Jigsaw was intended to be more of a thriller than a horror film, as revealed by the filmmakers in a new exclusive clip. Saw, the notorious torture porn series, made its return last year with an eighth entry named after the central killer that explored his sickening legacy; picking up years after the previous film (now incorrectly called The Final Chapter), Jigsaw sees a resurgent copycat killer trying to keep the memories of John Kramer alive.
Of course, the film boasts plenty of intricate and deadly traps, including a poison Russian roulette, spiral blender, and knife-raining silo; as expected, there’s a lot of gore not suitable for the faint of heart. However, it’s also a mystery film, following the investigation of who exactly the copycat is and the dark past of those doing the investigating. And it’s this latter part that seems to have motivated the filmmakers.
Related: Jigsaw’s Real Killer and Twist Ending Explained
In an exclusive clip to make the home video release of Jigsaw this month, the key creatives discuss how their story was intended to callback to the original film. Oren Koules, who initially financed the first film and has produced all its sequels, talks about how the first Saw was more a detective thriller than an all-out bloodbath, saying “In Saw 1 there was a lot more thinking, a lot more jumps rather than blood and gore. So we really tried to get back to Saw 1 in jumps and scares and a lot more logic.” He goes on to point out that they commissioned it as a homage to Seven, with the horror elements only becoming more prominent in the marketing. Writers Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg echo this by likening Jigsaw to another 1990s thriller classic, The Usual Suspects. Watch the full clip above.
While the Saw sequels have their moments, they’re generally not as well regarded as James Wan’s 2004 breakout hit, which does make sure to have a strong, intriguing mystery to back up the more intense mutilation traps. Twists remained, of course, but the focus shifted to be more overtly horror, which made it a Halloween staple while simultaneously restricting the audience. It was thus a smart move for Jigsaw, which came a whopping thirteen years after the original, to go back to that initial draw, especially given the film’s overt focus on legacy.
Looking forward, the future of the Saw franchise is unclear. All involved were careful to not hype up a ninth movie – Jigsaw is written in a way to exist as an ending – and it had the second-worst opening at the box office in the series. The possibility of more films rests on the home video release and how vocal the fanbase gets.
Next: Saw Movie Series: The Complete Guide & Jigsaw Timeline
Jigsaw is out on Digital HD January 9 and 4K, Blu-ray and DVD the 23rd.