Lights, camera, trap! 2023 welcomed the return of the infamous game mastermind with “Saw X.” And if you are an aficionado of the twisty-turny world of Jigsaw, this installment is a real ride.
Right out of the gate, let’s address the iconic puppet in the room: How does the tenth installment fare against its predecessors? Let's dive into the guts - pun intended - of this thriller.
A Plot Worthy of a Decade's Legacy
“Saw X” delivers on the psychological tension that fans crave. Whereas some sequels in the past might have felt more like "torture porn" with a thin plot, this one weaves a deeply intricate narrative that not only pays homage to the original’s psychological roots but also breathes fresh life into the series.
In turn, this makes for a delightful and at times, anxiety-ridden viewing. The movie kicks off with a fresh batch of unsuspecting victims waking up in an all too familiar grimy environment.
However, what makes “Saw X” unique is its deeper exploration of each character's backstory. This is not just about their sins. But also about their connections, ambitions, fears, and desires. The story unfolds more like a drama-thriller hybrid, with each trap revealing a bit more of the larger narrative puzzle.
Characters Who Pull You In
The series has been known for its characters who often come across as mere pawns in Jigsaw's elaborate games. This time, the scriptwriters have done a phenomenal job at humanizing each victim. You do not just see them as pieces moving through a death-filled maze. Instead, you are genuinely concerned for them, you cheer for them. And occasionally, you are torn about their moral choices.
Of course, without giving away spoilers, let's just say that there are familiar faces who make unexpected returns. The roles they play and their subsequent arcs are some of the most captivating parts of the film.
Gore Factor: Just Right
The “Saw” series is infamous for its blood-curdling traps and cringe-worthy moments. "Saw X" does not shy away from this legacy. But what is appreciable is the filmmakers' restraint. Instead of relying solely on the shock factor of gore, they use it to complement the story.
This does not mean the movie is tame, far from it. However, each trap feels purposeful. And is not just there for the sake of a gruesome spectacle.
Sound and Cinematography: A Symphony of Suspense
A special nod has to be given to the sound department. The score is chilling and foreboding, bringing back the eerie ambiance of the original films. There were moments where the music itself felt like a character, shadowing every movement and decision.
Cinematography-wise, “Saw X” has raised the bar. From grimy chambers to haunting cityscapes, the visuals are as mesmerizing as they are terrifying. Every frame feels meticulously crafted, adding layers to the story.
To Watch or Not to Watch?
For fans of the series, this is a no-brainer: “Saw X” is a must-watch. It revives the series in a manner that is both nostalgic and refreshing. For newcomers, it is a thrilling introduction.
However, some context from earlier films might be needed to grasp the full depth of the plot twists.