My Dad's a... he's a real hard ass. You know, he's probably got half the city out looking for me, just so he can kick my ass for disappearing on him.
— Daniel talks about his father[src]

Daniel Matthews, also known as Danny, is a fictional character from the Saw franchise as well as a supporting protagonist in Saw II. He was portrayed by Erik Knudsen.


Early Life

Daniel Matthews was the teenage son of Detective Eric Matthews. He used to live with him and his mother. However, when she learned that Eric had an affair with one of his partners, Detective Allison Kerry, Daniel's mother filed for divorce and took Daniel with her when she left his father. His betrayal didn't only destroy his marriage but it also caused Daniel to withdraw from his father and severely strained their relationship. On several occasions, Daniel committed petty thefts, probably to provoke his father. However, he was never sent to a detention center for his crimes.

Eric argues with his son

One day he visited his father as the latter wanted to regain his confidence. However, shortly after his son's arrival, Eric was informed that Daniel had been caught stealing again by a security officer. When he came to pick him up, the two of them engaged in an argument. Daniel, who was still angry due to the betrayal of his father, told him that he might be a good cop but not a good father. When he told him that he wanted to go back to his mother earlier, Eric angrily yelled at him to go away, which Daniel subsequently did. (Saw II)


Daniel's unconscious body

Later that day, Daniel was abducted and taken to a run-down house by an accomplice of John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer. John and his apprentice, Detective Mark Hoffman took his unconscious body to a room with a large safe and trapped him there along with seven other people: Jonas Singer, his manager Gus Colyard, the prostitute Addison Corday, the drug dealer Xavier Chavez, Laura Hunter, Obi Tate and Amanda Young, a former heroin addict who was in fact a Jigsaw apprentice on her own. John placed a tape recorder behind a brick wall and helped Hoffman to install a booby trap connected to the lock of the room's only door. Having finished all of their preparations, John and Hoffman left the room and locked the door. (Saw II, V)

Daniel looks at the camera

Shortly afterward, the prisoners woke up. Frightened by the situation, Daniel squatted in a corner while Addison yelled that someone should open the door. Xavier sarcastically commented that no-one was listening, to which Laura responded that someone was and pointed at a camera. However, Daniel said that those kinds of cameras didn't record sounds. The group's concerns grew worse when Gus suddenly started to panic and talked about a movie he had seen about a man who had been trapped in a room for nine years, which frightened the others, especially Laura, and caused a discussion with Xavier. They were quickly interrupted when Addison heard a ticking on the other side of the door.

Daniel and his fellow prisoners

However before they could find out what it was, Amanda, who was the last one to still be unconscious, suddenly woke up. Playing her role as another victim she immediately pretended to panic and searched the room until she finally found the instruction tape as well as a key and a message which warned them not to use the key to open any door in the room. The tape told them that they were all breathing in a deadly nerve gas since the moment they arrived in the house. While the doors would open after three hours the gas would already kill them after two hours. In order to survive the prisoners had to find syringes with the antidote which were hidden in the house with one of them being in the safe. Additionally, Jigsaw told them that they all had a connection and told them that the clue to this connection was marked with an "X". After listening to the tape Xavier grabbed the key. Amanda begged him to listen to the message which warned them not to use the key to open any door in the room. However, he refused to do so and tried to open the door which caused a magnum on the other side to go off and shoot Gus Colyard right in the eye. While the other prisoners panicked, Jonas demanded Amanda tell him how she knew about the tape. She then told them about Jigsaw and his games and therefore also revealed that she had survived one of his tests before.

As they now knew the dangerousness of their situation, the group began to search the whole room. Daniel picked up Gus' jacket from the floor and used it to cover the latter's mutilated head. Moments later the door of the room finally opened. The group carefully made its way to the entrance hall. Xavier tried to open the front door with the key from the first room and angrily threw it away when it didn't work. However, Jonas grabbed the key and put it in his jacket. Furious and angry Xavier tried to smash the door with a nail-studded baseball bat he had found in a hallway right before the first room. After this attempt failed as well he got into a fight with Addison until Jonas intervened. Only moments later Laura found a door which led them down to a boiler room.

