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Saw X

Saw X

The latest instalment into the gorefest series is here, but does it stack up to its predecessors?

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There are so many sinners out there and they all have to come clean, be punished, come to terms with the fact that their morally reprehensible crimes result in other people's suffering. If you so much as shoplift, you will die. Trust that our messiah "Jigsaw" will stretch you like an elastic band between two enormous saw blades and allow you to escape your bloody fate by eating until your belly bursts to stop the saw blades' savage progress, or... you die. You are sawn in half. Like a defenceless piece of pickle.

We've all seen Saw one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and maybe even nine. There are also spin-offs and other gorefests, which make this as stubbornly immortal of a horror series as Halloween itself, or Friday the 13th. In Saw X, which takes place between the first and second film (despite Jigsaw looking 90 years old), serial killer Kramer (Tobin Bell), is searching for a miraculous cure for his deadly brain cancer, and comes across a bunch of Norwegian con artists who are robbing desperate cancer patients of their life savings by offering an experimental new treatment described as a miracle.

Saw X
The cute little guy on the tricycle is hardly there at all this time.
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Kramer learns from a friend in his cancer discussion group that the Norwegian treatment is unparalleled and heads to Mexico to have the tumour removed. Once there, he encounters sleekly dressed professional scammers who, in just a single day, have managed to rake in Jigsaw's savings and leave him drugged and bedridden in a hotel room. When he begins to realise that he may well have been duped, he naturally calls his sidekick Amanda, and takes over an abandoned warehouse, kidnaps everyone involved and starts killing with the help of his ingeniously murderous super traps.

Saw X is a genuine attempt to make Kramer/Jigsaw a human being rather than a dark, creepy voice from a tiny tape recorder. His suffering from the cancer is portrayed with just the right amount of empathy and his naïve and desperate search for a cure and his hope that the scammers' methods will save him actually works well. The fact that he has to kill them all (or at least set them up in death traps) to teach all of the villains a valuable lesson in morality, manners and etiquette is a bit silly in its own concentrated pomposity - but also funny.

For me, the worst thing about the Saw films has always been the acting, while the best thing has always been the inventively absurd death traps. The same is apparent here too. Tobin Bell as Jigsaw is pretty bad. Dry, expressionless with little presence and the now directly horrible plastic surgeon Shawnee Smith is still just as bad as the sidekick Amanda.

Saw X
Kramer is a cancer patient and very, very angry.
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The victims slaughtered in the traps aren't very good at acting either, but the traps made me laugh out loud a couple of times. One of them sucks the alleged brain surgeon's eyes out if he doesn't turn a knob that breaks his fingers on his "surgical hand" while another forces one of the fake nurses to saw off her own femur. Maybe I'm horrible, or maybe I am terrible, because I've laughed a lot at this film just as I laughed quite a lot at the last Saw film I watched. It's not particularly good, but it's never bad either. The production design is a dirty dark green while the photography is ordinary as is the music and editing. This is really what we've come to expect from Saw, no more and no less.

05 Gamereactor UK
5 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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Saw X

Saw X

MOVIE REVIEW. Written by Petter Hegevall

The latest instalment into the gorefest series is here, but does it stack up to its predecessors?



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