Saw VI is a mystery psychological thriller and the sixth installment of the Saw franchise, first released in 2009. Directed by Kevin Greutert, the editor of the previous films, and written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the film's story revolves around Mark Hoffman, whose true identity as Jigsaw's successor is still unknown. To fulfill John Kramer's final request, he sets up another one of his gruesome games, while he eagerly attempts to protect his secret. The sixth movie solves several mysteries and unanswered questions from the previous installments and brings closure to most of the still ongoing story lines.
Simone and Eddie, two predatory lenders, wake up in a room. Each of them wears a helmet with screws aiming at their temples. A video tape informs them that they have 60 seconds to cut off their own flesh and throw it on a scale. Whoever sacrifices more flesh will survive while the other one will be killed by the mechanic device, as the screws would then pierce the person's skull. Eddie quickly gains the lead by cutting fat from his belly. However, just as the game comes closer to its end, Simone chops off her arm and throws it on the scale, resulting in her survival and Eddie's death.
Shortly afterwards, the crime scene is found and Detective Mark Hoffman is called to the location by Special Agent Dan Erickson. He informs him that the fingerprints of Special Agent Peter Strahm were found on the scale as well as Eddie's corpse. Thereby, he also tells Hoffman that Special Agent Lindsey Perez, who had supposedly died due to her injuries from a trap, is still alive and has merely faked her death with Erickson's help to keep her safe until the identity of John Kramer's remaining accomplice is known. Following this reveal, Hoffman accepts to work together with them from then on.
Some time later, Hoffman visits John Kramer's ex-wife, Jill Tuck, at her clinic. Jill hands him five envelopes from the black box, which she received from John's executor, Bernie Feldman, in Saw V. These envelopes contain information about the victims of the next game, which is planned to begin later that night. Hoffman demands to be in control of the game alone and leaves the clinic with the envelopes.
This game takes place at the abandoned Rowan Zoological Institute and focuses on William Easton, an executive of the Umbrella Health insurance company. William and his associates are responsible for finding errors in their clients' application for the coverage of their treatment costs so they can deny the coverage with spurious reasons. In the first test of his game, William wakes up and finds himself trapped in a large, vise-like contraption with a breathing mask on his face. His janitor, Hank, is in the same situation. A video recording of John Kramer, who was once a client of William as well, introduces William to his game and informs him about four bombs strapped to his limbs, which will detonate if he doesn't manage to pass four tests within the next 60 minutes. In his first test, he and Hank have to hold their breath as long as they can. Whenever one of them takes a breath, the vises around their chests close in and eventually crush their upper bodies. As a heavy smoker, Hank isn't able to hold his breath longer than William and is ultimately killed, while William is released from the trap and goes on to find his next test.
In the next part of his game, William must pick up the ends of two chains, which are connected to two small platforms. His file clerk, Allen, stands on one platform, while his secretary, Addy, stands on the other one. Both of them have a noose made of barbed wire around their neck. To move on, William has to let go of one chain, resulting in the respective person's death, while the other one will survive. Eventually, William decides to save Addy, resulting in Allen's death as his platform falls back and he is hanged by the noose.
In the boiler room of the zoo, William encounters his third test. His company's attorney, Debbie, has 90 seconds to find her way through a maze in order to retrieve a key, which is necessary to deactivate a device strapped to her body. If she isn't able to do so, the device will shoot a spear through her head and kill her. However, her path is blocked by hot steam, coming from several pipes. William redirects the steam and thereby enables Debbie to proceed, while he himself receives multiple burns. Upon reaching the end of the maze, Debbie finds a bunch of photos and realizes that the key to her trap is hidden inside William's body. Therefore, she attacks him with a circular saw. William, however, is able to fight her off long enough until the timer expires and Debbie is killed by her trap.
When William reaches his fourth test, he finds six of his associates - Aaron, Emily, Gena, Dave, Shelby and Josh - strapped to a spinning carousel. At regular intervals, the carousel stops, causing one of them to sit in front of a shotgun, which will kill the person if William doesn't choose to save them. To do this, he has to push two buttons inside a box, which will cause his hand to be impaled by a spike. However, William can only save two of them, while the other four inevitably have to die. Eventually, he saves Emily and Shelby and then goes on to find an exit before his time runs out.
At the same time as William's game occurs, Erickson and Perez continue their investigation. Upon the examination of Eddie's corpse, Dr. Adam Heffner, the pathologist, who had performed the autopsy on every Jigsaw victim, discovers that the jigsaw piece, which was cut from Eddie's skin, has been removed with a different type of knife than the pieces of most of the other victims. The only victim, whose jigsaw piece was cut out with the same knife, is Seth Baxter, the murderer of Hoffman's sister, Angelina Acomb. As a different knife had been used, the agents suspect that the voice on the instruction tapes of their respective traps might be that of somebody else as well.
