|“||I will give you just one hint as to where that key is: it will be like finding a needle in a haystack.||”|
— Jigsaw's tape for Xavier Chavez[src]
Design and Function
The needle pit was a trap located on the upper floor of the Nerve Gas House. The pit was actually a giant hole in the center of one of the rooms. It was filled with over tens of thousands of filthy, used syringes. Additionally, there were two doors in the room. The first one was a wooden door through which the room could be entered. The other door, located at the back part of the room, was a heavy metal door. Behind it was a syringe with an antidote for a deadly nerve agent that the prisoners in the house were breathing in. Attached to this door was a timer with a small metal pin. A long cord connected the pin with the first door. When someone opened it, he or she would subsequently tauten the cord and therefore pull the metal pin out of the timer, resulting in its activation. After this, the victim had to find the key to the metal door as soon as possible, as it would be permanently locked after a short time, making it impossible to obtain the antidote. The key was attached to a glow stick plugged in one of the countless syringes in the pit. (Saw II)
At one point during his series of murders, John Kramer targeted the corrupt detective Eric Matthews, who had innocently framed and arrested numerous people throughout his career, including one of John's apprentices, Amanda Young. Therefore they set up a big game which was going to be directly connected to Eric's test. This game focussed on seven people. The first one was Daniel Matthews, Eric's son who had become estranged from him after he had cheated on Daniel's mother with his former partner, Detective Allison Kerry. The other persons tested throughout the game were Jonas Singer, his manager Gus Colyard, the prostitute Addison Corday, the drug dealer Xavier Chavez, Laura Hunter and Obi Tate. Additionally Amanda participated in the game as well and played as another victim primarily in order to be able to observe the other prisoners' progress. These people, except for Daniel, had all been framed and arrested by Eric for crimes they didn't commit. All of them were unconscious and lay on the floor of a room on the lower floor of the Nerve Gas House. Upon waking up, an audio tape left by Jigsaw informed them about a deadly nerve agent they were all breathing in. While the doors would open after three hours, the gas would already kill them after two hours. In order to survive the prisoners had to find syringes with the antidote which were hidden in the house. (Saw II)
|“||Hello, Xavier. I want to play a game. The game I want to play is very similar to the one that you've been playing as a drug dealer. The game of offering hope to the desperate, for a price. I think we can agree that your situation is desperate. So I offer you hope. The price that you pay is that you must crawl into the same pit of squalor you force your customers into. By entering this room, a timer has been started. When the timer expires, the door in front of you will be locked forever. Only in finding the key before the timer runs out can you unlock and retrieve the antidote inside. I will give you just one hint as to where that key is: it will be like finding a needle in a haystack. Let the game begin.||”|
— Xavier Chavez' tape[src]
As the group made its way through the house, they eventually came across a door on the upper floor. As it was the only one without a lock, the prisoners tried to get in. Addison unsuccessfully attempted to open it, remarking that it was stuck. Therefore Xavier angrily shoved her away and attempted to open it by brute force to which Amanda responded that the room was most likely a trap. Xavier sarcastically told her that the whole house was a trap and went on until he finally managed to open the door. Unfortunately, this caused a metal pin to be pulled out of a timer which was connected to another door. Daniel told Laura to wait in the hallway and followed the rest of the group into the room. An audio tape left for Xavier by Jigsaw told him, that there was another antidote behind the second door. However, it would be locked permanently if he didn't manage to find the key in time. Moments later Daniel found a pit full of thousands of used syringes hidden under a bed. According to Jigsaw, the key to the door was somewhere in the pit.
After listening to the tape, Xavier demanded that one of the others had to crawl into the pit and get the key. However, when they refused he grabbed Amanda who immediately started to panic. As the remaining members of the group were afraid of Xavier they stood back and watched how he ruthlessly threw her in the pit. While the needles were piercing her skin Xavier became more and more angry and yelled at her to hurry up. Frightened and in pain, Amanda rifled through the syringes until she eventually found one which had the key attached to it. When she threw it out of the pit Xavier grabbed it and tried to open the door while Daniel helped Amanda to climb out of the pit. Unfortunately, Xavier didn't manage to open the door in time and angrily tried to attack Amanda but was only held back by Jonas. While Daniel carefully pulled the needles out of Amanda's skin Xavier ultimately separated from the group. (Saw II)
Following the end of the game, Jigsaw's apprentice, Detective Mark Hoffman, returned to the Nerve Gas House, where he disposed of the traps as well as the corpses of the other prisoners. Additionally, he renovated the entire building and even refurnished it, giving it the appearance of an average residential house. (Saw V)
Use in other Media
A similar concept was used in Saw: The Video Game, albeit on a smaller scale. Throughout his series of tests at the abandoned Whitehurst Insane Asylum, David Tapp came across a large number of locked doors and fuse panels. On several occasions, the keys for the doors or the fuses and couplers needed to activate the panels were hidden in toilets filled with numerous needles. In order to obtain them, Tapp had to insert his hand into the toilets and grab the necessary items. To avoid losing consciousness due to the pain, the players had to react quickly and must press the right button.
A second needle pit, resembling the original one, briefly appeared in Saw II: Flesh & Blood. After having been freed from a trap by Michael Tapp, the criminal accountant Solomon Bates engaged in an angry argument with his saviour and tried to flee. However, he crossed the path of Jigsaw's apprentice, Pighead II. When he tried to flee again, he accidently fell into a needle pit. His eventual fate remained unknown.
- For the scene in Saw II, over 120.000 syringes were used. In order to ensure the safety of actress Shawnee Smith, every single needle had to be removed and replaced with fiber needles over the course of several days.
- Originally, the filming crew had planned to have many more syringes in the pit, so they would reach up to Amanda's neck. However this idea was removed from the script as it would have been to difficult for her to move around in the pit with so many syringes.
- This trap was nominated on the 2006 Scream Awards for the category Most Memorable Mutilation.
- It is possible that Dr. Lawrence Gordon provided the used syringes for the Needle Pit. However, this isn't shown during flashbacks at the end of Saw 3D.
- The trap was likely constructed by Mark Hoffman, who was seen working on setting up the Nerve Gas House.
- During preparation for the scene, a handful of real syringes were dropped into the pit, leading to the crew to halt filming to search for them.
Public Execution Trap • Pain Train • Horsepower Trap • Lawnmower Trap • Bobby's Trial • Suspended Cage • Silence Circle • Impalement Wheel • Hangman's Noose • Wisdom Teeth Combination • Brazen Bull • Sentry Gun Trap • Cyanide Box • Reverse Beartrap