Saw X – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Saw X – Of Horror and Revenge … Let’s Play a Game

Film is a medium of subjectivity.  From action to comedy, what draws out our emotions is a trigger defined by indifference.  For the horror genre, it becomes very particular to drive the scare.  From tension to atmosphere, it takes many things to define a worthy escape.  In this review, I look at the latest in the Saw franchise.  A series known for its traps and morality play; this latest entry pushes those aspects further.  With an enveloping experience of mystery, Saw X is a gruesome journey of what it truly means to have … free will.

This story follows John Kramer (Tobin Bell), a dying man conned by hope.  Standing at fate’s door, consequence and revenge becomes the ultimate price.  For anyone familiar with this franchise, there are expected details that define this world.  One of those major things is the character of John Kramer.  In the beginning, we come into the film through the drop-in method, learning about Kramer and his brain cancer diagnosis.  Through subtle conversations (of exposition), he learns about a procedure that might be able to save his life.  This leads through scenes of foreshadowing elements, leveling out the mental state of ‘who is’ John Kramer and this ‘experimental’ procedure.  After thinking he was saved, we lead through a series of investigative like scenes where Kramer discovers the whole situation was a con scheme.  He learns that a group led by Dr. Pederson (Synnove Macody Lund) prey on those with vulnerable diseases for monetary gains.  This revelation adds another familiar element to the series, thematic appeal of free will, choice and consequence.  With the help of his associate, Amanda (Shawnee Smith), Kramer finds those involved and locks them in a series of traps where they ‘play a game’ and try to understand the importance of life.  From this point, the journey moves through its thematic appeal with horror-like elements, balancing between the causality and tension of the moment.  Unlike previous entries, this one focuses on the strength of the franchise.  With Kramer as the central character, it drives you through a haze of morality, a push to see certainty in the idea of ‘good vs. evil’.  As Kramer enacts his brand of justice, it lifts the genre to another experience.  Even within generic horror tropes, it is this humanistic aspect that drives a consequential unknown to Jigsaw’s games.

As Kramer leads down his path of revenge, his choices start to waver in the unknown.  With his associate Amanda, each ‘game’ becomes a matter of race against time.  As the game becomes gripped by personal choice, certain plot moments are forced because of the grip of coincidence.  Even when progression levels out the themes, we head into a third act that brings everything full circle (for the characters).  This leads to a poignant climax and interesting epilogue.  Saw X is a horror film that does enough to stand out within the franchise.  If you are a fan of this franchise, horror films or revenge tales, this is one for you.  It is Worth seeing on the big screen.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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