|Appearances||Saw III, IV, V, VI|
|Also Known As||Jeff Reinhart|
|Died In||Saw IV|
|Cause of Death||Shot in the chest by Peter Strahm out of self defense.|
|Reason Tested||Wanting revenge and refusing to progress through life|
|Relationships||Lynn Denlon (wife, deceased); Corbett Denlon (daughter); Dylan Denlon (son, deceased)|
|Portrayed by||Angus Macfadyen|
|“||Over the past few years you have become a shell of your former self; consumed with hatred and vengeance. Vengeance against the drunk driver who killed your only son. Vengeance against the killer, who to your surprise and dismay, was set free after a hasty trial.||”|
— Jeff's first tape
Jeff Denlon is a fictional character in the Saw franchise. He is the protagonist of Saw III, a minor character in Saw IV and appeared through archive footage in Saw V. He was portrayed by Angus Macfadyen.
Jeff's son Dylan Denlon was tragically killed in a drunk driving accident. Jeff never fully recovered from his grief, and would often fantasize about killing the man responsible, who had gotten a much shorter jail sentence than Jeff wanted. As he grieved over his son's death, he neglected his daughter Corbett Denlon, and his marriage to Lynn Denlon became strained, to the point that she began having an affair with another man. Jeff was then targeted by the Jigsaw Killer for his inability to move on from his son's death, and his obsession with vengeance. (Saw III)
Jeff was later abducted and woke up in the Gideon Meatpacking Plant, John's defacto headquarters. He was lead to a series of rooms, each holding someone who was involved in his son's death. In each room, John also left a tape recorder explaining what he must do, and in between each room Jeff found boxes, each containing a piece of a gun, as well as torn up peices of a family photograph, along with a note.
In the first room (Freezer Room) Jeff found a woman named Danica Scott, who witnessed the accident but fleed the scene instead of staying to testify. She was stripped nude and suspended by her wrists, in a meat freezer where ice cold water was sprayed on her, slowly freezing her to death. At first, Jeff was angry at her, but after arguing, he finally came to his senses. He ran to retrieve a key, hanging behind frozen metal bars. His cheek got stuck to one of the bars while reaching for the key, and he partially tore some flesh from his face when he ran back to Danica. However, he was too late, and Danica had already frozen solid.
In the second room (Pig Vat) Jeff found Judge Halden, who had, in Jeff's opinion, let his son's killer off too easily. Halden was chained at the neck to the bottom of a large vat, slowly being filled with liquified pig carcasses. Nearby was a case filled with Dylan's belongings. If Jeff were to press a button, all of Dylan's items would be incinerated, leaving nothing but ash and a key that would unlock the judge's neck brace. Once again, Jeff, still bitter over his son's death, considered letting the judge die. However, the judge convinced Jeff to save him, and he reluctantly burned all of his son's belongings, and managed to save the judge just in time.
In the final room (The Rack), Jeff finally confronted Timothy Young, his son's killer. As John pointed out, Timothy was extremely devastated and remorseful over his involvement in Dylan's death. Timothy was placed on a metal "crucifix" of sorts that twisted his limbs one-by-one. To free him Jeff had to retrieve a key from a glass box, which was attached to a shotgun trigger, and removing it would wound Jeff in the process. Initially content with watching Timothy suffer, Jeff managed to retrieve the key from the wire, triggering the shotgun. He moved out of the way, and the judge was accidently shot in head. He attempted to save Timothy, but Jeff was too late to get the key in the lock, and Timothy's head was twisted around 180 degrees.
Jeff left the room and found a bullet for the gun. He arrived at a makeshift operating room (Jeff's Final Test), just as Amanda Young shoots Lynn, who was also being tested. In response, Jeff fatally shot Amanda in the neck with the gun John had left him. After Amanda died, Jeff tried to shoot John but there was only one bullet in the gun.
John calms him down by explaining his final test to him: He can forgive John or kill him with power tools on a table, if he forgives him, he will call an ambulance for Lynn. Jeff said he forgave him, before slashing his throat with a power saw. As John bled to death, he played another recorder, which revealed that Jeff's failed his final test.