Daniel finds the window

Upon entering the basement the group found a tape which revealed that it was actually Obi who had assisted Jigsaw in their abduction. In order to redeem himself he had to crawl into a furnace where two syringes with the antidote were waiting for him; one for him and one for another prisoner of his choice. Upon this revelation, the group and Obi engaged in an argument during which Daniel asked who'd get the second antidote. Xavier yelled at him that they'd talk about that later on and instead threatened Obi with a knife and demanded to tell them how to get out. When Obi said he didn't know how to get out, Xavier slowly cut his throat to fear him. However, he was interrupted when Daniel accidentally knocked down a large metal tub. Eventually, Obi agreed to crawl into the furnace but demanded that one of the syringes. However, when he grabbed the second syringe the door of the furnace was suddenly locked and the furnace itself was activated. As the flames came closer to him Obi started to panic and desperately tried to get out of the oven. While Jonas and Xavier tried to free him the rest of the group including Amanda watched in horror as Obi was burned alive. Eventually, Daniel found a window on the other side of the furnace. When Xavier smashed it, Obi tried to crawl out but ultimately died in front of them. When they realized that the syringes were burned as well, the remaining prisoners left the basement, while Amana remarked that it was his own choice that had eventually killed Obi.

Daniel comforts Laura

Shortly afterward, the group divided. While Jonas, Xavier, and Addison went upstairs Amanda, Laura and Daniel decided to stay on the ground floor in order to look for more of Jigsaw's clues as well as the antidote. While searching the entrance hall, Laura, who was already severely weakened by the gas, collapsed and was comforted by Daniel who held her hand and promised her that they'd get out alive. Then he asked Amanda about the reasons for her first test. Therefore Amanda revealed to him that she was a drug addict and also harmed herself to deal with emotional stress. She further told him that she was no addict before her time in prison and that she was innocently framed. However, she didn't tell him that it was actually Daniel's father who arrested her. When she was about to go upstairs she was surprised by Jonas who told them that they had found a door which caught their suspicion due to being the only one without a lock. Amanda, Laura, and Daniel followed him, while Daniel helped Laura to climb the stairs.

When the group went upstairs, Addison tried to open the door but remarked that it was stuck. Therefore Xavier angrily shoved her away and attempted to open it by brute force to which Amanda responded that the room was most likely a trap. Xavier sarcastically told her that the whole house was a trap and went on until he finally managed to open the door. Unfortunately, this caused a metal pin to be pulled out of a timer which was connected to another door. Daniel told Laura to wait in the hallway and followed the rest of the group into the room. An audio tape left for Xavier by Jigsaw told him, that there was another antidote behind the second door. However, it would be locked permanently if he didn't manage to find the key in time. Moments later Daniel found a pit full of thousands of used syringes hidden under a bed. According to Jigsaw, the key to the door was somewhere in the pit.

Daniel helps Amanda after climbing out of the Needle Pit

After listening to the tape, Xavier demanded that one of the others had to crawl into the pit and get the key. However, when they refused he grabbed Amanda who immediately started to panic. As the remaining members of the group were afraid of Xavier they stood back and watched how he ruthlessly threw her in the pit. While the needles were piercing her skin Xavier became angrier and yelled at her to hurry up. Frightened and in pain, Amanda rifled through the syringes until she eventually found one which had the key attached to it. When she threw it out of the pit Xavier grabbed it and tried to open the door while Daniel helped Amanda to climb out of the pit. Unfortunately, Xavier didn't manage to open the door in time and angrily tried to attack Amanda but was only held back by Jonas. While Daniel carefully pulled the needles out of Amanda's skin Xavier ultimately separated from the group.

