’s computer and orders his people to trace his phone.
In the room where Carly died, Logan and Eleanor are attacked by Halloran who holds Logan at gunpoint. A struggle ensues that shows Logan getting knocked out, but Eleanor manages to escape with her life. Back in the room with the shotgun, Anna rushes for the gun and takes it before Ryan can do anything. In an act of selfishness she pulls the trigger, however, the shotgun backfires killing her instead. Ryan then discovers that the keys to their locks were in the shotgun shell the entire time. Sadly, they are now broken and Ryan is unable to free himself from the chain.
Halloran chases after Eleanor, but he is attacked and drugged by a figure off-screen. Both he and Logan awake in a room with special collars on their necks that have laser cutters built in. Both men are told over a loudspeaker they have to confess and if they do the lasers will turn off. To start the game the two must press a button with an arrow point to them. The detective agrees to go first but hits Logan’s button instead. Logan panics as the lasers slowly close in on his face and the man admits that he messed up John Kramer’s medical report years ago. This caused his cancer to go untreated which forced John to become the Jigsaw Killer.
This apparently isn’t enough and blades slice through him drawing a lot of blood. killing Logan in front of Halloran. Now the detective is up and he quickly confesses that he is a dirty cop who caused tons of innocent people to die and go to jail. The lasers turn off and it appears as if Halloran has won Jigsaw’s game. However, this is a Saw movie so one should always expect a last-minute twist.
Slowly Logan stands up and reveals to Halloran that he designed his collar to make it look like he died. Logan goes on to explain that Jigsaw’s first game involved five people here and he was actually one of them. In a big twist, the audience learns that Mitch, Anna, Ryan, and Carly’s trial happened years ago and Logan was the fifth member. We then flash to the scene where everyone was being tugged into the saws, to see that the fifth person was Logan and that Jigsaw saved him before he was killed. Apparently, Kramer felt bad since Logan’s ‘crime’ was an honest mistake, unlike the others. The big scene with Ryan, Anna, and the real Jigsaw all happened in the past. We also learn that Ryan died their thanks to the one-legged skeleton on the floor.
After being saved, Logan became a student of Jigsaw’s and vowed to carry on his legacy of punishing the guilty. The bodies that the police found were all made to look like the people from the original game Logan participated in. However, the catch is only three participated in Logan’s game and each died the same way they did when Logan, Mitch, Anna, Ryan, and Carly played. Now with a full recorded confessional of Halloran’s actions, along with the jigsaw skin pieces he planted, Logan can frame the bad detective for the entire game. Eleanor is simply an unaware pawn who is Logan’s alibi since they were attacked by Halloran.
Jigsaw ends with Halloran’s lasers cutting his head into literal ribbons, Eleanor flagging down the cops on their way to the bar, and Logan walking away free of charge. What this all means is that Jigsaw takes place both before the original Saw and ten years about Saw: The Final Chapter. All of the trap scenes (outside of Halloran’s) takes place in the past and the police scenes are set in the present. There have been a lot of twists in the Saw series, but we have to admit this one was pretty clever.