Saw X (2023) Review



Saw X surprisingly gives its audience some new stuff in this entry while still providing the thrills and gore we expect from a Saw film.

Plot: John Kramer (Tobin Bell) seeks revenge on those who promised him a miracle cure for his brain cancer.

Review: I can honestly say there’s no terrible film in the Saw series. Oh sure, some are weaker than others (for example, Spiral wasn’t that great). A terrible movie, though? Nope, not one in the bunch. Where most franchises keep spitting out movies, leaving the audience to wonder why, Saw doesn’t fit into that category. There’s enough territory for the series to continue. That being said, I fear that one day, the franchise will have to have a clunker. It has to happen, right?

Well, I’m happy to say that Saw X is not that film. I expected to get a lot of gore and gruesome traps. I got that. Surprisingly, though, this movie was also a character piece – where the characters end up in pieces (I credit our fearless leader, Eoin Friel, for that clever phrase). The first half hour is John Kramer desperately looking for his cancer cure. That’s it – he does fantasize about putting someone in a trap, but that’s all it is – a fantasy.

I could see some viewers getting bored, but I honestly wasn’t. This entry gave us something the other Saw films didn’t – a reason to hate the victims. In the other movies, Jigsaw would tell us what the person did – they were a drug dealer, stole from someone, etc. You never really saw them doing it. Despite the character’s misdeeds, you kind of sided with them simply because you didn’t witness what they did.

Not in this movie, though. The victims are complete pieces of garbage, and every one of them got what they deserved (well, almost all of them). I haven’t rooted for characters to get tortured like they do in this movie in any other Saw film, but believe me, you’ll be praying for their slow, agonizing demise. Tobin Bell and Shawnee Shaw are back in the respective roles of Jigsaw and Amanda, and their chemistry is palatable. The movie explores more about their father/daughter relationship and gives depth, making Saw 3 all the more tragic.

For those who think Saw has gone the Masterpiece Theatre route, there are some genuinely over-the-top torture scenes. One in particular, that deals with a victim’s intestines, had me breaking out in laughter. Another device had me shielding my eyes. The terrific aspect about all these movies is the implements of torture will have you busting a gut one moment and ready to throw up the next. It really is a roller-coaster.

I won’t spoil anything, but I urge everyone to stay past the end for the mid-credits scene – it won’t disappoint. Oh, and don’t worry – the Saw theme does play near the end during one of the trademark ridiculous twist scenes you must have in a Saw movie. I literally cheered when I heard it. My favourite movie score of all time is probably Halloween, but the Saw theme is up there.

Overall, this was a hell of a good time. If you’re a Saw fan, head to the theatre immediately; you won’t be disappointed. I look forward to more Saw movies, more impossible traps, more outrageous twists and turns, all in one demented package with a kick-ass theme song. What more could you want?