Saw X (2023) is a horror, mystery and thriller film. It marks the tenth installment in the spine-chilling Saw film series. This cinematic masterpiece serves as a dual treat, functioning as a direct sequel to the 2004 classic, ‘Saw,’ and a prequel to the nail-biting ‘Saw II’ released in 2005. Helmed by the talented director and editor Kevin Greutert and brought to life by the creative minds of Peter Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, this film boasts an all-star cast. Tobin Bell and Shawnee Smith reprise their iconic roles from previous films, while Synnøve Macody Lund, Steven Brand, Renata Vaca, and Michael Beach join the ensemble.
Saw X made its theatrical debut under the banner of Lionsgate on September 29, 2023, captivating audiences for a thrilling 1 hour and 58 minutes.
From Saw X. A sick and desperate John travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure in hopes of a miracle cure for his cancer – only to discover the entire operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable. Armed with a newfound purpose, John returns to his work, turning the tables on the con artists in his signature visceral way through a series of ingenious and terrifying traps.
SAW X FILM REVIEW.
Henry Kessie is meeting with John Kramer, suffering from brain cancer, and fellow individuals grappling with similar challenges, where he openly shares his struggles. One day, driven by a quest for information, John decides to consult a doctor to assess the state of his condition.
After consultation with the doctor, John’s attention is inexplicably drawn to the window blinds. There, he observes a hospital custodian discreetly rifling through a sick patient’s belongings. The custodian meticulously examines a watch and a ring, oblivious to any sense of ethics or privacy.
At that moment, John’s mind takes an unexpected turn. He envisions a sinister game unfolding before him, wherein time becomes an ominous adversary. In this imaginary scenario, the custodian is subjected to a cruel challenge. He must challenge for himself. He turns a dial that will break each of his fingers one after the other, or he will have his eyes plucked out from its socket. Considering how vital his eyes are, the custodian decides to go for the former challenge and has his fingers broken.
Suddenly snapping out of this disturbing daydream, John finds himself locked in a gaze with the custodian, who has become aware of his presence. In a surprising twist, the custodian relinquishes the stolen watch and ring, silently returning them to their rightful place in the hospital room. With that, the custodian quietly exits, leaving a sense of intrigue and mystery in the room.
In a riveting turn of events, John’s evening took an unexpected twist as he dined at a local restaurant and stumbled upon his former colleague, Henry. Their chance encounter sparked a curiosity within John as he noticed a remarkable transformation in Henry’s health. Unable to contain his intrigue, John cautiously inquired about this miraculous change.
Initially hesitant, Henry divulged the astonishing truth – he was cured through an experimental cancer treatment in Norway, spearheaded by a renowned medical figure, Dr. Pederson. He even shared a contact number for John to explore further. Motivated by desperation, John embarked on a journey of investigation, reaching out to the doctor’s daughter, Cecilia Pederson. She directed him to her clinic in Mexico City, where he secured a slot for his surgery.
Guided by a friendly taxi driver named Diego, John arrived at the clinic and met a team of dedicated individuals, including Cecilia, Mateo, Valentina, and Dr. Cortez. Amongst the other patients, Gabriela, a young woman who claimed her miraculous recovery under Cecilia’s care, stood out. John also crossed paths with Parker Sears, a recent surgical patient. Amidst these encounters, John formed a heartwarming connection with Carlos, a local boy, when he repaired the young boy’s bicycle.
As John underwent the life-altering surgery, he awakened to a life-changing revelation from Cecilia – he was now free from cancer. Filled with hope, John expressed gratitude by selecting a special gift for Gabriela. However, upon returning to the clinic, he was met with a chilling emptiness, realizing that the entire operation had been an elaborate deception – a scam.
Now, armed with a burning determination, John has taken an oath to hold the team of deceitful doctors accountable for the profound damage they inflicted upon humanity with their fraudulent practices.
This is not retribution. It’s a reawakening.
Saw X immersed me in its gore, blood, and intrigue world. This captivating movie keeps you firmly engaged and has you actively cheering for John while constantly pondering his next move.
‘Saw X’ is a compelling blend of socially pertinent themes, stellar performances, and a satisfying narrative, providing a lingering experience.
Tobin Bell, the central character and standout performer, once again dazzles with his outstanding vitality, maintaining an eerie grip on the audience through his enduring portrayal. Kudos to the makeup team; they skillfully depict the character’s physical decline as the story unfolds, adding a layer of authenticity to the narrative. Shawnee Smith also leaves a lasting impression as Amanda Young. Her flawless portrayal adds a nostalgic and incredibly satisfying dimension to the film, skillfully conveying emotions when necessary. The chemistry between Amanda and John plays a pivotal role in the film’s overall success.
The cinematography in the film was truly captivating, with its masterful use of camera angles and lighting creating a haunting and mesmerizing visual aesthetic. Kevin Greutert’s direction was impressive, as it maintained the franchise’s signature style while successfully capturing the same eerie ambiance as a prequel. The traps showcased in the movie were not only inventive and stomach-turning but also plausible, except the final one, which seemed oddly merciful for its intended victim.
Remarkably, this film took a unique approach to storytelling. Unlike its predecessors, the movie’s first half contained no gruesome death scenes, except for one token trap at the outset. Instead, it focused on building tension and suspense, a departure that added depth to the narrative. Additionally, the film stood out among the Saw series for its exceptional visual appeal, featuring stunning location shots that heightened the overall experience.
Furthermore, the movie shifted its primary focus to John Kramer, a character portrayed brilliantly by Tobin Bell throughout the franchise. It was a refreshing change to see him take center stage as the protagonist, as his portrayal has consistently been a highlight of the series. Notably, this installment also ranked among the longest in the Saw franchise, offering fans an extended and immersive experience.
The auditory experience and musical compositions in ‘Saw X’ were impressive. Charlie Clouser’s score, in particular, continues to weave that iconic theme seamlessly into the narrative, a timeless element that never loses its allure. Even in its earlier segments, where the traps take a back seat, the score maintains its captivating presence, enhancing the overall atmosphere.
Saw X is a horror thriller that is not for the faint-hearted. It has the gruesome goods expected of a Saw film; however, what makes this entry good is the unexpected amount of heart. It’s an oddly wholesome personal tale of revenge, using its concept to make its traps and victim’s suffering enjoyable.
‘Saw X’ delves into a more intimate narrative centered around John Kramer, effectively achieving its goal of offering a more personal perspective. Notably, the script transforms the character of Amanda Young, eliciting a newfound sense of sympathy from the audience. Tobin Bell and Shawnee Smith shine not as mere antagonists but as individuals dedicated to redeeming troubled souls, a theme that resonates even more profoundly in this tenth installment.
Saw X is rated R for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, language, and some drug use.
You can see Saw X in cinemas near you.
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