|Saw II is a 2005 horror film and sequel to Saw. It was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and written by himself and the first film’s co-writer Leigh Whannell, and stars Tobin Bell, Donnie Wahlberg, and Shawnee Smith. Saw II was released in North America on October 28, 2005. Tobin Bell was nominated for “Best Villain” at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards for his role as Jigsaw in the film.
The film features Jigsaw being apprehended by the police, but trapping the arresting officer in one of his own games while showing another “game” of eight people—including the officer’s son in progress on TV monitors at another location. It also explores some of Jigsaw’s back story, providing a partial explanation for why he chose to become Jigsaw.
Upon release, Saw II received mixed reviews from film critics. Some dismissed the film as being a “Se7en knockoff”, “lacking style and plot” and some revolting over the “explicit gore and torture scenes”, while others praised it as being a “worthy follow-up” and “providing plenty of what fans of the first expected”. Despite negative reviews Saw II was a financial success grossing $31,725,652 its opening weekend, recouping its $4 million budget. The film currently is the highest grossing (domestically) Saw film to date.
Michael Marks (Noam Jenkins), a police informant, awakens to find two halves of a spike-filled mask locked around his neck. A videotape informs him that the key to his trap has been implanted behind his right eye; he finds a scalpel but is unable to get himself to use it, and is killed when the timer runs out and the mask closes around his head. Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) is called to the scene after a message for him is found. Later, he follows a SWAT team led by Officer Rigg (Lyriq Bent) and Detective Kerry (Dina Meyer) to an abandoned steel factory, where they find John Kramer (Tobin Bell), weakened by cancer. Computer monitors show that eight people are trapped in a large house: among them are Daniel Matthews (Erik Knudsen), his son, and Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith), Jigsaw’s only known survivor. The victims have two hours before the nerve agent filling the house kills them, but Kramer promises Matthews that he’ll see his son in a “safe, secure state” if he talks with Kramer for a while, which Matthews reluctantly agrees to in order to buy time for the tech team.
The eight victims are told that antidotes can be found around the house to save them from the gas. Gus Colyard (Tony Nappo) is shot dead by a booby-trapped door via a gun through the eye-hole when Xavier Chavez (Franky G.) accidentally triggers it. The search continues to the basement, where the group learns that one of them, Obi Tate, was an accessory to the kidnappings; he had kidnapped Laura Hunter (Beverley Mitchell), who is more affected by the gas than the others. Obi is burned alive when he accidentally activates a furnace trap while attempting to retrieve two antidotes. Subsequently, Amanda reveals to Daniel that she was framed for her possession charge which imprisoned her; Jonas Singer then leads them to a door, which Xavier and Addison Corday (Emmanuelle Vaugier) are attempting to break through. In the room is a pit filled with thousands of needles and syringes; a key to an antidote is hidden within. The trap is intended for Xavier, but he throws Amanda into the pit instead; she retrieves the key, but Xavier fumbles with it and fails to unlock the door in time. Frustrated with the group’s lack of success, he abandons the others.
Meanwhile, Kramer makes seemingly idle conversation with Matthews, eventually explaining his story: after being diagnosed with cancer, he attempted suicide by driving off a cliff, but survived the crash and vowed to spend the rest of his life testing the wills of others to survive. When the tech team arrives, Kramer further reveals to Matthews that the seven victims aside from Daniel are criminals that Matthews himself framed for various crimes; should Daniel’s identity be discovered, he will be in great danger. Matthews destroys several of Kramer’s plans in retaliation but fails to get a reaction.
Xavier returns to the first room, which contains a safe housing an antidote, and discovers a colored number on Gus’s neck; he connects this to their first clue and realizes that one colored number is on the neck of each victim. He subsequently kills Jonas with a spiky bat, then begins searching for the other victims. In another area of the house, Laura finally succumbs to the nerve agent and Amanda and Addison learn of Daniel’s identity. They both abandon him, but Amanda quickly returns when she discovers Xavier advancing on them. Meanwhile, Addison finds an antidote in a glass box with arm sockets lined with razor blades, which her wrists get trapped in; Xavier finds her, reads her number and leaves her to die. Daniel and Amanda retreat to the first room, where they discover an underground tunnel that leads to the bathroom of the first film. Daniel collapses upon entering. When Xavier arrives, Amanda points out that he can’t read his own number; he cuts off a piece of skin from the back of his neck, then advances on the two, upon which Daniel attacks and slits his neck with a hacksaw, having only feigned collapse.
After seeing Xavier chase Daniel and Amanda, Matthews loses his control and violently attacks Kramer, eventually forcing Kramer to take him to the house at gunpoint. The section that Kramer was sitting in is revealed to be a lift, allowing him and Matthews to escape. Simultaneously, the SWAT team follows the signal of the video feed to another house, which contains VCRs playing back previously recorded images of the eight victims; Kerry realizes that the events of the house took place before the factory raid. Matthews enters the house and eventually reaches the bathroom, where he is attacked by a pig-masked figure. The two-hour timer expires in Kramer’s lair and a large safe opens, revealing Daniel breathing into an oxygen mask. Upon awakening, Matthews finds himself chained by the ankle to the pipes; a tape recorder left by Amanda reveals that she is Kramer’s protegé. She appears in the doorway and, mirroring her mentor, proclaims “Game over” as she seals the door to the bathroom, leaving Matthews to die. Outside the house, a bloodied Kramer slowly forms a smile.