Blake HowardComment

Thrills replace Gore Porn: The Spierig Brothers on their entry in the SAW franchise - JIGSAW

Blake HowardComment
Thrills replace Gore Porn: The Spierig Brothers on their entry in the SAW franchise - JIGSAW

The Spierig Brothers receive the baton from fellow Aussies James Wan and Leigh Whannell for the latest entry in the SAW franchise.

Arriving in Australian cinemas today - 2 November 2017 - is the eighth film in the gargantuan “SAW” franchise. “Jigsaw” though, is the first film since the taut and disturbing thrill ride of the first film that two Aussies take the reins. Thirteen years after James Wan and Leigh Whannell introduced the world to serial killer and master manipulator Jigsaw’s perverse justice, two of their friends - identical twin brothers Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig - take the helm. The Spierig Brothers are most well known for their sensational original time travel sci-fi “Predestination” starring Australia’s Meryl Streep, Sarah Snook.

“We’re so proud of that movie and it’s such a special personal project of ours and the fact that we found someone like Sarah Snook [to work with] is really wonderful.”

 

Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

Talking with Peter and Michael on the phone from international locations just prior to the film’s release one immediately becomes curious why these distinctive, original filmmakers felt like they were ready to take the reigns of this long franchise’s refresh.

“It’s kind of what excites us at the time. We’ve always been big genre fans, [especially movies] that tackle some topical themes like “Predestination” or “Winchester.” It’s also fun to make silly “B” movies, like the “undead”. We’re such fans of horror and “Jigsaw” is such a shared experience horror movie you kinda wanna see it in the cinema full of ‘horror nuts’ who scream at the screen.”

If you’re wondering if they felt pressure being handed the baton by Wan and Whannell, the answer is yes but being friends helped.

“Absolutely. Leigh and James are friends and we certainly wanted to see what  we could offer to this series. We read the script and liked it a lot and thought we could offer some of the things we love about the genre to this film.”

The Spierig Brothers explained that their objective was to take some of the  “viciousness” and “torture porn branding” out of their entry to the series. Their hopes were to revive that “thriller” element that’s all but been abandoned since the first outing.

The Spierig brothers are bringing a completely different visual aesthetic to “Jigsaw” than what we’ve seen from the second entry onward in the series.

“There was a thing that came into play around the time of the second SAW film called “digital intermediate” which allowed the filmmakers to manipulate the colours in such an exaggerated way. We thought that look had passed it’s time, it was a little too music video and it was something that we weren’t into.”

Their time making independent films has made them fastidious planners. Taking the time to storyboard everything in the film, leaving very little to chance. They would call it a “Hitchcock approach” if it didn’t sound pretentious.

“Photographically it’s quite beautiful. It’s perhaps a little bit more calculated in its craft than some of the previous films. The film is not as grimy as the other films, the environments are a little different.”

The brothers though, are quick to clarify: “Make no mistake it’s still bloody and there’s lots of traps and it’s definitely a ride.” Michael went on to say that “Peter and I have always wanted to make a fun Halloween movie and this was exactly that - and that’s what we hope for the audience.”

The Spierig Brothers next outing is a haunted house film titled “Winchester,” starring Oscar Winner Helen Mirren. Mirren plays an eccentric heiress to the Winchester firearms fortune who believes that she’s haunted by those killed by the Winchester repeating rifle.

“Genre movies like “Predestination” and “Winchester” show that you can make some social commentary in and around a genre movie whether it’s a thriller haunted house and the meaning behind the ghosts or about time travel and the meaning behind gender identity. Some of our favourite films in those genres do that and it doesn’t have to have a $100 million budget.”

JIGSAW is out in cinemas now.

WINCHESTER is set for release February 22, 2018.

 

 

BLAKE HOWARD IS A FILM CRITIC & THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/CO-FOUNDER OF AUSTRALIAN FILM BLOG GRAFFITI WITH PUNCTUATION . BLAKE IS THE HOST OF THE ONE HEAT MINUTE PODCAST. BLAKE IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE PRESTIGIOUS ONLINE FILM CRITIC SOCIETY (AND A MEMBER OF THE GOVERNING COMMITTEE), IS A CO-HOST OF GAGGLE OF GEEKS ON SYDNEY'S 2SER COMMUNITY RADIO, A COLUMNIST AT THE AUSTRALIAN ONLINE INSTITUTION DARK HORIZONS AND SWAYS THE TOMATO METER WITH ROTTEN TOMATOES APPROVED REVIEWS.