Two strangers, photographer Adam and oncologist Lawrence, wake up chained on opposite sides of a grimy bathroom. Between them lies a dead man lying in a pool of blood, with a revolver and cassette recorder in his hand. Adam and Lawrence soon realize they have been captured by the notorious Jigsaw serial killer.
Through the recordings left behind, they learn the dead man was also a victim forced to kill himself after failing his test. Jigsaw punishes people by putting them in situations where they must inflict pain upon themselves or others in order to survive. Lawrence’s test is that he must kill Adam by 6 pm, or else his wife and daughter will be killed. Adam’s role is to simply escape.
As the two men struggle to find a way out of their shackles, they get to know one another and reveal secrets about their lives. Flashbacks show how each of them were kidnapped. As 6 pm nears, Lawrence becomes increasingly desperate and Adam loses hope. In a twist ending, Lawrence saws off his own foot in order to escape, leaving Adam chained up, but it’s revealed that Adam was actually an accomplice of Jigsaw’s all along.
The elaborate traps and psychological games established Jigsaw as one of horror cinema’s most twisted and iconic killers. Saw kickstarted the highly successful, gross-out torture porn franchise.