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Every Character Who Survived A Jigsaw Trap (And What Came Next)


Every Character Who Survived A Jigsaw Trap (And What Came Next)


Summary

  • Jigsaw’s twisted tests brought few
    Saw
    survivors, forcing them to sacrifice for life.
  • Some survivors outsmarted the traps while others faced immense trauma and guilt.
  • Not all Jigsaw victims were redeemable, as some faced impossible challenges and brutal deaths.



While he claims to not be a serial killer, Jigsaw is one of the most effective murderers in horror, leaving few Saw survivors. John used the Jigsaw identity to help wayward and damaged people reform, learning to have a new appreciation for life by making a sacrifice of blood and flesh to survive. He claimed he was helping people appreciate life more, yet most people failed his twisted tests. Though there have been a few Saw survivors Jigsaw didn’t initially kill.

Many of the people Jigsaw targets across the 10 Saw movies are far from sympathetic characters, and watching them get theirs can be a form of catharsis. As sadistic as John Kramer was, some of his followers who carried on his legacy were even worse, not caring about any lessons being learned and making the traps purposely impossible to escape. However, some Saw survivors did manage to out-think the traps and were willing to make the sacrifice being asked for them, while for others, survival was part of their punishment.


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Amanda Young

Survived The Reverse Bear Trap In Saw

Amanda Young in the Reverse Bear Trap in Saw.

The first survivor of one of Jigsaw’s traps in Saw came in the first movie, and she went on to become a key character in the wider franchise. Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith) was the first known Saw survivor as she managed to escape the infamous reverse bear trap. To free herself, she had to kill a man and retrieve the key to the device on her face from inside his stomach.


As traumatic as it was, Amanda then kicked her drug addiction and ended up joining John as his first confirmed apprentice, designed to help Jigsaw’s work continue despite John’s failing health. Sadly, she lost her way and began designing inescapable traps. John tested her again, and she failed, dying in the process. However, just as John himself has somehow risen from the dead, Amanda returned in Saw X.

Lawrence, Alison & Diana Gordon

Dr Lawrence Gordon saws off his foot in Saw

Not everyone who gets mixed up in Jigsaw’s games is a particular target of his wrath. In some cases, they’re just those close to the main test subject, such as the wife and daughter of Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes). Dr. Gordon, of course, famously survived his test in the first Saw movie by sawing off his own foot. Meanwhile, his wife Alison and daughter Diana survived their own captivity at the hands of Zep, a man forced into working for Jigsaw.


Despite its penchant for bringing characters back, Dr. Gordon disappeared from the Saw franchise until Saw 7 when he was revealed to another apprentice of John Kramer. Dr. Gordon helped design some Jigsaw traps with his medical knowledge and eventually trapped John’s power-hungry apprentice Mark Hoffman in the same basement cellar Gordon was once captive in.

Jeff Ridenhour

Survived The Neck Drill Chair Trap In Saw

Tapp finds Jeff in a trap in Saw

Not every survivor of Jigsaw’s traps and games in the Saw movies went on to become a major character in the franchise, and not all of them survived due to their own grit, determination, or intelligence, either. Jeff Ridenhour is a very minor character in Saw lore and the Saw survivor audiences know the least about. Jeff Ridenhour only appeared in 2004’s Saw, and he only survived due to outside intervention.


Detective Sing simply shoots the trap to stop it, saving Jeff’s life – though in doing so, both detectives missed an opportunity to apprehend Jigsaw

In Jeff’s case, he didn’t necessarily deserve to survive his Jigsaw test but was saved by Detectives David Tapp (Danny Glover) and Steven Sing (Ken Leung). While the detectives are on Jigsaw’s trail, they find Jeff strapped to a chair with two drills that are activated to puncture his neck. Detective Sing simply shoots the trap to stop it, saving Jeff’s life – though in doing so, both detectives missed an opportunity to apprehend Jigsaw, since John Kramer was present at the scene.

Daniel Matthews

Survives Being In The Trap-Filled House In Saw 2

Daniel Matthews in Saw 2


Daniel Matthews was a Saw survivor whom Jigsaw never intended to kill as his survival was part of another test. Daniel is tested much less due to his own petty crimes, and more because he was the son of Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg), an explosively violent cop who was Saw 2‘s primary Jigsaw target. When Eric tracks Jigsaw to his hideout, he finds monitors of a group of people stuck inside Saw 2‘s house of traps with Daniel among the captives.

John requested that Eric not let his rage take over even as he watches a ticking clock countdown to his son’s death. Eric eventually snapped and beat John, forcing him to give up the location of the house. However, it was revealed the camera footage is days old and Daniel is hidden safely away in a safe within Jigsaw’s hideout which opened when the clock runs out. While Daniel is saved, his father fails his test and is lured into a trap.


