Saw X Review: 5 Ups & 5 Downs

A welcome change to the Saw ethos, but one without the power to resurrect the franchise.

Saw X

It has been 13 years, three films and one Ice Nine Kills song since the so-called Final Chapter (2010) of iconic horror franchise Saw, and yet somehow Jigsaw is still coming back for more. Following a lacklustre prequel (Jigsaw, 2017) and a failed spin-off (Spiral, 2021), the series goes back to the source with a story set between James Wan's original movie and its sequel.

Tobin Bell returns as John Kramer, the Jigsaw killer, with director Kevin Greutert, of Saw VI (2009) and Final Chapter infamy, back behind the camera. After killing Kramer way back in Saw III (2006), the series has wed itself to finding increasingly batsh*t ways to bring him back, but this straight-up prequel allows Jigsaw to let rip once more without the need for secret letters, videos or cassettes.

While far from essential viewing, Saw X defies the series' established norms as Kramer goes on a quest for some very personal vengeance, bringing along his acolyte Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith) and giving audiences a hefty chunk of character to chew on. But if you're after the standard trap-n-splat shenanigans, you'd better point your vacuumed eyeballs elsewhere.

Before we get into the blood and gore, however, let's take a look at what makes the film sparkle...

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Saw X
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Writer, editor and lifelong critic of test screenings, money men and films-by-committee.