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The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

Saw X Brings a New Level of Brutality to the Saw Franchise


There has never been a “Saw” film quite like this one.

“Saw X” takes a completely new approach to “Saw” formula, and it is the best decision the franchise could have ever made. Instead of running two storylines parallel to each other, “Saw X” sticks to one storyline in which we get to dive into John Kramer, the titular Jigsaw, and explore his ideology.

Spoiler Free

To begin my review, I will start without spoilers. This movie is absolutely fantastic, with the acting, the score, and the traps all at the top of their game. Starting off with the acting, Tobin Bell as John Kramer genuinely deserves a Best Actor nomination. He pulls off a top-five horror performance of all time, as his acting really makes you feel for John Kramer despite his evil acts. Everyone else does phenomenal as well, especially the actors in the traps they play their part so realistically you could have convinced me it was actually happening. Moving onto the score, Charlie Clouser once again composes a masterpiece of a soundtrack. “Hello Gabriela,” “Zepp X,” and “Post Credit X” standout among the rest. When these tracks came on in the theater everyone jumped to the edge of their seats. I will get into the traps more in the spoiler section, but lets just say that these are some of the most brutal traps in the whole franchise. To sum up the spoiler free section, if you have never seen a “Saw” movie, and can stomach some pretty nasty scenes, go watch “Saw X” it is one of the best “Saw” movies of all time.

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Spoiler Review

I just have to touch on the traps first. I have never felt sick watching a “Saw” movie, but man, some of these traps had me holding in puke. The eye vacuum trap and the bone marrow trap are two of the most disgusting traps to watch in the whole series.

Like I said, the one storyline for this film is amazing. John Kramer goes to Mexico for an experimental drug treatment for his cancer after being recommended it from a fellow cancer patient. Obviously the treatment is fake, and the “doctors” preforming it scam John for $250,000 This is where the real fun begins. John calls on of his apprentices Mark Hoffman to locate these “doctors” before they flee the country. Even though Hoffman does not speak in this phone call, it was so amazing to just know that John was talking to him. Up to this point, I think the movie has done everything perfectly. The build up to the ultimate reveal was so satisfying even knowing that these “doctors” are scamming him. This brings it back to the acting, because the acting is so superb that I really wanted to believe that they were not going to scam John. Synnøve Macody Lund as Cecilia plays an excellent villain in opposition to John’s villainy. It really draws an interesting parallel between what her and John are doing, and if they are really that different.

After that is where a problem comes in for me. I think the scenes that we see of Amanda Young (John’s heir to the Jigsaw name) capturing the “doctors” are just goofy. They all feel like they are ripped out of an average slasher horror movie, with characters making boneheaded decisions that end with them being captured. The only one of these scenes that work is Valentina’s because hers was just much more realistic than all the others.

From here, the movie is the standard “Saw” movie, but with some incredible scenes with John and Amanda that really flesh out their teacher-student relationship. With the context of the other movies in the franchise these scenes illustrates why Amanda is tested twice after this movie in “Saw II,” and “Saw III” and ultimately why she cannot pass her test in “Saw III.”

Another knock I have on this movie is some of the dialogue is really just cringy. The line that sticks out to me is during the twist. Cecilia is giving her villainous monologue and she says something to the effect of “I can’t believe I get to kill Jig-f**king-saw.” That was just so out of place for the moment, and there are a lot more examples of this throughout the movie. The other thing that did not sit right with me was Cecilia and her relationship with Parker. I think both character were stellar individually, but when together, something about their chemistry was just gross, maybe it was them making out while trying one up John and Amanda, but it was just icky.

I cannot talk about a “Saw” movie without mentioning the twist, or in this case twists. The first twist is that Parker is romantic with Cecilia. Parker is introduced as a fellow cancer patient who is at the Mexico treatment with John. Parker then shows up during the traps, pretending to want revenge for being scammed, when he is actually there to help Cecilia overpower John and Amanda. I never would have seen this coming, and despite being weird, Parker and Cecilia play the perfect foil to John and Amanda. This then leads into the next twist: John knew they were together this whole time. He had two whole traps for them and, man, the foreshowing pays off as “Zepp X” plays over Parker’s demise. Unfortunately, Cecilia is presumed to make it out alive.

Quickly touching on the end credit scene, it was great to see Hoffman. I wish he was in the movie more, but we will see what role he plays in the upcoming movie.

Ending Thoughts

I had pretty high expectations heading into “Saw X” but even then, they blew me away. We have not seen a “Saw” movie like this since “Saw II” and I hope with the recently announced “Saw XI” the franchise continues to go this way. I would rank “Saw X” as the third best “Saw” movie, with a score of 4/5


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