SAW X (2023)
Lionsgate UK. UHD, Blu Ray, DVD. 11th December
For whatever reason, I had never actually seen any of the Saw movies until recently (I know, I know, I should have my membership of the horror fraternity rescinded immediately). Knowing that the latest in the ongoing saga was available for review, I remedied that situation and watched the first two of the franchise. Having never been a big fan of the so called torture porn sub-genre I could admire them for their ingenuity if not being totally blown away by them – though as we are up to number 10, what do I know!
Luckily this new one – already covered in the print magazine – is set between Saw and Saw II. John Kramer (the very good Tobin Bell) is back. With him attempting to fight his brain cancer, he hears of a radical new treatment involving a cocktail of unapproved drugs and surgery – the only thing is it is only available via a clandestine outfit working in Mexico. So,he pays the required large fee and, one assumes due to desperation, heads south of the border – we are supposed to believe Kramer, this super clever guy who builds deadly killing devices, is taken in by this questionable escapade.
Recuperating from the op he eventually realises he has been scammed – and you just know the people involved are going to regret ever running this elaborate con. Trust me, you don’t mess with Jigsaw and live to tell the tale!
If you are a fan, you know what to expect as Kramer takes his bloody revenge on those who have wronged him in various ways. Thankfully, in many ways, this takes its time getting to the full horror, with the opening half hour exploring Kramer’s back story and giving Bell a chance to stretch his acting muscles.
It’s stylishly directed by Kevin Greutert, who also helmed the sixth and seventh entries and this one, with a script by Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, could be read as an indictment of the health system in the US. But you all know why you are watching – bring on the ingenious traps and devices.
As previously indicated Bell is great in the lead, matched by Synnøve Macody Lund as the evil Cecilia Pederson, head of the shady facility. Shawnee Smith is also back as Amanda. If you like the other movies, you will likely want to add this to your collection – personally I can take it or leave it – and if you are a fan you can add another star to my rating!
Special Features – 4 stars
No matter the merits of the film, Lionsgate have added a goodly amount of extras to this release.
Audio Commentary with Editor/Director Greutert, Cinematographer Nick Matthew and Production Designer Anthony Stabley
Reawakening – 95 minutes of Behind the scenes/making of
Drawing Inspiration – illustrated scene breakdowns
Make-up Department Death Traps