Saw X is a solid and gory continuation of the franchise

by Rollo Tomassi

The “Saw” movies always amaze me in the way they are able to at least be interesting. After 10 movies in the franchise, there are still surprises, and new directions that please the franchise fan, break the mold just enough to fill the original, maintain a high degree of suspense, and find fresh ways to present creative kills.

Tobin Bell as John Kramer, once again returns, delivering what might actually be his best “Saw” performance yet. Kramer’s counterpart, Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith) also returns.

If you’re a die-hard fan of the “Saw” franchise and have been eagerly awaiting “Saw X,” you’ll get precisely what you came for: a gruesome parade of inventive death traps, blood-soaked rooms, and the enigmatic Bell returning. While this installment may not offer much new to the franchise, it does manage to deliver the familiar, guilty-pleasure thrill of the series.

Tobin Bell’s presence as John Kramer, or Jigsaw, is undeniably a highlight. His gravelly voice and chilling demeanor continue to be the backbone of the series. However, the character’s backstory and motivations are as convoluted as ever, making it a challenge for newcomers to jump into this twisted world. If you’re not well-versed in the “Saw” lore, you might find yourself utterly lost amidst the intricate web of plot threads and character connections.

As for the traps themselves, they’re as sadistic and gruesome as ever, and the film certainly doesn’t skimp on the gore. The effects team deserves credit for their work in crafting these horrifying scenarios, but it’s worth noting that the novelty of seeing inventive traps has somewhat worn off after a decade of “Saw” films. At this point, it’s difficult for the filmmakers to top the creativity of the earlier entries, but that doesn’t stop “X” from giving it a valiant effort.

The movie’s visual style sticks to the tried-and-true “Saw” aesthetic, with dimly lit rooms, eerie industrial settings, and frenetic editing during trap sequences. While these elements contribute to the film’s signature look, they don’t offer much new or exciting in terms of visual storytelling.

Perhaps the most significant drawback of “Saw X” is its lack of fresh ideas. The film does make an attempt to make us, fans and viewers, feel like we are watching something new and different, but realize that it is really more of the same. But for a “Saw” movie, that’s okay with me.

While many of the movies in this franchise blend together and are ultimately forgettable, I don’t recall ever actually disliking one of the movies, but rather enjoying them for what they are in the moment.

Rollo’s Grade: B