The vacant eyed, rosy cheeked, empty headed dummy doll is back. No, not the return of Amanda Holden on Britain’s Got Talent but Jigsaw or more accurately John Kramer as the serial killer in Saw X the tenth in the 20 year series and a much needed reboot of the franchise which brings back the excellent Tobin Bell putting him front and centre in a prequel that’s kinds of a Saw 1.5.
Kramer is seriously ill with brain cancer with but has been carrying out his ‘work’ with what limited time he has left after a doctor’s diagnosis tells him there’s no more medically that can be done and that he should take it easy and wait for death. – the sort of bedside manner that leads you to believe that he was mentored by Harold Shipman. But it’s a former patient at a cancer support group that tells Kramer about a risky experimental procedure that saved his life and could save John’s too and understandably Kelmer contacts the company who have gone underground due to Big Pharma wanting to shut down their operation. It’s about as credible as thinking that Dr Dre is actually a medical practitioner giving his prognosis as, ‘It ain’t nothing but a G thang! – Thanks Dr Dre but do you mind if I get a 2nd opinion?’
Understandably like anyone he’ll grab at any potential life line and he undergoes the surgery only to find a little later that it’s all been a scam and he sets in motion his revenge on those who were responsible that were headed up by fake quack Dr Pederson (the lovely Synnove Macody Lund a Norwegian actress whose accent here flits between continents). This first act of the film takes up a significant portion of the film which may frustrate fans of the torture porn franchise although there is an eye popping torture sequence to keep the gore hounds content until Kramer has set up his own biological chop shop that concerns the latter half of the film. And those traps are as baroque and intricate as fans have come to expect and won’t disappoint in several gore soaked set pieces.
Saw X is something of a return to form for the franchise which, as it progressed, got so bogged down in twists and turns that eventually the premise collapsed under it all and this brings back Tobin Bell and is far more satisfactory for it with his serial killer continuing his claim that what he does is not retribution but a reawakening regarding the traps as games in which case he’s the least suitable children’s entertainer although we’d be happy if our Editor booked him for his twin boys Damian & Adolf’s birthday party. Written by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger who scripted the excellent ‘Piranha 3D’ remake as well as the Saw spin off ‘Spiral’ which hit a franchise low earning only $40m whereas the others had all tipped the $100m mark. Saw X certainly makes amends wisely bringing back Kramer and rewinding to the start of it all with some brutal set pieces and jet black humour. Let the games begin indeed!
Mid credit sequence : YES
Instagram: Our night at the special screening of Saw X
Here’s the Saw X trailer……