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REVIEW: “SAW X” Pays Homage to the Original Films

By Lexie Zanghi | October 9, 2023


The most recent installment in the “SAW” franchise, “SAW X,” blew away fans and critics, becoming the number one “SAW” film on Rotten Tomatoes.

The saga, once again starring Tobin Bell as John Kramer. The series has, overall, been negatively judged by critics. The original “SAW” only got a 50% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. In comparison “SAW X” got 82%. The audience scores for “SAW” vary, but always rank the films higher than the critics.

I was a little nervous going into the film, because I love the first three films, and then think they tend to get a little bit worse in quality as they progress. Especially when the two films “Jigsaw” and “Spiral” came out, I had lost all hope. I didn’t find those two films good, they just didn’t have the same vibe as the first ones. They were really just disappointing and didn’t have a lot of the characters from the original films that made those ones so good. Also, the plots and reveals didn’t hit the same way.

This one was not the case.

It had the same feel and tone as the original films. Unlike the original ones, which all have an approximate run time of 90 minutes, this one was just under two hours. This additional time in the movie was used to tell more of a backstory about the “killer” John Kramer, when usually there isn’t as much of a focus on a story about the characters.

One thing everyone knows (and some love) about the “SAW” films are the traps, and these traps did not disappoint. If you are unaware of the “SAW” films, the killer puts his victims in traps that have a countdown, and if the clock hits zero, they die. The whole point is to show that they want to live, and have a desire to live.

I think that everyone who was partaking in the traps truly deserved to be in them, unlike in some of the other films where the reasoning Kramer puts them in is absurd, like smoking cigarettes or skipping work for example.

The traps seem almost impossible, and I know for sure that for most traps in the movie that I would not survive them. They were unique and sickening. I definitely felt uneasy at certain times in the theater. One time specifically was when one of the victims had to do something regarding her bone marrow – so gross.

For the production aspect of the film, the overall look of it paid homage to the original films. The films always seem to have a green tone or hue to the shots, and the most recent installments hadn’t stayed true to that theme. There was lots of green lighting throughout, and it really added to the experience for “SAW” lovers like myself. The movie also did a great job at almost making you feel bad for Kramer, despite all of his evil tendencies and wrongdoings.

Why do I like “SAW” so much? I promise I am not a sadistic killer. I appreciate “SAW” because the original film was created on such a low budget, and every single movie has a plot twist. It leaves you guessing and trying to figure out what the twist will be in every film. “SAW X” had a plot twist, and some surprise appearances from characters from the previous films.

Although I liked this film, I did have a couple minor complaints. This movie in the “SAW” timeline takes place between the original and “SAW II,” meaning it should be sometime between the year 2004 and 2005. Some of the technology didn’t align with that timeframe. There was an ultra high definition flat screen television in the trap room, which didn’t really make sense. Also, the house where the main victim was staying seemed to be way too high quality and modern.

“SAW X” is a fun watch if you love the “SAW” films, and if you are a fan of the horror genre. I recommend watching them if you can stomach it, especially since they aren’t too long and have such great twists. So far, the film is only out in theaters, but it will be available on certain streaming platforms soon.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Would I watch it again? Absolutely.


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