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Corbett Denlon & Judge Halden (Saw 3)

Halden Survived The Pig Carcass Vat Trap & Denlon Survived Multiple Traps In Saw 3

Jeff points a gun in Saw 3

Corbett Denlon and Judge Halden are two minor Saw survivors who were pulled into Jigsaw’s games with Jeff Denlon in Saw 3. Halden was the judge who gave the drunk driver that killed Jeff’s son a light sentence. Halden was placed in one of the most disgusting Jigsaw traps, chained to the bottom of a giant vat which is gradually filled with sludge made of rotting pig carcasses. To save Halden, Jeff had to burn cherished mementos connected to his son. However, Halden barely had time to appreciate his brush with death when he was swiftly killed in the next trap.


It was later revealed that Jeff’s young daughter, Corbett, was also part of the game in Saw 3, and Jigsaw criticized Jeff for neglecting her following his son’s death. Corbett was kidnapped to motivate Jeff, and though both her parents died while going through their respective tests, Corbett was “saved” by Jigsaw apprentice Mark Hoffman. However, the post-credit scene of Saw VI reveals that Amanda told Corbett not to trust the man who saved her, implying the little girl was the one who told the police of Hoffman’s involvement.

Detective Mark Hoffman

Survived Multiple Traps In Multiple Saw Movies

Jigsaw points a knife at Hoffman


Easily the most dangerous and sadistic of Jigsaw’s apprentices, Detective Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) was a police officer who initially appeared to be one of Jigsaw’s victims. He was set up in a trap that appeared to electrocute him only to reveal it was faked, and he was in on John Kramer’s schemes. It is revealed Hoffman killed a man and staged it as a Jigsaw killing, getting John’s attention, recruiting him as an apprentice.

John’s widow Jill attempted to punish him for his corrupt use of John’s legacy and trapped him in a reverse bear trap, the same that Amanda had survived in the first
Saw
film.

Hoffman nearly became a victim of one of Jigsaw’s most famous traps when John’s widow Jill attempted to punish him for his corrupt use of John’s legacy and trapped him in a reverse bear trap, the same that Amanda had survived in the first Saw film. Hoffman’s quick thinking stopped the trap in time for him to escape. However, after killing Jill, Hoffman was finally punished by Dr. Gordon who locked Hoffman in the cellar from the first movie.


FBI Agent Peter Strahm

Survived Multiple Traps In Multiple Saw Movies

Peter Strahm with his head trapped in a box in Saw V

Hoffman wasn’t the only character to survive several Jigsaw traps in the Saw franchise. FBI Agent Peter Strahm (Scott Patterson) investigated the Jigsaw case and ultimately became a Saw survivor, at least for a time. Strahm, who was introduced in Saw IV as a protagonist to investigate Jigsaw’s apprentice, instantly suspected Hoffman was in on things yet almost became one of Hoffman’s victims when he found himself with his head locked in a case filled with water.


Of all the survivors in the Saw movies, Agent Strahm was perhaps the one who deserved to live most if judging by John Kramer’s desire to see those who have the strongest will to live walk away. Strahm proved to be a quick thinker, using a pen to give himself a tracheotomy — something that was arguably almost as traumatic for him as the trap itself. Still, his dogged pursuit of the truth cost him dearly, as he inadvertently allowed Hoffman to escape a deadly trap which caused Strahm to be slowly crushed to death in Saw V.

FBI Agent Lindsey Perez

Survived The Exploding Puppet Trap In Saw IV

Agent Lindsey Perez in Saw

Those working on the right side of the law in Saw movies often find themselves targets of Jigsaw or his apprentices, and Agent Strahm wasn’t the only FBI agent introduced in Saw IV to find herself on the wrong end of one of the serial killers infamous traps. Strahm’s partner Agent Perez (Athena Karkanis) was another Saw survivor, having lived through a nasty Jigsaw trap involving an exploding puppet sending shrapnel into her face thanks to the efforts of Strahm himself.


While the experience was no-doubt harrowing for Perez, it didn’t dissuade her from continuing to work to bring down Jigsaw’s legacy. The FBI agent faked her death and she returned to continue on Strahm’s suspicions that Hoffman is Jigsaw’s replacement. However, before she could bring him down, she was stabbed to death by Hoffman.

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Art Blank & Morgan

Art Survived The Sewn Eyes/Mouth Winch Trap & Morgan Survived The Spike Trap In Saw 4

Art Blank in Saw 4


Art Blank (Justin Louis) was one of the featured Jigsaw test subjects in Saw 4 and was chosen due to his profession. Art was a lawyer and one with a habit of defending clients who were guilty and helping them escape justice. Art had been John’s friend and business partner, but after a falling out, was forced to kill another man in order to survive a trap. This trap involved Art locked in a room with another Jigsaw victim, Trevor. Trevor’s eyes had been sewn shut, as had Arts mouth, and the pair had to work together before a winch pulled them both to be crushed by industrial tools.