Shortly afterward Amanda managed to calm down and stayed with the group to look for more of the antidote. While she was searching the house along with Daniel, Addison, and Laura the latter suddenly collapsed in a hallway as she was seriously weakened by the gas. When Amanda tried to comfort her Addison told them they couldn't stay as they didn't have much time left. Fortunately, when Laura noticed a picture on the wall which had large scratches on it which were shaped like an "X", she remembered Jigsaw's first tape and realized this was the clue to their connection. Upon investigating the picture Addison found a photo attached to its backside which showed Daniel and his father, Eric. This caused the group to finally realize that Daniel's father was the cop who arrested all of them by faking the evidence. Seconds later, Laura suffered a seizure and died in Amanda's arms who had desperately tried to save her. Laura's death and the revelation of their connection caused both Addison and Amanda to leave Daniel. When they went away Xavier shouted for them and claimed he had found a way out.

Daniel and Amanda block the door

However only moments later Amanda entered the room where all of them initially woke up and found the corpse of Jonas whose head had been smashed by Xavier with his bat. Upon this, she immediately returned to Daniel who was still waiting in the hallway and told him they had to leave. Unfortunately, they crossed Xavier's path who told them not to run away. Despite this, they tried to flee and ran to the first room while Xavier pursued them. However, he stopped when he heard Addison screaming for help. As Daniel and Amanda heard her screams as well Amanda burst out crying. Shortly afterward, Xavier took up his pursuit again and reached the room they were hiding in. When he tried to break through the door Amanda grabbed the nail-studded baseball bat which was still stuck in Jonas' skull and used it to jam the door. Due to the odd shape of the puddle of blood emerging from his smashed head, Amanda realized there was a hidden trapdoor on the floor. With Daniel's help, she managed to push the heavy safe away and unlocked the trapdoor with the key found in the beginning of the game which was still in Jonas' pocket at this point.

Xavier cuts his neck in front of Daniel and Amanda

Only seconds after Daniel and Amanda went through the trapdoor and found the underground tunnels underneath the house, Xavier managed to open the door and continued to pursue them. Full of fear Amanda and Daniel ran away and followed the tunnel until they found another door. When they entered the room and turned on the lights the room was revealed to be a grimy industrial bathroom where they found the decomposed corpses of Adam Stanheight and Zep Hindle, two other victims of Jigsaw's deadly games who died several months ago already. As there was no other way to escape the room Daniel decided to sham being dead. Just a few seconds later Xavier entered the room. When Amanda told him Daniel was gone he told her that all he wanted from her was a number written on her and Daniel's neck as those numbers were the combination to the safe which contained one of the antidotes. Amanda reminded him that he would still need her as she was the only person left who could tell him about his own number. However, instead of asking her for help Xavier eventually cut off the skin from his neck with a knife he previously found in the basement while Amanda was watching in horror. When he was done he approached her but was killed by Daniel who suddenly jumped up and sliced his throat with the hacksaw previously used by Lawrence Gordon to cut off his own foot. As Xavier collapsed to the ground and bled to death, Daniel threw the hacksaw aside and began crying at the realization that he had killed another human being.

However, as she and Daniel were the only survivors left in the house the time for the next part of her and John's plan had come. Amanda subdued Daniel and injected him with the antidote from the safe. Afterwards, she took his unconscious body with her and brought him to the Wilson Steel Plant, where Jigsaw was already waiting for her to arrive. (Saw II)

Eric Matthews' Test

After their arrival, Daniel was tied up and locked inside a safe with a sufficient supply of oxygen. The next day, Eric, Kerry and a SWAT team led by Sergeant Daniel Rigg invaded the building after finding a clue to its location at the crime scene of John Kramer's latest game. Sergeant Rigg ordered his men to arrest him but they refused to do so when John told Eric it'd be the best if John stayed where he was until Eric took care of his problem and told him to watch at the surveillance monitors in the next room. Kerry, Rigg, and Eric entered the room. Upon looking at the monitors they saw the recordings of the big game in the Nerve Gas House. However, they thought that it was actually a live broadcast. When he saw the recording of the game Eric immediately attempted to attack John and angrily yelled at him but was held back by Sergeant Rigg. John then explained him the rules of his test. Eric's colleagues had to leave the room while Eric merely had to sit down and talk to John for a period of two hours until a timer went off. If he could do that he'd eventually see his son again. Otherwise, his son and the other prisoners would be killed by a deadly nerve agent.

