Home Saw X

Saw X (18)

Cast: Shawnee Smith, Synnove Macody Lund, Tobin Bell, Steven Brand
Genre: Horror
Author(s): Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg
Director: Kevin Greutert
Release Date: 29/09/2023
Running Time: 118mins
Country: US
Year: 2023

Battling with terminal cancer, John Kramer hears whispers about a cure for his illness and he travels to Mexico in search of a miracle. Unfortunately, the medical breakthrough is exposed as a heartless scam targeted at vulnerable, desperate cancer patients who will pay anything to spend more precious time with loved ones. Aided by his apprentice Amanda Young, Kramer wreaks terrifying revenge on the con artists and he subjects them to a dizzying array of grisly traps.

LondonNet Film Review

Saw X (18) Film Review from LondonNet

How many ways can the human body be eviscerated in graphic close-up courtesy of special make up effects and prosthetics? The sadistic 10th chapter of one of the highest grossing horror franchises goes back to basics with the self-mutilation, providing terrified victims with scalpels, a cranial drill and Gigli saw as their instruments of salvation within a strict three-minute time limit. “This is not retribution. It’s a reawakening,” growls Tobin Bell’s returning mastermind John Kramer, aka Jigsaw, who believes his diabolical work is a moral crusade to purge society of malignant cells…

Penned by Peter Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, Saw X nestles in the series chronology between the original film and sequel Saw II, and explores the ripple effect of Kramer receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis and making peace with the fact that he has “months… at best” to complete his rehabilitation of the sinful. Scriptwriters are handcuffed to the canon so characters who reappear after the first Saw cannot be killed off here, restricting the body count to obvious candidates. Bloodletting orchestrated by director Kevin Greutert is nauseating (I spent prolonged periods glimpsing the screen through my fingers) and fully warrants the 18 certificate. Once the whimpering and screaming ends, the 10th instalment is surprisingly emotional and poignant, catalysing sympathy for an architect of misery who has been largely defined by his ingenious contraptions.

A member of John’s cancer support group (Michael Beach) makes a stunning recovery from stage 4 pancreatic cancer and confides that his miracle was an expensive private medical procedure pioneered by Dr Finn Pederson (Donagh Gordon), who has been hounded into hiding by the big pharmaceutical companies. Dr Cecilia Pederson (Synnove Macody Lund) continues her father‘s work in secret and John secures last-minute surgery in Mexico with the Pederson Project team comprising surgeon Dr Cortez (Joshua Okamoto), anaesthetist Mateo (Octavio Hinojosa), nurse Valentina (Paulette Hernandez) and facility hostess Gabriela (Renata Vaca).

John pays handsomely for “a ground-breaking drug cocktail combined with surgery” and during recovery, he discovers that the treatment was an elaborate charade conceived by callous scam artists, who target vulnerable cancer patients willing to pay anything for one more day with their loved ones. Aided by his apprentice Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith), Kramer wreaks terrifying revenge on the heartless tormentors: “I help people overcome inner obstacles… make life changes.”

Saw X requires an exceedingly strong stomach, and gore hounds will be delighted by the on-screen carnage accompanied by sticky, squelchy sound effects. Bell captures the dwindling physical strength of his antagonist and there are touching scenes with Smith, whose protegee picks up the baton in subsequent films. Greutert’s bloodbath has a heart and protects it. Other organs are, however, ripe for harvesting.

– Kim Hu

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