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Small Details You Missed In Spiral: From The Book Of Saw

Do you want to play a game? Well, how about this: Watch "Spiral: The Book of Saw," and see how many Easter eggs you can find. Sure, the movie's central case may be a little too easy to solve, especially for viewers who are used to puzzling out all the twists in the "Saw" series' sprawling and convoluted mythology, but thankfully, that's not the only mystery lurking in the ninth entry in the ever-growing franchise. During Detective Zeke Banks' hunt for the latest Jigsaw copycat, you'll find plenty of nods to past "Saw" installments, as well as a few other movies — if you know where to look.

Like the killer itself, the references in "Spiral" can be fairly elusive, which is why we've given you a head start. These are a few of the small details hidden in director Darren Lynn Bousman's latest horror flick, but make sure you keep your eyes peeled for others. Per "Saw" tradition, this is one test you really, really don't want to fail.

John Kramer's legacy lives on

Plot-wise, "Spiral: The Book of Saw" doesn't have much to do with previous Saw films. The killer in "Spiral" is inspired by John Kramer, better known to the world as the serial killer Jigsaw, and uses part of his iconography, but he has a decidedly different identity and motivation.

And yet, "Spiral" is still part of the "Saw" universe, and it's not totally void of references to past movies. John Kramer's face shows up in photographs and his name is dropped a few times, as are off-hand references to his apprentices — as "Saw" fans know, he has a bunch of them — and his first copycat, introduced in the movie "Jigsaw." Look carefully and you'll also catch a framed photo of a tricycle, which is the signature ride of Kramer's puppet, Billy.

But the connection between "Spiral" and its predecessor could go even deeper. Early in the film, crooked Detective Fitch ends up in a trap that rips his fingers clean off. Well, on Reddit, one viewer thinks there's a diagram of the same trap hidden all the way back in "Saw II." About 57 minutes into "Saw II," there's a close-up of Kramer's bulletin board, which features designs of his deadly devices. On the right, you can see a schematic featuring a person with his arms shackled and outstretched, like Fitch's are. On the left are drawings of a helmet that look a lot like the headpiece Fitch wears right before his demise.

The titular saw returns

If you've seen the first "Saw," you probably caught the cheeky nod to that film's unforgettable finale in "Spiral." If not, well, here's what you missed: After Zeke is captured, he wakes up handcuffed to a water pipe, with no obvious means of escape. He looks around. After a moment of panic, his eyes settle on a hacksaw. Zeke picks it up and studies it, wondering — for just a moment — if it's worth cutting off his hand to escape.

He doesn't, of course — Zeke quickly finds a bobby pin lying nearby, which he uses to pick the lock on the cuffs and free himself without causing any harm — but for "Saw" veterans, the joke couldn't be clearer. See, in "Saw," Dr. Lawrence Gordon finds himself in a similar situation, and ends up lopping off his foot to escape Jigsaw's shackles. It's one of the series' most memorable moments — heck, it even gave the series its name — and it's referenced again and again in the following "Saw" films, during which Gordon's severed foot makes a number of return appearances.

A different kind of pulp fiction

The "Saw" series made stars out of the likes of Tobin Bell, who played John Kramer in all of the franchise's previous installments, but "Spiral" has a cast that's full of recognizable faces right out of the gate. Chris Rock, who plays Detective Zeke Banks, is one of the most popular stand-up comics in the world, and a veteran of shows like "Saturday Night Live" and "Fargo." He's also a former Oscars host. Marisol Nichols is probably best known for her time on "Riverdale," although she's also appeared on the likes of "24" and "NCIS." And then there's Samuel L. Jackson. He's been in, well, just about everything.

Still, if you're going to list Jackson's most iconic roles, his turn in "Pulp Fiction" has to be near the top of the list. In Quentin Tarantino's groundbreaking crime film, Jackson plays Jules Winnfield, a hitman who, alongside his partner Vincent Vega (portrayed by John Travolta), finds himself wrapped up in a zany plot involving a crime boss, a mysterious briefcase, two petty thugs, and a whole heap of trouble. Thanks in large part to Jackon's performance, "Pulp Fiction" remains a favorite — and one of the most-quoted movies ever — to this day.

As such, it's awfully nice of "Spiral: The Book of Saw" to pay tribute to one of Jackson's most memorable on-screen appearances. The door to the South Metro police station's cold case room bears the name "Vincent and Jules." Given the movie's cast, that's definitely not a coincidence.

Darren Lynn Bousman's other gigs make an appearance

Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed "Spiral," is no stranger to either horror or the "Saw" franchise. If you couldn't tell from all of the movie's distinctly styled flashback sequences, Bousman also directed "Saw II," "Saw III," and "Saw IV," in addition to movies like "Repo! The Genetic Opera," "The Devil's Carnival," "11-11-11," and plenty more.

But that's not all. Over the past five years or so, Bousman also added a number of immersive theater experiences to his resume, each one of which brought audience members into the narrative itself. In projects like "The Tension Experience" and "The Lust Experience," for example, participants played a years-long augmented reality game about a fictional — and very evil — organization, before heading to a live two-hour show where they interacted with myriad characters and uncovered more about the story, according to Haunting.net. "Theatre Macabre" had a script that was over 1,000 pages long, and featured multiple paths through its story, all depending on which choices individual audience members made.

It sounds like cool and provocative stuff, so it shouldn't be too surprising that Bousman paid tribute to it in "Spiral." When Zeke heads under the bridge to look for Fitch's body, you can see the "Tension Experience" logo spray-painted on a pillar. "The Lust Experience" and "Theatre Macabre" symbols are also hidden on the "Spiral" sets, although you'll have to look very, very hard to find them.