|“||You'd be surprised what tools can save a life.||”|
— Amanda talks about her test[src]
Design and Function
The Reverse Beartrap was a mechanical contraption which was attached to its victims' head and secured with a padlock. A timer was attached to the back of it. Usually, the victim had 60 seconds to find the key, unlock the trap and remove it. If the victim failed to do so the trap would burst open and rip their jaws apart, as the frontal part of the trap was hooked into the upper and the lower jaw. (Saw)
|“||Hello, Amanda. You don't know me, but I know you. I want to play a game. Here's what happens if you lose. The device you're wearing is hooked into your upper and lower jaws. When the timer at the back goes off, your mouth will be permanently ripped open. Think of it like a reverse bear trap. Here, I'll show you. There is only one key to open the device. It's in the stomach of your dead cellmate. Look around, Amanda. Know that I'm not lying. Better hurry up. Live or die, make your choice.||”|
— Amanda Young's tape[src]
Amanda Young was the first victim to be tested by John Kramer, better known as Jigsaw, with the Reverse Beartrap because of her addiction to heroin. When she woke up after her abduction she found herself to be strapped onto a chair and with the deadly device placed on her head. She immediately panicked and tried to free herself from the chair but stopped when a TV turned on next to her. A mechanic ventriloquist puppet appeared on the screen and told her that the device on her head was hooked into her upper and lower jaw and would rip her head apart if she didn't manage to free herself within 60 seconds. It also revealed that the only key was in the stomach of her supposedly dead cellmate. (Saw, III)
When the TV turned off Amanda panicked again. However, the timer of the trap just started to count down when she freed herself from the chair which caused a metal pin to be pulled out of the trap resulting in its activation. When she saw the lifeless body of her cellmate she recognized him as Donnie Greco, a fellow patient she knew from the Homeward Bound Clinic. She initially hesitated to cut open the body. However, when she realized that Donnie wasn't dead, but merely paralyzed, she grabbed a knife lying next to him and stabbed him multiple times until he died. With only a few seconds left, Amanda searched his stomach for the key and eventually managed to get free only moments before the trap was activated, making her the first person who ever survived one of Jigsaw's deadly games. Horrified by these events Amanda began to cry, when the mechanic puppet slowly approached on a tricycle. It congratulated her for her survival and told her that she now knew how to appreciate her life. In panic, Amanda fled and ultimately found a way out of the building. (Saw, IV)
After surviving her test, Amanda became one of John Kramer's apprentices as she thought that he had actually helped her by testing her. More than one year after her game she and John went into hiding at the Gideon Meatpacking Plant where they held several vicious devices including the beartrap. While being held captive there, Dr. Lynn Denlon, another test subject, searched for a way to escape and coincidentally found the trap which was attached to a mannequin's head. Initially she tried to touch it out of curiosity but eventually refused to do so. However she accidently triggered it when she tried to grab a phone lying next to it which caused the trap to burst open and destroy the mannequin. Lynn was then taken by surprise by Amanda who asked her if she had everything she needed to perform a brain surgery on John Kramer. When Lynn told her she had the tools to cut someone open but not the tools to save a life Amanda merely responded that she'd be surprised what tools could save a life before she took her old trap from the floor and put it back on the table. When the Metropolitan Police Department arrived at the plant later on, the trap was secured by the police and taken to the evidence room. (Saw III, 3D)
After her ex-husband's death at the hands of Jeff Denlon, another one of his victims, Jill Tuck went to the probate court where she received a video tape and a black box from John's testamentary executor, Bernie Feldman. Besides an envelope for another one of John's apprentices, Dr. Lawrence Gordon, and six more envelopes with information about the victims of John's final game the box also contained a more modern looking version of the Reverse Beartrap which was supposed to be used to test John's first apprentice and successor, Detective Lieutenant Mark Hoffman. (Saw V, VI, 3D)
When the Jigsaw test of William Easton, manager of the Umbrella Health insurance company, played out at the Rowan Zoological Institute, Jill Tuck went to the surveillance room used by Mark Hoffman to observe the game and put the beartrap inside a locker. After that she placed a letter in front of the monitors before she went into hiding. The letter had been written by Hoffman to blackmail Amanda Young, who had been partly responsible for the miscarriage of Jill and John Kramer's unborn son, Gideon. When Hoffman arrived and sat down on his chair he was both surprised and shocked when he read the letter. Moments later Jill reentered the room and incapacitated him with an electric shock. When he was unconscious she strapped him onto the chair and put the trap on his head. (Saw VI)
Upon his awakening Jill revealed to him that it was John's final request for her to test him. However as she was angered by the letter she refused to give Hoffman any chance to survive. When the timer of the trap started to count down Jill eventually left the room with the words "Game Over". Hoffman immediately panicked and furiously smashed his left hand with the frontal part of the trap in order to free himself from his restraints. He then tried to open the trap with a screwdriver. When this attempt remained unsuccessful and only a few seconds were left, Hoffman pushed the trap's frontal part between two metal bars on the door window to prevent it from bursting open completely. Eventually he managed to pull his head out of the trap but was heavily injured in the process as the trap had torn his right cheek apart. Forcing himself to calm down, Hoffman took the trap with him and went to his hideout in a hangar. (Saw VI, 3D)
