How Is John Kramer Alive in Jigsaw After Death In Saw 3?

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Jigsaw, Saw, Tobin Bell as John Kramer

Jigsaw, the seventh film in the Saw franchise, just hit Netflix, and new audiences are seeing the movie for the first time—leaving many to wonder how Tobin Bell’s John Kramer is alive in the film.

Those fluent in Saw mythos know that John Kramer died at the end of Saw 3, at the hands of Jeff Denlon, the player of Jigsaw’s game in the third installment. Moments before, his apprentice, Amanda, was shot and killed—taking a chunk out of the killer’s legacy.

Jigsaw, which takes place roughly 10 years after Saw III, shows Tobin Bell’s killer alive. The plot even teases that he somehow cheated death to once again terrorize those undeserving of life.

[ Saw X Review: A Hard-Hitting, Bone-Breaking Sequel ]

How Is Jigsaw Alive in Saw 3?

Tobin Bell as John Kramer/Jigsaw

So, how exactly is John Kramer alive in Jigsaw after Saw III? Well, he isn’t.

The movie follows Matt Passmore’s Logan Nelson and Callum Keith Rennie’s Detective Halloran as they investigate the remains of what seems to be a Jigsaw game. As the trap continues to play out, more bodies (and their parts) appear, accompanied by recordings of John Kramer’s voice.

However, despite the endless teases, John Kramer did not cheat death. Instead, the killer pulling the strings is none other than Logan himself, who is revealed to have been an apprentice to Jigsaw since before the events of the first film.

Audiences spend the movie watching victims from Kramer’s first game, as identified by the big spiral blender. The remains that the “present day” story finds are from a re-enacted version of that old game, though their demises are never seen onscreen.

However, Tobin Bell does appear as Kramer at multiple points in the movie, and he gets one particularly exciting scene toward the film's end with Laura Vandervoort’s Anna and Paul Braunstein’s Ryan.

These scenes are flashbacks from before the events of the first movie and years before he gets killed by Jeff in Saw III.

[ Is Saw's John Kramer a Hero or a Villain? Franchise Director Responds (Exclusive) ]

Why the Saw Franchise Probably Shouldn't Have Killed Jigsaw

Many fans believe killing John Kramer in Saw 3 was a bad move. It's a train of thought only enforced by how well Saw X did, with Tobin Bell in the spotlight and a game taking place between the second and third movies.

Thankfully, the franchise hasn't blown its continuity in trying to bring Jigsaw back to life—which would not be a very smart move. Instead, the creative use of a prequel storyline has clearly worked wonders.

Saw XI will likely continue that trend, though many fans hope there will be some place for surprise present-day storytelling.

After all, there are a ton of loose ends from Jigsaw to wrap up. The biggest of them is the existence of Matt Passmore’s Logan Nelson, who has not been seen since the end of Jigsaw.

Seeing as he helps design some of John Kramer’s traps, they could have easily included him in Saw X for a brief cameo. Perhaps Saw XI might fix that?

Saw XI is set to hit theaters on September 26, 2025.

Read more about other horror projects:

A Quiet Place: Day One Director Confirms What We All Suspected About the Monsters' Powers

I Saw the TV Glow Plot Explained - The True Meaning of the Movie

FNAF 2 Movie: Release Date, Cast and Everything We Know

- In This Article: Saw X
Release Date
September 29, 2023
Shawnee Smith
Tobin Bell
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.