After some discussion, Kerry was able to convince Eric to play John's game while she kept an eye on the progress of the game. When they began to talk to each other, John introduced himself to Eric by his name. However when Eric asked him if he shouldn't rather call him "Jigsaw", John claimed that this nickname came from the police and the press, not from him. Furthermore, he revealed the true meaning of the jigsaw pieces which he cut from his deceased victims' skins and that gave him his nickname. They were a symbol of an important piece of the "human puzzle" that the victims, who failed their tests, were missing in John's opinion: the survival instinct. He also told Eric about his attempted suicide after he was diagnosed with cancer and how his survival of this event caused him to start his mission. During their conversation, he frequently provoked Eric by talking about his violent behavior towards a suspect approximately five years ago and the bad relationship he had with his son after he cheated on his wife with Kerry. By telling him the truth about his self-imposed mission and confronting him with his past mistakes, John wanted Eric to understand him and his work.

Daniel inside the safe

However, as the timer was ticking down and Eric's desperation grew due to the tech team running late, Kerry advised him to destroy all of John's notes and plans he had in his hideout in order to provoke him. Eric followed her advice, but John remained unimpressed by his outburst of rage and his threats to kill him if he didn't get his son back. John just calmly watched him and casually commented that he wouldn't bring him in by destroying all the evidence. Eric then stopped his tantrum when the technical team arrived to trace the recordings of the game. When he decided to end his talk with John, the latter told him to take a look at the files of the seven people once framed by Eric for crimes they didn't commit and commented that they were about to find out that Daniel was his son. When the game in the house got out of control as one of the victims, Xavier was starting to kill the other prisoners and pursued Daniel and Amanda, Eric brutally beat John up to make him tell him about Daniel's whereabouts. Kerry tried to stop him but was held back by Rigg. When Eric threatened John with his gun the latter offered to take him to the house but demanded to go there with Eric alone. Eric agreed and left the building with John in a hidden elevator. As they left the building Kerry sent the SWAT team after them while she stayed with the tech team which traced the video feedback to an address at 237 North Hyde Crescent shortly afterward. However, when Rigg and his team arrived there they realized that the game was already over and the video feed was merely a recording. Kerry told the team to come back. As the timer went off a safe in John's hideout suddenly opened and revealed Daniel Matthews who had been locked up in the safe all the time. (Saw II)

Non-Canon Appearances

The Scott Tibbs Documentary

When Scott Tibbs, a psychopathic rock musician, decided to make a documentary about the Jigsaw Killer after the disappearance of his best friend, Adam Stanheight, he soon learned that Daniel Matthews, the latest survivor of one of Jigsaw's games, had been taken to the hospital. Scott lied to the staff and told them that Daniel was his cousin in order to get to him. However, when he tried to enter Daniel's room, he was caught by a nurse and a security guard who told him to leave, which Scott eventually did.


Daniel was a teenager who came into conflict with the law on several occasions due to minor acts of petty theft. It could be speculated that he committed these crimes in order to provoke his father after the latter had betrayed his mother. This affair severely strained Daniel and Eric's relationship and caused Daniel to often act disrespectfully towards him. Therefore it can be assumed that he was loyal to his mother who took him with her after filing for divorce.

However, despite his crimes, Daniel seemed to be rather kindhearted as seen during the events in the Nerve Gas House. During their captivity, he frequently comforted Laura and helped Amanda after Xavier had thrown her into the needle pit. It can be assumed that his captivity and his subsequent killing of Xavier severely traumatized him.


Appearances and References

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