Mark Hoffman's Revenge
Following his near-death experience Hoffman seeked for revenge on Jill. When he found out Jill had told Matt Gibson, an officer of the Internal Affairs Division, about his identity as Jigsaw's successor he tried to convince Gibson to give Jill to him. To incriminate her Hoffman set up another game at Pete's Auto Body and placed the beartrap inside the toilet room. When the police arrived to investigate the crime scene, Gibson found the trap and ordered Rogers, one of his colleagues, to send it to the forensic lab to see if fingerprints could be found on the trap. When the fingerprints were identified to be those of Jill Tuck, Gibson took her to a safe house for key witnesses and confronted her with her attempted murder of Hoffman. Afterwards he sent the trap to the evidence room. (Saw 3D)
Jill Tuck's Execution
When Hoffman invaded the police station and killed six of his former colleagues in the process he ultimately found Jill Tuck who had been taken into protective custody. Afraid of his revenge Jill tried to flee but was eventually found by Hoffman when she tried to hide inside the evidence room. Hoffman brutally beat her up before he strapped her onto the same chair she had strapped him to in the Zoo's surveillance room. Then he took the original Reverse Beartrap formerly used on Amanda Young from one of the shelves and put it on Jill's head. When she woke up Hoffman started the timer, causing Jill to panic immediately. However as she had no chance to escape, the timer eventually went off which caused the trap to burst open and rip her jaws apart in front of Hoffman's eyes who left the room and closed the door with the words "Game Over." (Saw 3D)
Use in other Media
|“||Hello Detective Tapp. I want to play a game. Your obsession with catching me has robbed you of your life and the lives of others. You abuse every resource available to you in your quest to find the truth. You have lost your family, your badge, even the life of your partner, Detective Sing. You have lost your health, whittled away by the bullet wound in your chest. But you have not given up, have you? Now we will see if you can overcome your obsession. No doubt you remember the device attached to your jaw. It is evidence left over from your investigation. Here's what happens if you lose. Free yourself from the device and pursue me, or sit there and let it tear you apart. The choice is yours.||”|
— David Tapp's tape[src]
In the beginning of the first video game, Detective David Tapp woke up and found himself to be strapped onto a chair with a Reverse Beartrap on his head. When a TV turned on, Jigsaw's ventriloquist puppet told him that he was brought to the Whitehurst Insane Asylum to play one of Jigsaw's games on his own in order to overcome his obsession with arresting him. A second beartrap attached to a mannequin right in front of him is activated and destroys the mannequin's head, reminding Tapp what would happen if he failed. After watching the video tape Tapp freed himself from the chair and removed the trap in time.
As he made his way through the asylum, Tapp encountered numerous other prisoners who were trying to kill him in order to get a key which could free them. The key was hidden inside Tapp's body by Jigsaw. Some of the prisoners Tapp had to fight in order to progress wore the same beartraps as he did in the beginning of his series of tests. Most of them were killed by him in self-defense.
Amanda Young's first test as well as the beartrap are repeatedly mentioned in various documents and audio tapes by David Tapp. One of those also revealed that Tapp had investigated the trap so often that he could open it even without a key which explained how he was able to remove it in the previous game. It is also mentioned that the beartrap was the first more mechanical trap built by Jigsaw.
The trap was also used in the short film. When David, a young orderly from a hospital, woke up after being abducted by Jigsaw, he found himself to be strapped onto a chair and with the trap placed on his head. He immediately panicked and tried to free himself from the chair but stopped when a TV next to him was turned on. The mechanic ventriloquist puppet appeared on the screen and told him that the device on his head was hooked into her upper and lower jaw and would rip his head apart if he didn't manage to free himself within 60 seconds. It also revealed that the only key was in the stomach of his supposedly dead cellmate.
When the TV turned off David panicked again. However, the timer of the trap just started to count down when he freed himself from the chair which caused a metal pin to be pulled out of the trap resulting in its activation. When he saw the lifeless body of his cellmate he initially hesitated to cut open the body. However when he realized that the man wasn't dead but merely paralyzed he grabbed a knife laying next to him and stabbed him multiple times until he died. With only a few seconds left David searched his cellmate's stomach for the key and eventually managed to get free only moments before the trap was activated. Horrified by these events David began to cry, when the mechanic puppet slowly approached on a tricycle. It congratulated him for his survival and told him that he now knew how to appreciate his life.
- It should be noted that even though the Reverse Beartrap is one of the only traps to be featured in more than one of the series' films, it has only ever claimed one victim, Jill Tuck, who died because Hoffman rigged it so that Jill couldn't escape.
- In Saw II, a drawing of the Reverse Beartrap can be seen on a billboard in Jigsaw's hideout. Next to it is a picture of a football helmet. This strongly implies that this is what the trap was based on.
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