Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by SPN Editor
As a lifelong fan of the Saw franchise, I eagerly anticipated the release of Saw X on September 29, 2023.
With the previous entries, Jigsaw and Spiral, failing to capture the essence of the original films, my hopes were cautiously high for this milestone tenth installment. Fortunately, Saw X not only met but exceeded my expectations.
This time, the film takes a bold step by placing Tobin Bell’s iconic Jigsaw front and center. John Kramer’s character is explored in greater depth than ever before, and it’s his story we follow.
Set in Mexico, the plot revolves around John’s quest for a miraculous cancer treatment, leading him into a chilling game when he becomes the victim of a scam. This approach humanizes John Kramer while showcasing his twisted sense of justice as he forces wrongdoers to pay for their actions.
What immediately sets Saw X apart is its narrative structure. Unlike previous entries that dove headfirst into gruesome traps, this film starts by focusing on character development and relationships.
It’s a refreshing change that allows the audience to connect with John on a deeper level. As the story unfolds, unexpected twists keep you engaged, with the third act being a highlight, featuring creative decisions and intense sequences.
One notable aspect is John Kramer’s direct involvement in the sadistic games, a departure from the franchise’s tradition of using his recorded voice. Shawnee Smith’s return as Amanda Young is a welcome addition, and her character’s interactions with John provide fresh dynamics.
However, other recurring characters take a backseat in this sequel, a minor disappointment for fans of the franchise’s ensemble cast.
For newcomers, Saw X remains accessible as long as they grasp the concept of Jigsaw and his motives. While die-hard fans might have hoped for more connections to previous films, the movie successfully recaptures the atmosphere of the early Saw entries.
Of course, Saw wouldn’t be Saw without its gruesome traps, and Saw X delivers. The traps are visually striking and thematically rich, reminiscent of the franchise’s earlier films. One trap, involving bone marrow, stands out as particularly brutal and memorable.
While most traps are inventive and satisfyingly gory, there is one letdown due to its off-screen execution. The central game, where multiple victims share one location, creates intriguing interactions between them, John, and Amanda.
Saw X’s only notable flaw is its conclusion. Unlike previous entries with clear closure, this film leaves several plot threads unresolved. The post-credits scene feels somewhat tacked on, though still enjoyable.
This sequel maintains the franchise’s signature gore and torture traps, making it unsuitable for a broader audience. However, it shines in character development and performances, ranking alongside Saw III and Saw VI in this regard. Charlie Clouser’s score perfectly complements the film’s atmosphere.
As a devoted fan, I can confidently say that Saw X is a thrilling success and one of the franchise’s best. It breathes new life into the long-running horror series and leaves me eager to see what lies ahead.
Signpost Moview Reviewers is proud to award 5 out of 5 stars for Saw X.