Year: 2006
Production Co: Twisted Pictures
Studio: Lionsgate
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Producer: Mark Burg/Gregg Hoffman/Oren Koules
Writer: Leigh Whannel/James Wan
Cast: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Donnie Wahlberg, Dina Meyer

Jigsaw seems to have struck again, but this time, when Allison Kerry (Dina Meyer) attends the gruesome aftermath of the scene (the victim had to rip chains attached through his flesh to escape, but didn't do it quick enough and was therefore blown up), she notices a difference. The only door leading out of the room was sealed. Though it looks every inch like Jigsaw's m.o., the victim actually had no possibility of escaping.

Wracked with guilt over her partner Eric Matthews' (Donnie Wahlberg) disappearance after their last case when he tried to force Kramer (Tobin Bell) to release his son Daniel, she's at home watching the video footage from the latest killing when the familiar pig-masked figure bursts in and abducts her. Kerry wakes up in what seems to be one of Jigsaw's traps, standing up in a metal frame with hooks piercing her ribcage. In front of her is a glass jar full of acid with the key to unlock the advice at the bottom. But unbeknownst to Kerry (and just like the trap she was investigating) there's no way out, and she meets a very brutal death.

Kramer, now bedridden and in Amanda's (Shawnee Smith) constant care, tells her about the new victim they have to capture, ER doctor Lynn whose marriage is falling apart. Meanwhile, their latest victim Jeff wakes up in Kramer's warehouse, strung up from the floor in a large crate he has to fight his way out of. His task, as the signature grainy video recording of Billy the puppet instructs, is to learn to move on from the death of his son Dylan, killed by a drunk driver.

In order to do it, Jigsaw presents Jeff with several opportunities for redemption. First is the woman who witnessed the accident but didn't say anything, second is the judge who gave Dylan's killer a token sentence (in star Tobin Bell's favourite trap sequence, he's chained by the neck to the bottom of a large tank while the rotten, putrid carcasses of pigs are dropped into an industrial meat shredder, showering the judge in the liquified viscera he'll soon drown in), and finally the kid who hit and killed Dylan.

Meanwhile, John has explained to Lynn that she'll learn to appreciate life and marriage by force. The collar Amanda has fixed to her neck contains a ring of bullets pointed at her head, and if the device gets the signal that John's heart has stopped, they'll discharge and she'll die along with him.

As Jeff tries to find his conscience and not give in to vengeance in the dark, grimy factory, with video messages from the creepy Billy leading him through his lessons, Lynn fights to keep John alive with a jittery, mistrustful Amanda hovering over her. It contains the first sequence of really solid story-building when the film goes into a flashback about how John found and recruited Amanda and how instrumental she was in helping him track, capture and set the trap for Lawrence (Cary Elwes) and Adam (Leigh Whannell) first time around.

It all comes to a head as Jeff finishes his last test and bursts into the operating room where Amanda, John and Lynn have been working – revealing that they were all in the same place the whole time. When the twist about how Jeff and Lynn are related comes, you barely have time to recover from having the rug pulled out from under you when John reveals that it was all actually a test for Amanda, to fortify her belief in what they've been doing.

Still three steps ahead of everyone, the violence that ensues plays right into John's hands even though it results in his own death, and as history shows, it was far from the end of the story.

You can see where Whannell and director Darren Lynn Bousman wanted to amp things up. There was nothing as grandiose or confronting as the pig carcass scene in the original film and if that's not enough for you, we get to see Lynn peeling John's scalp back and sawing out a section of skull to relieve the pressure on his brain, all in glorious colour and close up.

Scenes like it galvanised the reputation the whole series had for being a pointless gorefest, but if you look past that you can also see what Whannell as the screenwriter was more interested in further expanding who all these people are, what they want and where they came from. Say what you want, but that's the point of every story.

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