John Kramer and his trusty puppet are horror icons. Saw as a franchise was the catalyst that started the torture porn phase of early 2000s horror films. But unlike other films like Hostel, Saw transcends a phase in time and the franchise is up there with such legends like Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. But let’s rip the plaster off, I have only seen the first Saw film. While I am very aware of what happens throughout the franchise as I have watched the YMS vids and Dead Meat Kill counts for all the films. But in terms of films i have rolled credits on, I have only seen the film that started it all and launched James Wan’s career. So heading into Saw X the 10th film in this franchise you might think I am an idiot for doing this but at the same time, I feel it brings a different perspective to this review. This links to my biggest praise of the film, which is that while it is the 10th film. You do not need to see all the other films to understand and enjoy this film. While some moments are designed for the fans of the franchise, they are few and far between to lead to any confusion. The only real moment that will leave you scratching your head is Amanda’s involvement but at the same time does it matter?
Once that first trap occurs, and the wacky and quick-cut editing starts to roll on the screen you will slowly get invested. Then you hear the Jigsaw voice playing on a speaker stating do you want to play a game the hooks will be fully sunk in. Tobin Bell as John Kramer is just excellent, he lives this character and every time he is on screen, I cannot help but smile. It is weird to say you smile when a serial killer is on screen, but it somehow works with this film. The story surrounds John Kramer being scammed by a group of people who say they will cure him of cancer. This leads to John and Amanda finding the scammers and putting them in a trap so they can rehabilitate themselves. It is slightly ridiculous, but it is fun. Seeing people cut their legs off and pick their brains out is juicily violent. The gore effects are just so meaty and made me gasp with how nasty they get. But one trap near the end of the film had a moment that seriously had me clapping with pure glee. I also love how no matter how many Saw movies we get an iteration of the Hello Zepp song appears. This version called Zepp X is excellent and is a great track on a soundtrack that is solid throughout. At the end of the day, Saw X is silly but in a way that is truly a delight and the film I needed recently. Do not expect a masterpiece but if you want a fun and sometimes Squeem-inducing film then I see no film better than Saw X.
Written By Robert Drever
Saw X is available now to buy or rent.