Spiral: From the Book of Saw officially releases today, which makes it a perfect time to discuss the new movie’s blend of film noir and contemporary stylings. We recently chatted with Spiral’s costume designer, Laura Montgomery on how she collaborated personally with star Chris Rock (who played Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks) in the film to establish his practical, realistic look.
But beyond that, Laura also got to create a fresh, edgy new version of the iconic Jigsaw cloak that reappears in the film on this new Jigsaw killer.
For starters, Laura was attracted to the project because she had worked with Darren Bousman before on another horror film called The Barrens. She has also worked with Alex Kavanaugh, the costume designer for Saw II–Saw VI. Alex was a significant asset to Laura during Spiral‘s production. She even brought in one of the original Jigsaw cloaks she’d designed for Laura to use as a reference!
When she started to work on the set of Spiral, she realized that this film would take on a different tone than the previous movies in the franchise. Bousman wanted it “to look like a contemporary take on a film noir.”
Laura Montgomery worked with Chris Rock to establish a naturalistic look for Det. Zeke Banks.
Laura worked personally with Rock to create the look for his character. She says that when they started out, he was thinking about a similar style to John Wick, but that later changed. Rock has hosted the Oscars twice, audiences have seen him in a good suit and it wouldn’t make sense for his character, a regular cop, to have the expenses to buy something like that to wear on a regular basis, nor would it be practical.
"He really wanted it to have a naturalistic look where he would be believable. I think this role is a departure for him since we’re used to seeing him as a comedic actor. He wanted the costume to help him melt into the character of a working cop who is the odd man out. He wanted that realism to be reflected in his costuming. We did off the rack, inexpensive options, not tailored perfectly, [etc.]"
How did Laura redesign the signature Jigsaw killer cloak for Spiral?
Jigsaw’s cloak is a significant part of the killer’s look. He’s worn the signature cloak since the first movie. Going into the creation of Spiral, knowing that Bousman wanted to deliver a fresh new take on the franchise, Laura had to get creative with the way she went about designing this “new” Jigsaw killer’s look.
I thought okay, we’re keeping a silhouette with the black cloak and red-lining on the inside, but everything else can be new.
For starters, she told us an interesting detail about that original cloak. We all know it to be black, but did you know that the cloak was originally red?
“They turned it inside out. If you look at the pictures from ‘Saw,’ you can kind of tell, when you know what you’re looking at, that it’s a lining.”
[I’ll definitely look for that next time I plan a rewatch!]
So, how did Laura imbibe the 2021 Jigsaw killer with a modern, contemporary edge? She maintained the color scheme, a black cloak with a red lining, which has been customary to the franchise officially since Saw II. As mentioned, Kavanagh helped her out a bit here.
“Alex was so generous with the concepts,” Laura says.
Although, for the most part, Laura says she tried to carve ahead on her own to ensure this version was something unique. “I though okay, we’re keeping a silhouette with the black cloak and red-lining on the inside, but everything else can be new.”
Spiral: Diving into the mind of a killer
She delved inside the mind of the killer to consider what their life was like outside of designing torture traps.
“Where did they get the garment? Did they have it made? What are their interests? How do I reflect those? A person who builds torture traps, what else are they interested in?” She considered.
From there, Laura started to research streetwear to create a “young and modern” look, especially since so many brands are making edgy outfits and designs, nowadays.
“I thought maybe they could be a military person with tactical experience since they would need to know how to build these traps,” she said.
Laura was inspired by some military-inspired add-ons like carabiniers, grommets and D-rings. And if you look really closely at the cloak, you’ll also notice lacing on the sleeves inspired by Japanese rope bondage.
Laura also paid homage to the film’s original, working title The Organ Donor with a spine-chilling detail along the back of the cloak, mentioning that the “lacing down the spine is meant to look like an exposed spine.”
As for what this new Jigsaw likes to wear underneath their cloak, they keep it casual and practical with a sweatshirt, G-Star cargo pants, and a Diesel sneaker boot.
It’s important for a cunning murderer to stay on the move, after all.
Check out the official trailer for Spiral: From the Book of Saw below:
Spiral: From the Book of Saw officially opens in theaters today.