Saw Movies

Pendulum Trap

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Pendulum Trap
11 300dpi
Appearances Saw V, VI, Saw: The Video Game
Type of Trap Standard Trap (inescapable)
Victims Seth Baxter (executed, deceased), Jennings Foster (survived)
Seth Baxter, a murderer who was initially sentenced to life in prison, was released a mere five years after his conviction on the grounds of an undisclosed technicality. Believing Seth didn't learn the impact of his crime, "Jigsaw" places him into a trap instead.

Seth wakes up in a room, chained to a table, with two vices on either side of it. Above him, is a large, bladed pendulum that begins to swing after his tape is completed. Seth has to push buttons in the back of the vices that will crush his hands in order to stop the Pendulum from reaching his body, as his hands are the "tools" that caused harm to others. In sixty seconds, the pendulum will cut him in half if he doesn't succeed.

Seth inserts his hands into the vices, but quickly pulls them out in fear. Trying again, he succeeds in crushing his hands and the Pendulum ceases swinging for a few moments, but after a short pause, the Pendulum reactivates and descends far enough to begin cutting into his abdomen, and eventually slices him in half, confirming that the trap was inescapable. Hoffman watches as Seth slowly dies through a peephole.

It is eventually learned that Hoffman created the trap in order to avenge his sister, who was dating and subsequently murdered by Seth. He created it in the style of a Jigsaw game so as to pin the blame on John Kramer. Jigsaw eventually learns about Hoffman's actions and blackmails Hoffman into becoming Jigsaw's second accomplice.

Hello, Seth. I want to play a game. Right now, you are feeling helpless. This is the same helplessness you bestowed upon others. But now, it's unto you. Some would call it Karma. I call it justice. Now, you served five years of what should have been a life sentence for murder. A technicality gave you freedom, but it inhibited you from understanding the impact of taking a life. Today, I offer you true freedom. In thirty seconds, the pendulum will drop far enough to touch your body. Within sixty seconds, it will cut you in half. To avoid the pendulum, all you have to do is destroy the things that have killed: your hands. You must insert your hands and push the buttons to start the devices before you. Your bones will be crushed to dust. Will you destroy the things that have taken life in order to save one, Seth? Make your choice.
— Hoffman explains the rules[src]
Pendulem concept

Early concept of the hand crushers

This trap was nominated and won the award on Scream 2009 for Most Memorable Mutilation. (The Pendulum Trap)

This was the first of Hoffman's inescapable traps.

This trap also appeared in the first video game, where it was used on Jennings Foster, one of Tapp's friends from the force. The trap in the game is quite different from the one in the movie: for example, it has an escape method, and the blade swings verticaly instead of horrizontaly. There are no vices for this trap and the timer is longer. In order to save Jennings, Tapp had to complete four gear puzzles to reverse the polarity of the pendulum. Unlike Seth, Jennings survived.


This trap is the very sort of torture device used during the Spanish Inquisition and in Edgar Allan Poe's story The Pit and the Pendulum.

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