She killed her abusive husband to live and set herself free in more ways than one.


Art managed to survive, though took another life in the process. He was then forced to help Jigsaw set up another game, only to later be shot by cop Daniel Rigg. Morgan (Janet Land) was a related survivor in Saw IV, the wife of an abusive husband and father that Art had gotten off. Morgan awoke in a trap that involved spikes being pre-inserted into her body that she had to remove, though doing so would end the life of her husband. She killed her abusive husband to live and set herself free in more ways than one.

Brit Stevenson And Mallick

Survived Multiple Traps In Saw 5

Sav 5 - Julie Benz as Brit Stevenson

Several Saw movies involve a group of survivors who have to survive multiple traps in order to live, as was the case in Saw V. Brit Stevenson (Julie Benz) was one of the main test subjects in Saw 5, a corrupt corporate executive who hired arsonist Mallick Scott (Greg Byrk) to burn down an apartment building so that she could buy the property it sat on, not realizing people were inside at the time.


The two were part of a series of traps along with other people tied to the arson with the rest of them dying along the way. Once Brit and Mallick reach the end, they realize everyone could have survived if they worked together. The remaining two are able to walk away in the end after cutting through their hands to fill a jar with blood which released them from their trap.

SimoneSurvived The Competitive Flesh Removal Trap In Saw 6

Pound of Flesh Trap in Saw VI

While John Kramer may have been the original Jigsaw, many of the traps designed by his successor, Detective Hoffman, were even more disturbing and likely left significant physical and emotional scars for those who survived them. Such was the case in Saw 6, which included one of the most gruesome traps any Jigsaw victim had managed to walk away from. Simone (Tanedra Howard) is a Saw survivor of one of the most brutal traps in the Saw franchise, one of Hoffman’s creations that required her to hack off her own flesh.


Simone was put in competition against another man in a test to see which of them could cut off the most flesh from their body. While the larger man seemed to have an advantage in cutting off some a chunk of his gut, Simone managed to win by severing her own arm. Howard won the role of Simon in Saw 6 on the reality series Scream Queens, and she certainly left an impression.

Tara & Brent Abbott

Survived A Game Of Deadly Choices In Saw 6

The Abbott Family in Saw 6

There were a few participants in Jigsaw’s games and traps who walked away by design, as they were only parts of the test but weren’t actually its intended targets. Tara and Brent Abbott were always meant to be Saw survivors as they were an innocent mother and son who got roped into Jigsaw’s Saw 6 game. Tara and Brent didn’t appear in the test until right at the end, just when Easton thought he’d managed to survive his harrowing ordeal.


Tara and Brent were eventually revealed to be the ones who got to decide Easton’s fate.

While they initially seemed to be the family of William Easton, one of Jigsaw’s test subjects, Tara and Brent were eventually revealed to be the ones who got to decide Easton’s fate. Easton denied their husband/father life-saving care, and after Easton survived his own tests, he faced Tara and Brent who could decide if he lived or died. Tara couldn’t bring herself to kill Easton, but Brent did it, instead, in a rage over his father’s death.

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William Easton, His Sister Pamela & His Employees

Survived Multiple Traps In Saw 6

William Easton Test in Saw VI.

Saw 6 was another Saw movie that involved multiple subjects in a series of traps rather than an anthology-like collection of various victims related to one-another only by the fact that they wronged John Kramer at some point in their past. The corrupt exec William Easton (Peter Outerbridge) survived his own tests, although not without having to make agonizing decisions along the way, including which of his mostly-corrupt employees he would save.

Easton’s company had also denied John Kramer potentially life-saving treatment, thus his posthumous vendetta. William opted to save his secretary, Addy, as well as other subordinates, Shelby and Emily. He was also able to save his sister Pamela by completing his game, but couldn’t survive the vengeful Abbots and was injected with acid.


Bobby Dagen & Joan

Bobby Survived The Giant Oven Trap In Saw 7

Bobby Dagen Saw 3D

Almost every Saw survivor walks away from their traps and tests with significant trauma, though it’s likely that few wound up with as much survivors guilt as Saw 7’s Bobby. Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery) became a successful self-help guru by posing as a Saw survivor and then writing a book about it. He uses the true story of how Joan survived her own Saw test, although little is revealed about what Joan actually went through herself.