The tape from Seth Baxter's trap is quickly found and sent to a technical lab for the analysis and restoration of the distorted voice. When the agents and Hoffman drive to the lab, shortly before the voice on the tape is restored, Erickson and Perez, who seemingly began to distrust Hoffman, put him under pressure. Thereby, Erickson reveals that the examination of Strahm's fingerprints at the crime scene of Eddie's death showed that Strahm must have already been dead by the time those fingerprints were left there. Just as the tape is restored and Hoffman's voice becomes recognizable, the latter attacks and kills the agents as well as the technician, Sachi. Flashbacks reveal that Hoffman had taken Strahm's severed hand after his death in Saw V and had used it to plant the fingerprints at the crime scenes. He does the same thing again and plants Strahm's fingerprints all over the lab, before I sets the room on fire and flees the scene.
Meanwhile, Jill got her hands on a copy on a letter, which had been written by Hoffman to Amanda Young, Jigsaw's other accomplice, who was killed the same night as John Kramer in Saw III. She takes the letter with her, along with a Reverse Beartrap from her black box, and drives to the zoo, where William's game takes place. During its final moments, she places the letter in Hoffman's surveillance room and puts the trap into a shelf.
Moments later, Hoffman enters the room to observe the final part of William's game, which takes place in a room, which can be watched through a one-way mirror from the surveillance room. He is shocked, when he finds the letter, which turns out to be a blackmailing letter. Flashbacks show that Amanda, while she was still a drug addict, had urged her boyfriend, Cecil Adams, to rob Jill Tuck's recovery clinic. This robbery had resulted in Jill's miscarriage and the death of her and John Kramer's unborn son, Gideon Kramer. Somehow, Hoffman had gained knowledge about this and forced Amanda to kill Dr. Lynn Denlon. Thereby, he anticipated that Lynn's husband, Jeff Denlon, would kill her in return. As he reads the letter, Jill reenters the room and subdues him with an electric shock.
Meanwhile, William reaches the final room of his test before the timer expires and finds himself between two cages. Trapped in the first one is his sister, Pamela Jenkins, while Tara and Brent Abbott are in the other one. Tara and Brent were the widow and son of Harold Abbott, who died due to a heart disease after William had denied the coverage of his treatment costs, which could have saved his life. A TV turns on outside their cage, showing a recording of John Kramer. John tells Tara that she has to decide upon William's fate. There is a lever in her cage, labeled with the words "Live" and "Die." She can either forgive William or sentence him to death. Despite her initial attempt to put the lever on "Die", Tara can't bring herself to kill him. Brent, however, who is angry and furious due to his father's death, pulls the lever instead. Thereby, a metallic grid swings down from the ceiling and pierces William's body with several needles. Afterwards, a big amount of hydrofluoric acid is injected in his body, causing him to die slowly and agonizingly before the eyes of his sister and the Abbott family.
At the same time, Jill straps Hoffman to the armrests of his chair and puts the Reverse Beartrap on his head. As he wakes up, she reveals that there had been a sixth envelope in the box, which contained a photo of him. Thereby, it becomes obvious that John Kramer's final request wasn't William's game, but rather Hoffman's test. After watching the end of William's game, Jill leaves the room with the words "Game Over", intending not to give Hoffman any chance to survive. Hoffman, however, uses the trap to smash his hand and frees himself from his restraints. Afterwards, he pushes the trap's frontal part between two metal bars on the door window to prevent it from bursting open completely. Thereby, he manages to pull his head out of the trap, but is heavily injured in the process as the trap tears his right cheek apart.
In a scene after the credits, Amanda goes to the cell where Corbett Denlon, Jeff and Lynn Denlon's daughter, is trapped. The extremely distraught Amanda talks to the little girl and warns her not to trust the one who will save her. As she already knew at this time that Hoffman would save her, it is implied that this warning was an act of revenge by Amanda against him after she read his blackmailing letter.
- Tobin Bell as Jigsaw/John
- Costas Mandylor as Hoffman
- Mark Rolston as Erickson
- Betsy Russell as Jill
- Shawnee Smith as Amanda
- Peter Outerbridge as William
- Athena Karkanis as Agent Perez
- Samantha Lemole as Pamela Jenkins
- Tanedra Howard as Simone
- Marty Moreau as Eddie
- Shawn Ahmed as Allen
- Janelle Hutchison as Addy
- Gerry Mendicino as Janitor
- Caroline Cave as Debbie
- George Newbern as Harold
- Shauna MacDonald as Tara
- Devon Bostick as Brent
- Darius McCrary as Dave
- Shawn Mathieson as Josh
- Melanie Scrofano as Gena
- Karen Cliche as Shelby
- James Gilbert as Aaron
- Larissa Gomes as Emily
- Dan Duran as Newscaster
- Billy Otis as Cecil
- James Van Patten as Coroner
- Jon Mack as Female Addict
- Francois Sagat as Male Addict
- Elle Downs as Clinic Nurse
- Tenika Davis as Irate Clinic Woman
- Karl Campbell as Security Guard
- Ginger Busch as Sachi
- Jessie Rusu as Female Officer
- Mpho Koaho as Tim
Saw VI was the first film in the franchise directed by Kevin Greutert, the editor of all previous installments, who made his directorial debut with the film. Therefore, he was replaces as an editor by Andrew Coutts. As with the previous films, Mark Burg and Oren Koules returned as producers, while Leigh Whannell and James Wan served as executive producers again. The soundtrack was again composed by Charlie Clouser, while the script was written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, who had already written the scripts for Saw IV and V. A week before shooting began, Lionsgate Films informed Kevin Greutert that the film was planned to be post-converted to 3D. These plans, however, were later abandoned due to time restraints, but also because Greutert wasn't happy with the idea as the film was aesthetically envisioned as a 2D film.
