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The Big Clue Everyone Missed In Saw

What happens when a character is diagnosed with cancer and decides to inspire people to appreciate their lives? Possibly a feel-good film catered towards the masses. But in actuality, this describes James Wan and Leigh Whannell's horror phenomenon "Saw," a film that was first brewed up in the wake of the two friends graduating from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology when they had no money and were hungry to make their first film (via A.V. Club).

The success of Jigsaw's (Tobin Bell) story is not happenstance. More than a slasher film, "Saw" is a morality tale about encouraging people to live life to the fullest all contained in a one-room mystery. After Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes) and Adam (Whannell) wake up chained to a pipe with a dead body between them, they realize it won't be so easy to escape their torment — at least one of them will have to lose a limb in order to survive. 

However, the most impressive part of the construction of "Saw," as a film, is the twist at the end. The dead body is actually John Kramer — aka Jigsaw — who is not dead at all, but has orchestrated the entire chain of events. He is a master puppeteer who has gone to extreme lengths to maneuver every character to where he needed them to be. And there's one key moment earlier in the film that, upon a rewatch, is a huge hint about Jigsaw's true identity.

Jigsaw's identity is revealed early on in the film thanks to the reverse bear trap

"Saw" stands apart from many other horror films because of specific details, impossible to forget, strewn about through the storyline. One of the most memorable sequences of the film is the infamous reverse bear trap secured around Amanda Young's (Shawnee Smith) head. In order to remove the trap, Amanda must find the key before it detonates. This moment is fundamental for her, as fans of the franchise will go on to see in later films. But it is also important for another reason. The appearance of the reverse bear trap happens more than once ... and closer than Dr. Gordon, perhaps, would be comfortable with. 

In an earlier scene, it's quietly revealed that if Gordon had been paying attention, he would have seen that one of his own patients held the designs for the reverse bear trap right under his nose. John Kramer was, in fact, a patient of Gordon's and eagle-eyed fans can see the blueprints if they look quick enough: While Gordon is doing rounds, Kramer is asleep with the plans of the beartrap in full view of the hospital. This reinforces the idea that Gordon is often oblivious to everything around him. Kramer chooses him as a target precisely because he lacks empathy, even though he is in the medical profession: Had Dr. Gordon opened his eyes, he wouldn't have become one of Kramer's victims in the first place.