Runtime: 93 minutes
Release Date: October 28, 2005
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Look forward to seeing reviews for all, or at least the first five, movies in the franchise in coming weeks. Though I own them all, we're in the process of working through the series on Netflix right now.
A man wakes up in a dirty room with a spiked collar around his neck and face. A video playing informs him that he has one minute to find the key hidden behind his eye to remove the trap. Like most of us, he fails in his task, and the mask/collar slams shut on him, hopefully killing him instantly.
In a disgusting building across town, a group of strangers wake up disoriented and confused. They find a recording that tells them they were all given an injection that will kill them unless they find the antidotes hidden all around the house. Xavier, the largest and quite possibly scariest of the group, receives his own note that urges him to use a key and escape on his own. Instead, the key causes a gun to fire that kills the first man.
In yet another part of town, Detective Eric Matthews is tasked with finally bringing an end to the murderous Jigsaw killings. He and his team find and arrest John Kramer, the man behind Jigsaw. Kramer tells him how he was diagnosed with life ending cancer and tried to kill himself by driving his car off a cliff. His survival made him realize that everyone deserves a second chance at life. That led to him creating his traps and testing others. At the same time that Detective Matthews learns that his son in trapped in the house, the others learn the connection the boy has to the man who arrested and brought them all down.
I cannot think of Saw 2 without thinking of a few key scenes. The first involves Amanda, one of the survivors of the first film. Claiming that she's a junkie who climbed back on the wagon after the events of the last movie, she's the one Xavier picks to climb into a pit filled with needles to find one of the antidotes. When he pushes her into that pit and you see the needles sticking out of her skin, I can't help cringing.
While a lot of people had problems with the later films and with the outlandish nature of the traps, Saw 2 had some really unsettling moments. Addison, a prostitute, discovers one of the antidotes inside a glass box with two holes in the bottom. When she can't get the vial with one hand, she pushes the other one inside, only to find that razor blades will slice her wrists off if she attempts to move, leading her to bleed out while still trapped partially in the box.
And let's not forget the poor man who was burned to death when he entered a furnace that locked him inside and turned itself on. Those three death scenes alone make the movie worth a watch, and that doesn't even include the ending, which features one of the last great twists in the series. Say what you want about the Saw flicks, but the first two were unbelievably great.