The film was granted a budget of $11 million. The principal photography took place at the Toronto's Cinespace Film Studios from March 30, 2009 to May 13, 2009. Several of the actors from previous movies returned to reprise their roles, including both main characters as well as minor ones. Prior to shooting, a TV reality show called Scream Queens aired in 2008 on VH1. In the show, ten unknown actresses competed for a "breakout" role in Saw VI. Eventually, actress Tanedra Howard won the show and gained the role of Simone. Lionsgate made a public statement, ensuring her a leading role in the film. However, her character turned out to be a rather minor one.
Saw VI was released on October 22, 2009 in Australia and New Zealand and one day later in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Most of the film's stars attended the Lionsgate annual "red carpet" event for the film at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. The MPAA gave the movie an R rating, without much of the content having to be cut or altered.
The DVD and Blu-ray Disc were released in three editions on January 26, 2010: an "R-rated Theatrical Full Screen Edition", an "Unrated Director's Cut Widescreen Edition" and an "Unrated Director's cut Blu-ray Disc" as well as a digital download.
The movie earned $6.9 million on its opening day. It grossed $27,693,292 in the US and Canada and $68,233,629 worldwide, making it the lowest-grossing entry in the series. Despite this, the general critics were better than those of the previous movies, albeit still being rather mixed. Saw VI received a rating of 36% from Rotten Tomatoes, based on 69 reviews, while Metacritic gave it a score of 30 out of 100, based on 12 critics. While most of the negative reviews criticized the story, acting and brutality, the rather favourable critics praised the movie's final piece as well as Kevin Greutert's directing style.
The soundtrack of Saw VI was released on October 20, 2009. However, the officially released version contained none of Charlie Clouser's original score. The lack of a score release for each of the two films prompted the creation of an unofficial online petition to have them released. A few days following the release, the petition was closed with 248 signatures, less than half the goal of 500.
1. Saw Six Logos
2. Saw VI Open
4. Hoffman Coffin
6. Harold Story
7. Doctor Team
8. On My Way
9. Scene Depart
10. Fed Perez
11. My Arm
12. Jill Story
13. Autopsy Redux
14. Jill and Hoffman
15. Breath Room
16. Take One
17. Hanging Room
18. Hello, Pamela
19. Jill Drives
20. Steam Room
23. Voice Lab
24. Severed Hand
25. Zepp Six
1. In Ashes They Shall Reap - Hatebreed
2. The Last Goodbye - Lacuna Coil
3. Reckless Abandon - It Dies Today
4. Your Soul Is Mine - Mushroomhead
5. Warpath - Chimaira
6. Code of the Road - Danko Jones
7. Genocide - Suicide Silence
8. Ghost In the Mirror - Memphis May Fire
9. The Countdown Begins - Outbreak
10. Still I Rise - Shadows Fall
11. Dead Again - Type O Negative
12. Dark Horse - Converge
13. Cut Throat - Kitty
14. Never Known - Nitzer Ebb
15. Roman Holiday - Every Time I Die
16. The Sinatra - My My Misfire
17. Lethal Injection - The Flood
18. More Than a Sin - James Brothers
19. We Own the Night - The 69 Eyes
20. Watch Us Burn - Ventana
21. Forgive & Forget - Miss May I
- Originally, Cary Elwes, who played the character of Dr. Lawrence Gordon in the first film, was planned to reprise his role. Elwes, however, was unavailable at that time.
- This is the first installment since Saw III, which includes entirely new scenes with Shawnee Smith as Amanda Young.
- During the flashback scene of Amanda and Cecil robbing Jill's clinic, Amanda can be seen shivering. The shiver was real due to the rain and cold temperatures as the crew was filming outside.
- The Reverse Beartrap used in Hoffman's game is actually the one seen in Saw III, though its design was altered.
- In a flashback scene included in the Director's Cut, Amanda and Cecil are driving to Jill's clinic. Originally, the scene was supposed to have a track of Smith & Pyle, Shawnee Smiths's country-rock band, playing over the radio.
- In the early planning stages, Mark Hoffman was supposed to take on the mafia. However, this was changed as it was deemed unfitting for the franchise.
- The film was banned in Thailand.
- This was the last film of David Armstrong as the series' cinematographer.
- Originally, George Newbern, who plays Harold Abbott in the movie, auditioned for the role of William Easton.