Saw is an Australian short film. Directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell, it served as the spiritual predecessor of the American Saw franchise. After writing the script for the first Saw film, Wan and Whannel tried to attract producers for the realization of their film. Therefore they filmed the short movie, which was based on a scene from their script. When they sent it to Lions Gate Entertainment, the producers Oren Koules, Mark Burg and Gregg Hoffman were so impressed by the short film that they decided to produce the feature film which started the successful Saw saga. The short film was eventually released as a bonus feature on the Blu-Ray and DVD version of Saw.
A young and dazed hospital orderly named David sits in a room where he is interrogated by an unnamed homicide detective. David is handcuffed, his shirt and face are smeared with blood. When the officer asks what happened to him, David starts to tell him a shocking story.
The events prior to the interrogation are depicted in flashbacks. After ending his shift at the hospital, David is knocked unconscious and abducted by an unknown person. Upon waking up again, he finds himself strapped to a chair in a large room with a heavy metal device locked onto his head. Only mere seconds later, a TV next to him turns on, showing a video of a frightening ventriloquist puppet, which tells him that the device on his head is hooked into his upper and lower jaws and will tear his head apart, describing it as some sort of "reverse bear trap." David's only way to escape this fate is to find a key which is hidden in the stomach of his supposedly dead cellmate.
When the TV turns off, David is able to free himself from the chair. In doing so, however, he has activated the timer of the vicious device. Across the room, he eventually finds the body of his cellmate. However, when he approaches him and prepares to cut him open with a knife lying next to him, David realizes that the man is not actually dead, but is merely paralyzed. After some hesitation, David eventually cuts him open nonetheless and manages to find the key and unlock his trap only moments before the timer goes off.
Shocked by what he had done, David starts to scream but stops when suddenly the puppet from the video appears and approaches him on a tricycle. The puppet congratulates him for his survival, telling him that he had learned to be grateful for his life.
When he finishes his story, the police officer asks David if he is actually grateful. David, however, burst out crying again before he can answer. In the final scene of the film, a dilapidated bathroom is seen with an eye looking through a hole in the tiled wall.
- The same sound that is heard in the introduction of the title can also be heard in the song Screaming Slave by Nine Inch Nails. The composer of the soundtrack for the movie series and the short film, Charlie Clouser, is noted to have been a part of the band during live performances. He was, however, not a member of the band at the time when the song was recorded.
- Joe Alechko is an uncredited producer in the Saw film series.
- Billy the puppet wore a bowler hat in this short film, which was not seen in the feature film.
- The scene of David's test is almost identical to the scene of Amanda Young's test in the first Saw movie.
- Adam Stanheight, one of the main characters of Saw, was portrayed by Leigh Whannell, the same actor who played David.