Bobby’s lies led him to become the main test subject of Saw 7, helping add to the highest kill count in the Saw franchise. Bobby had to watch his wife get roasted alive in a giant oven, although he did manage to escape with his own life. Joan is a very brief character in the franchise, a Jigsaw survivor whose story Bobby used as inspiration for his lies.


Brad And Ryan

Survived The Public Buzzsaw Trap In Saw 7

Saw 7 - Brad

There are multiple Saw traps that pit subjects against one-another, though few are as macabre in the incredibly public buzzsaw trap in Saw 7, as it was intended for two of the three participants to attempt to kill one-another with their bare hands. Brad (Sabastian Piggot) and Ryan (Jon Cor) manage to become the Saw survivors of Jigsaw’s most public trap. The two men were strapped on opposite sides of a buzzsaw with a woman hanging overhead. The woman, Dina (Anne Lee Greene), was said to be dating and manipulating both men.

Though it was not shown onscreen, the commentary of
Saw 7
revealed they helped Gordon capture Hoffman at the end of the movie.


As she was gradually lowered down toward the saw, the two tried to kill each other to save her. However, when it became clear Dina didn’t care which of them died so long as she was saved, they simply let her be lowered into the trap and killed. Though it was not shown onscreen, the commentary of Saw 7 revealed they helped Gordon capture Hoffman at the end of the movie.

Logan Nelson

Survived The Bucket Head Saw Trap In Jigsaw

Logan looks at the Reverse Bear Trap in Jigsaw


While most Saw survivors walk away because of their own grit, intelligence, or outside interference, there have been one or two instances when a participant in Jigsaw’s games is allowed to live because the killer made an error. Such is the case in Jigsaw, when Logan survives the Bucket Head Saw trap because John Kramer miscalculate the dose of tranquilizers, meaning Logan was unconscious and unable to participate. John pulls Logan from the trap at the last minute, as his intention was never to simply murder his victims, which would have been the case if the sleeping Logan was simply left in the trap to die.

Logan Nelson (Matt Passmore) was an Army veteran and battlefield medic who was tested after his return to civilian life saw him mess up an X-ray and accidentally delay the diagnosis of John’s cancer. Logan’s trap went wrong, though, and since it was John’s fault, he took pity on Logan and freed him. Grateful, Logan became yet another one of the many Jigsaw apprentices and conducted the games seen in 2017’s Jigsaw.

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Detective Zeke Banks

Survives The Handcuff Trap In Spiral

Spiral Saw 9 Puppet Chris Rock Zeke Banks

Spiral: From the Book of Saw continued Jigsaw’s legacy, albeit with a new killer and 100 percent less John Kramer. The only test survivor in Spiral is lead protagonist Zeke Banks (Chris Rock), seemingly the one honest cop in a corrupt department full of liars and killers. Granted, he clearly wasn’t intended to die, as new killer William Schenk wanted them to join forces and clean up the city.


Zeke is able to free himself from a handcuff trap similar to the one in the first Saw movie and ends up getting cut up by glass trying to save his old corrupt partner. Zeke lives, but his former police chief father isn’t so lucky. While Spiral is the least connected to John Kramer out of all the Saw movies, the traps it contains are still incredibly inspired by Kramer’s work, and Zeke earned his place as one of the few to walk away from a Jigsaw trap even though it wasn’t one created by the original killer or one of his many apprentices.

John Kramer & Carlos

Survived The Blood-Boarding Teeter-Totter In Saw X

John looks tired in Saw X

The most recent movie in the franchise, Saw X, served as a prequel that took place between Saw and Saw 2. Most interestingly, it also painted John Kramer as the protagonist of the story, rather than the villain — even to the extent that John proved he practiced what he preached, and found himself the victim of one of his own traps (something he entered into somewhat voluntarily in order to spare the life of a young boy named Carlos). Of course, it was known John would survive, and it was a ruse in the end and part of the wider game.


When Cecilia and her accomplice Parker (Steven Brand) leave, they set off a tripwire that both disarms the trap John and Carlos are in, and sets off another one that traps the villainous pair in a room full of acidic gas.

At the end of Saw X, antagonist Cecilia (Synnove Macody Lund) believes she has the upper hand when she forces John and young Carlos to strap themselves into a trap she believed had been intended for her. This trap is a teeter-totter with levers at each end. John and Carlos then take turns pulling the levers to tip the platform, with the person at the lower end being water-boarded with blood.

However, when Cecilia and her accomplice Parker (Steven Brand) leave, they set off a tripwire that both disarms the trap John and Carlos are in, and sets off another one that traps the villainous pair in a room full of acidic gas. Cecilia is also implied to have survived, but since this won’t be confirmed until the next Saw movie, Saw 11, it’s unclear if she can be counted among the survivors of Jigsaw’s deadly games.


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