This article is about the Saw V trap. You may be looking for the video game trap of the same name.

The Pendulum Trap is a trap from the Saw franchise, appearing in Saw V.

Design and Function

The victim's arms and feet were strapped to a metal table with shackles attached to short metal chains. Additionally, an automatic metal shackled was put around the victim's neck to prevent him from moving away. Above the victim at the ceiling was a large contraption which held a large blade in the shape of a pendulum. Once the game began, the pendulum started to swing back and forth and would be lowered down in regular intervals. After 30 seconds it would touch the victim's body and after 60 seconds it would kill the test subject by horizontally cutting his body in half. To the right and the left of the victim were two vises with small pressure buttons behind them. To stop the pendulum, the victim had to insert both hands in the vises and activate them by pressing the buttons. Thereby, they would slowly crush the victim's hands. (Saw V)


Seth Baxter's Execution

Hello, Seth. I want to play a game. Right now, you are feeling helpless. This is the same helplessness you bestowed upon others. But now, it's unto you. Some would call it Karma. I call it justice. Now, you served five years of what should have been a life sentence for murder. A technicality gave you freedom, but it inhibited you from understanding the impact of taking a life. Today, I offer you true freedom. In thirty seconds, the pendulum will drop far enough to touch your body. Within sixty seconds, it will cut you in half. To avoid the pendulum, all you have to do is destroy the things that have killed: your hands. You must insert your hands and push the buttons to start the devices before you. Your bones will be crushed to dust. Will you destroy the things that have taken life in order to save one, Seth? Make your choice.
— Seth Baxter's tape[src]

The victim of this trap was Seth Baxter, a convicted murderer who had killed his ex-girlfriend, Angelina Acomb, and was therefore sentenced to life in prison. However, he was released after five years due to a technicality. This filled Angelina's brother, Mark Hoffman, with rage and anger and therefore he planned his revenge on Seth. As he was a detective working on the case of a serial killer known as Jigsaw, he decided to kill Seth and make the murder look like another one of Jigsaw's crimes. In the month following his release, Seth was abducted by Hoffman, who took him to an abandoned building and strapped him to a metal table.


Seth in his trap

Shortly afterwards, Seth woke up and immediately panicked when he realized that he was shackled. He initially screamed for help but stopped when suddenly a TV turned on in front of him. A mechanical ventriloquist puppet appeared on the screen and confronted him with Angelina's death. As he never had the chance to learn from his mistake due to his early release from prison, he was now forced to play a not winnable game. Once the tape ended, a giant pendulum blade would swing down from the ceiling. After 30 seconds it would touch his body and after 60 seconds cut him in half. The puppet told Seth that the only way to stop the pendulum was to insert his hands into two vises to the right and left of him and push the buttons behind them. This would activate the vises and crush his hands.


Seth's hands are crushed

When the recording ended and the TV turned off, the pendulum blade started to swing back and forth above him. Seth begged for mercy, claiming that the death of Angelina had been an accident. However, the trap didn't stop. Therefore, he tried to push the buttons but quickly pulled his hands back out of fear. When he tried it once more, he managed to withstand the pain. While he screamed in incredible agony, the vises slowly crushed his hands. When they were done, Seth's broken hands were released and he pulled them back. However, only moments later, the pendulum swang down and began to cut his body, thereby tossing his entrails all around the room. Seth screamed in great pain but ultimately had no power to do so anymore.

Seth is slowly cut in half

As he was dying, he suddenly noticed a door on the other side of the room and realized that his abductor was watching him through a peephole in the window of the door. A confused Seth muttered that he had done what he was supposed to do. Nonetheless, the pendulum swang down once more and thereby ultimately sliced his body in half. Moments later, the shackle around Seth's neck was opened while the pendulum slowly came to a standstill. (Saw V)



Jigsaw piece cut from the body of Seth Baxter

Moments later, Mark Hoffman left his hiding spot behind the door and entered the room. To make the murder look like another deadly game of the Jigsaw Killer, he cut a jigsaw piece from his skin and took it with him when he left the building. Shortly afterwards, Seth's corpse was found by the Metropolitan Police Department. When Detective Fisk, one of Hoffman's colleagues, took him to the crime scene and told him that the victim was a convicted murderer who had been released from prison the last month. Upon seeing him, Hoffman identified him as Seth Baxter, the ex-boyfriend and murderer of his sister. Fisk, who knew the story about the murder of Angelina, was surprised by this but stated that Seth had become what he deserved. Shortly afterwards, Seth's body was taken to the morgue for his autopsy by Dr. Adam Heffner. (Saw V)


  • This trap was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Pit and the Pendulum".
  • The instruction video of this trap was dubbed by both, Tobin Bell and Costas Mandylor, to conceal the fact that the trap was made by Hoffman. Therefore, the voices of both actors can be heard during that scene.


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