Kevin Greutert is no stranger to the Saw franchise. Not only is the latest installment, Saw X, his third time in the director’s chair after 2009’s Saw VI and 2010’s Saw: The Final Chapter, but he also served as editor on six of the other films in the series. In other words, there are few people alive who know the ins and outs of Jigsaw’s macabre mechanisms as well as he does. With Saw X set to debut on September 29, we sat down with Greutert for a gruesome trip down memory lane, as he recalled his five favorite traps of the horror franchise and offered some behind-the-scenes tidbits about them.
The Bathroom Trap – Saw (2004)
Kevin Greutert: I really love the bathroom trap from Saw 1 where we first meet Leigh Whannell’s character Adam and Cary Elwes’s character Dr. Gordon. In the course of this story, we go from the two waking up and realizing that they’re trapped to Cary’s character being in the state of mind that he can actually cut off his own foot in order to escape. And we do a little bit more shorthand now with Saw films where they go from learning about their situation to cutting off a limb sometimes in just a minute or two. So I think James [Wan] was rightly cautious enough to make sure that we invested the time to make sure that we believe that Cary could actually do this. But really, that bathroom was where my career as an editor and a director began, because from the first day that we started editing that film, I said, “We’re onto something really special here.” So in a way, that’s my favorite.
(Photo by ©Lionsgate)
When we edited the film originally, we started to get into the flashbacks much earlier in the movie, but we found that the audience was really enjoying the fact that there were these two guys stuck in a dirty bathroom, and it was kind of cool that they were in such a claustrophobic environment. So we rethought the structure of the film quite a bit so that we don’t go into those flashbacks until about 15 minutes into the movie, when Cary says, “He doesn’t want us to cut through our chains; he wants us to cut through our feet.” So I think that’s where we kind of let the audience breathe and say, “OK, there is going to be more to this movie than just these two guys cutting back and forth between the two of them.” But then once the story gets rolling, we followed more of the structure that James shot.
Watch the video for the full interview with Kevin Greutert.