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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Saw X (2023)

#05 Spooktober 2023

"You're a life coach?" "Something like that, yes."

Bit of an understatement but okay.

Righto, so we're here again. I thought we'd seen the last of John Kramer, seeing as he's dead and all. But no, not while there is a dollar to be made.

Nestling in between Saw and Saw II, this sequel is also a prequel, as if previous events were not already confusing enough for anyone other than those that would call themselves an enthusiast for the franchise (of which I am not one).

Every time we're presented with one of these, I wistfully harken back to 'the good old days' before the franchise had wads of moolah to throw about, where the risk of innovation was bitingly real, where there was genuine consideration of cinematic oblivion. Where it had to work.

These days it really doesn't matter if it's actually any good or not. As long as the screaming is consistent and the blood keeps flowing, then the success is not based on the cognitive experience, just how many pints of blood are spilt and how grisly the spilling is.

When the likes of this and Hostel were the 'go to' for horror, a little bit of me died inside. We have since been presented with much more worthy and considered experiences to keep us up at night, warily listening for bumps. Perhaps we thought, or maybe hoped, we were done with torture porn.

Saw X is admittedly a step up from what we've been force-fed recently in regards to Jigsaw, as this is much more personal to Kramer and less a revenge remotely realised for the benefit of humanity. This feels more satisfying because he's getting his own back, even if his version of vigilante justice is not recommended generally.

Incase you're wondering, this is just as unpalatable as always visually, visceral and sticky where it should be, graphic and brutal where called for, but even with this new element implied of a personal vendetta, the opportunity for redemption is available. So, the argument will go on, is Kramer actually the good guy?

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