Just when you thought James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s wildly powerful Saw universe couldn’t grow any larger, a new show-stopping event steps up to bat – The Official Saw Escape Room in Las Vegas. Thanks to head honcho Jason Egan, horror fans will be delighted to find that not only is there a solid scary event to visit while they’re in town, but also, that they don’t even have to make sure that they attend in October – this event runs all year long.
Head of Egan Productions, Jason Egan is the man behind the top-ranked Las Vegas haunted attraction, the one and only Fright Dome at Circus Circus. Together, he and Lionsgate teamed up to bring fans of the franchise the very first Saw-themed escape room, and possibly the largest escape room, period, in the entire world.
To celebrate the release of Jigsaw on 4K and Blu-ray, Lionsgate flew us out to the venue, which opened on January 26th, 2018. The Official Saw Escape Room is a year-long immersive horror experience which tests the wits of every attendee through Saw-themed puzzles, games, and scares, all while acting as a love letter to the beloved franchise through memorable nods to onscreen moments.
“We pull from the entire franchise for this Escape Room Experience,” says Egan, creator and mastermind behind the entire Saw-themed maze. “Part II is my favorite, but when you’re doing this style of entertainment you have to figure out what works for a group. What can they do together for a group? You’ll see the furnace in there from Saw II, you’ll be in a meat packing plant — room you get to crawl under a vat of pigs, which is fun — because the whole facility is like a meat packing plant. You’ve got the bomb trap, where people have to crawl in a portal, and stop the bomb before the bomb goes off. And of course, you’re going to run into Billy in there. The most iconic structure is the Saw bathroom from the first film, so we ended on a strong note because that’s the last escape room you enter in the maze.”
It was also crucial to Egan that the maze contain what is arguably the most important element to the popular series – Jigsaw’s voice.
“When you’re watching the Saw movies, a key element to the Saw movies is John Kramer’s voice, so I wanted to make sure that we had the voice, so I contacted Lions Gate and asked if Tobin [Bell] might be willing to do it, and Tobin was like, ‘Of course! You gotta have the voice!’ So he came in and recorded his voice, as well as put his input in as to what John would say, and Marcus Dunstan even helped us write some of the lines, which is awesome. We’re very proud of what we accomplished.”
There are six rooms in total, which the beginning of the maze starting out in a meat-packing plant, and ending up in the legendary bathroom from the very first Saw film. Tobin Bell voices the videos and audio recordings that play in every room, a girl that was previously kidnaped helps the new gang solve clues, and every now and then, the Jigsaw Killer himself shows up to steal someone away. It’s a pretty intense experience, and a highly detailed and immaculately designed one at that.
With the franchise leaders about to begin work on their ninth film in the series, Tobin Bell likes to look back fondly at one of his very first moments with director James Wan, back in 2003, when they were working on the very first Saw.
“Remember you saw Saw I?” asks Tobin Bell, staring intensely with purposeful blue eyes when speaking exclusively with Bloody Disgusting. “That moment at the end, the big shocking scene where I stand up, we had one take for me to get up off the floor and remove that thing from my head. That’s all we had. We were out of time. We had to get it in one take, and we rehearsed it a couple of times, but I didn’t remove the thing, we just rehearsed the camera moves and all that. And finally, James came over to me and he said, ‘I want a little more ache in your body. He’s been lying there for a long time’ and I said, ‘Okay, thank you’. So when you see me get up off the floor, there’s ten percent more ache in my body and that ten percent is huge. It adds credibility to the moment that wouldn’t necessarily have been there, and that was all James. So, obviously, James had a lot more directing to do with Cary Elwes and Leigh [Whannell] than he did for a guy lying on the floor in a puddle of blood, but that moment is a tremendously powerful moment, and James was hugely helpful. I’ll always remember that.”
The Jigsaw Killer is back and taking his signature brand of twisted scenarios to the next level in Jigsaw, now on Digital, 4K Ultra HD (plus Blu-ray and Digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and On Demand from Lionsgate.