What’s it about?
Set between the first two films, Saw X follows mass murder and self-help guru John Kramer aka Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) as he travels to Mexico seeking an experimental cure for his terminal illness. When the treatment is a sham, John reckons it’s time to bust out the tricycle and punish those responsible with a fresh batch of his classic escape rooms.
What’d we think?
Peter Linning says: By now, you know what you’re getting with a Saw movie, with the only question being whether it will be fun. Saw X backpedals to a point before the second movie, neatly sidestepping the complicated lore the franchise has woven itself, and is far better for it. Tobin Bell is the best he’s ever been and the supporting cast is pretty strong, but the movie’s pacing is a real strength – it takes enough time to build tension that the payoffs land well, but without getting bogged down in the window dressing. It’s not often that a horror franchise still has gas in the tank after ten films, but Saw X is a real shot in the arm for the series, and probably one of the best.
Sam Donaldson says:
During Halloween I found myself wanting to finally subject myself to the Saw franchise, as it was a missing notch in my horror movie belt. Suffice to say it was a difficult watch, as each movie blended into one incoherent mess. Most of the movies follow a fairly similar formula with gory and mean-spirited traps, flashy editing, convoluted time jumps, motives and twists. The movies also make the grave error of killing their best asset, John Kramer (Tobin Bell).
Saw X is different. Saw X is funny, Saw X is self-aware and it’s coherent. Told in between the first and second movie, it follows John Kramer as he travels to Mexico to receive experimental treatment for his cancer, only to find out he has been scammed. Of course, John Kramer seeks revenge and the baddies must atone for their sins.
I had fun with this one, as it is clearly not taking itself too seriously. It’s pleasingly absurd — the film bends over backwards to make John Kramer the victim. The traps are wonderfully gruesome, the editing is thankfully not as frenetic as the previous films and there is some emotional depth to John Kramer that is engaging. It won’t win over people new to the franchise but it’s definitely the most accessible and watchable.