by Kevin Greutert
The Saw franchise has been a staple of the spooky season since 2004. Created by James Wan and Leigh Whannell, Saw helped give rise to the subgenre of "torture porn" and after ten movies the gore is still strong. However, does Jigsaw have what it takes to go for one more?
I can honestly say that I did not have any clue what to expect. I avoided trailers for this one so I went in completely blind. After whatever Spiral was doing I figured it had to be good or at least better. I was glad to be back with John Kramer (Tobin Bell) and Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith).
Saw X is a prequel that takes place between Saw 1 and Saw 2. John's cancer has progressed to the point he is desperate for any hope. John learns of a treatment that could save his life. He travels to Mexico to meet with Cecilia Pederson (Synnøve Macody Lund) the daughter of the doctor who created the treatment. After meeting the team and other people who has had the treatment, John is operated on. He then discovers that it was all a lie. That's when the fun begins.
We all know why we keep coming back, the traps! Saw X has them. Are they the best traps of the series? No. Hell, the eye suck trap that's featured so heavily in the advertising isn't even real. I did enjoy the marrow trap. That one was sticky!
Now, we need to talk about Amanda. Shawnee Smith has been one of my favorite scream queens since The Blob! Why did she feel so wrong in this? Yes her hair was the scariest part but besides the war crimes her stylist pulled, Amanda felt sad. It was weird. Maybe its cause I'm used to wild eyed, crazy, doctor threatening Amanda. I don't know.
There is a lot of twists but we know John and Amanda will come out of this ok. This makes any tension we could feel non existent. The final gotcha trap was weak as all get out. The mid credit scene was neat. This movie was a slow see-saw.
So, should you strap in for another test or say game over? As a maniac film reviewer once said about Halloween, you've come this far. Might as well see it thru.
Robin Thompson, HMS