" .... I was your final test, Jeff. Your final test of forgiveness. And if you're listening to this, then you failed. Now you must pay the price. The price of holding on to all that anger. The price of driving your wife away from you. The price of living for nothing but vengeance.... "
The tape also revealed that Corbett was locked away somewhere with a limited air supply, and that Jeff would have to play another game if he wanted to find her. As John flatlined, the collar around Lynn's neck activated, killing her, and the door to the room automatically sealed itself.
Jeff's second test
"Now I will give you something to live for. I told you that you couldn't kill me, Jeff, but I didn't tell you why. And the answer is simple: I am the person responsible for the loss of your child. I am the only person who knows where your daughter is. She only has a limited supply of air, and if you want to get her back, you'll have to play a game."
At the end of Saw III, John said that Jeff would have to play another game in order to save Corbett.
In Saw IV, which was revealed to have run concurrently with Saw III, FBI Agent Peter Strahm opened the door moments after the room was sealed. Strahm found Jeff and demanded to see his hands. Jeff, under the belief that Strahm was working with John, waved his gun in a threatening manner demanding to know where his daughter was. Strahm then had to shoot Jeff in the torso twice in self-defense, killing him.
- Jeff would have to avoid being killed by Strahm. The secret door that could have been Jeff's second test.
- He would find the secret exit that Strahm found.
- Corbett was inevitably going to be rescued by Hoffman (as mentioned by Amanda in Saw VI), and Jeff would simply have to find a way to get out of the plant alive.
Behind the Scenes
Macfadyen on Jeff
Although Macfadyen had reservations about working on Saw III due to its level of violence and gore, he chose to do so because of his character’s moral dilemma. “It’s like, ‘I have to sell that reality and try to make it as real as possible.’ That was it. Like I said, if a painting of Jesus is just so-so, the detail isn’t really there, then I’ll pass it and look at the Statue of David. But if the detail is specific and it’s done correctly, then you are looking at the real thing. If the violence is disturbing as opposed to cartoonish or something - and that includes the emotional state of the people who are watching it or who it’s being done to - that’s where I think it’s important to be able to get those specifics right." Concerning Jeff's desire for revenge and whether or not he sympathized with him, he stated "Being put in that situation, I don’t know...the most important thing for me was you can have the idea of wanting to take revenge and do terrible things to people, but the reality of it is something completely different. As soon as you see that, it’s just sickening and nauseating - unless you’re just completely dissociated and a mental sociopath or insane, I guess.
When Macfayden was asked if he liked his character in an interview with IGN, the interviewer pointed out Jeff's hesitation to help out those in peril. Macfayden responded with "I think it's kind of set up in the film that even though you think he could save them, even when he tries to, it's set-up so it all seems a little too late. That was something we were discussing was how long do you wait and pause? Because if you've done that in one room, you know you can't do that in the next because otherwise it's going to be too late for that person. So we were having lots of debates. And also because each scene, you can't play them all the same. You've got to build in each one. So did I like him? I don't think he liked himself very much.
- In the original Saw IV script, Jeff was supposed to play another game and die in the blender trap, however it was scrapped, due to the script being changed.
- Throughout Saw III, Jeff is partially/fully responsible for the death of 6 people.
- The back of the case for Saw III calls him "Jeff Reinhart". This surname was actually suggested by a fan of Saw on internet message boards during a special online contest held by the filmmakers. It was chosen because it was similar to the name of the person in the drill chair in Saw, Jeff Ridenhour. Despite this, it was not used as his final name in the film. This could have been done to hide the twist that Jeff was Lynn Denlon's husband.
- Jeff Denlon killed two Jigsaw killers and also caused the deaths of three people responsible for the loss of his child, despite him trying to save them. Hilariously, Jeff's actions also result in the death of his wife and cause his daughter, Corbett, to be orphaned. Because of this, he has the second highest kill count in all the Saw films, aside from Mark Hoffman. Amanda is third, with five kills and one indirect kill (Gideon Kramer).
Appearances and References
Cannon (3 films)