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Traps

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One of the main primary focuses of the Saw film series are the traps that the character John Kramer, and his apprentices create for their victims. In the movies, the serial murderer, Jigsaw, places individuals into traps for having wasted or misused their lives; each trap serving the purpose of testing the victim's will to live. As such, these devices force subjects into near-death situations where they are typically given the opportunity to either save themselves or die. In accordance with Jigsaw's ideology, the traps are meant to act as a form of immediate rehabilitation for the subject upon completion, work rewarding the survivor with a new lease on life and ridding them of their vices (that is if the subject doesn't fail and die, which is usually the case in the films).

These traps, also called "games" or "tests", come in six forms:

  • Standard Traps - Devices or scenarios applied to a victim or victims, usually with the effect of causing serious bodily harm or death if not removed by completing a given task within a specified time period. There are some traps, however, that are impossible to escape from such as Amanda's inescapable traps.
  • Competition Traps - Traps involving two or more victims who can each individually pass their test, but only at the expense of the other victim's failure. Only one or two people are able to survive these tests.
  • Tests - Games that involve a victim being given "rules" or a specific task, verbally. The outcome of the test is affected by whether or not the victim follows the "rules" and wins, or breaks the "rules" and loses. Losing usually results in the death of the character or some other sort of loss such as suffering serious injuries or causing the deaths of loved ones and friends.
  • Trials - A series of tests or traps that the subject(s) must face (as opposed to a Generic Trap which only involves a single test) with the intent of gauging the character(s)'s psychological progress from the beginning of the series up until the Final test.
  • Final Tests - The last test in a series of Trials. Culminates in a final decision that is designed to directly relate to and put to use what the character has learned from each of their preceding trials.
  • Security Traps - Traps designed to halt the progress of their victims and to prevent them from proceeding. Other security traps are used to protect Jigsaw and his followers from police or other attackers.

Many of the games, especially the Trials, involve a rigged area from which the victim must escape, which are often based around their interactions with other people. In most cases, the traps are created for people Jigsaw deems unappreciative of their lives, and are designed to ironically reflect the characters' flaws, with a few exceptions, including the Security Traps. Oftentimes, the victim must perform dangerous tasks, mutilate themselves, or harm others to escape.

The victims are usually informed about their traps by use of a recorded video or cassette tape, which either plays automatically once they awaken, or when they start the recording manually. The video recordings tend to feature Billy the Puppet, giving directions to the victims. On other occasions, however, Jigsaw gives the directions to the trap in person, while in Security Traps, little or no warning is given. Clocks and time are common themes in the games, as almost all of Jigsaw's traps require the victim to complete a task within a certain time period. While most of the traps have solutions to them, with the exception of Amanda Young's inescapable traps and Mark Hoffman's Pendulum Trap, few characters have survived them. In the time between when Amanda was taken in by Jigsaw and died in Saw III, she was responsible for constructing all of Jigsaw's traps for him

Traps in the Saw moviesEdit

Traps in the Saw video gamesEdit

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