Jigsaw is the killer character in the Saw series of films and first appeared in the 2004 original. Always portrayed by actor Tobin Bell Jigsaw is a terminally ill man who resents the fact other people do not appreciate the lives they have and so in order to "teach" them he constructs convoluted traps. The traps are generally supposed to have a symbolic relevance to whatever flaw he feels the victim has, although this idea has been relaxed in the slew of sequels.
He was created by writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan. He is dubbed the Jigsaw killer by the press after cutting jigsaw piece shaped slices of flesh from his victims meant to symbolise the fact they are missing a part of the human puzzle, namely the survival instinct. In the first two films we learn he has terminal colon cancer and a brain tumour. He dies in Saw 3 when his throat is cut with a power saw but Jigsaw always uses video and audio recordings to reveal his plans and has continued his work in the further sequels from beyond the grave, enlisting the help of disciples.
Jigsaw is quite unconventional for a horror film killer, he believes his work is based on a high ideal and sees himself as a vigilante of sorts. He also claims he is not responsible for the deaths of his victims as he merely sets up the trap and usually gives them a chance to escape. However, he does slash the throat of a pursuing cop in the first film in an effort to escape.
His real name is John Kramer and we learn that he used to be a building engineer and toy designer who went off the rails after his pregnant wife was attacked and lost the baby. He wears a black cloak with a red lining and dons a creepy pig mask in order to abduct his victims. He also uses a puppet he constructed as a present for his unborn son to convey his video messages.
He is a chilling killer character who displays a flair for the dramatic and is obviously intelligent and technically skilled. While the story of Jigsaw has become more convoluted as the series has progressed he is still one of the most memorable and interesting killer characters to be created over the last few years. A further two sequels in the series have been planned (Saw 5 and 6) and Tobin Bell is set to reprise the role in both.
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