By Oscar Martines
Nearly 20 years after the first film was released, Jigsaw returns as the center of attention in the latest installment of the “Saw” franchise. “Saw X” delivers the usual gory violence while adding a more personal insight into the mind of the Jigsaw Killer.
Taking place between the first and second “Saw” films, John Kramer (Tobin Bell) is forced to accept the time he has left due to his terminal illness.
A fellow cancer patient offers him a glimmer of hope by introducing a live-saving treatment that will allow him to extend his life by many years. Kramer wastes no time searching for the doctors who can give him his life back.
Kramer ultimately finds himself in Mexico City, where he is suddenly kidnapped and led to a hospital in a hidden location only few know about.
Although Kramer is stunned with how the ordeal went down, the thought of a tumor-removing surgery has him look past the unusual circumstances.
Kramer receives the surgery and is given the great news that it was a success.
Kramer later finds out that the so-called “life-changing surgery” was all a scam to steal money from innocent victims.
With the help of the returning character Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith), a young woman who survived one of Jigsaw’s traps in the first film and is now a disciple of the Jigsaw Killer, Kramer seeks revenge on those who have wronged him. He vows to teach them an important lesson on life.
“Saw X” differs from previous releases as it gives the spotlight to Kramer throughout the entire two hours of screen time.
The film delivers on the point that we should sympathize with Kramer due to the wrong that has been made against him, but also view him as a man who tortures his victims into playing games with survival being the grand prize.
“This is not retribution, it’s a reawakening,” Kramer tells his victims before placing them in some of the franchise’s most brutal traps yet.
What makes “Saw X” one of the better releases of the franchise is that it returns to its roots, leaving behind the complex traps in favor of simpler designs that reflect the earlier films and give the viewers the implications that Kramer built them himself.
The film pushes the limit once again with more bloodiness and gore that viewers will try to hide their eyes from but keep them glued toward the screen.
One of the regrets heading into this movie, according to the director of the film, was the fact that Kramer was killed off too early into the franchise, and without the mastermind at work, it was a difficult slope to have him included in future releases through flashbacks and jump cuts.
“Saw X,” however, allows for future prequels to be introduced which would allow more insight into the mind of Kramer and his reasoning behind many of his games and traps.
Overall, “Saw X” is a love letter to fans of the Jigsaw Killer, thanking them for all the support and love while leaving them in suspense and awe at all the twists and turns that will surely leave viewers who watch until the very end with many unanswered questions.