4 Things We Hated About Saw X (And 3 That Almost Redeemed Them)

4 Things We Hated About Saw X (And 3 That Almost Redeemed Them)
Image credit: Lionsgate

It's been 13 years, but the Jigsaw killer still does his job like no other.

Saw X marks another installment in the long-running and renowned horror franchise, known for its gruesome traps and iconic killer. While the franchise has had its share of ups and downs, Saw X offered moments to both cherish and loathe about John Kramer's comeback.

Here are 4 things we hated and 3 things we absolutely loved about the return of Jigsaw's killer to the big screen.


The Pacing Is too Slow

Saw X deviated from the typical Saw movie intensity and disappointed many fans with its slow pacing. Being the longest installment of the franchise, the movie still lacks a hallmark of the series: the usual cold open trap in a dark room. Instead, it starts with a humorous fantasy sequence, delaying the first real trap for about 40 minutes.

No Billy Puppet Laugh

The Billy Puppet's creepy laugh is a defining and crucial element of the Saw franchise that is, unfortunately, missing this time around. Named after John Kramer's son, Billy's unsettling laugh punctuates crucial moments and underscores the life-or-death choices in Jigsaw's games.

His eerie chuckle contrasts with his cheerful appearance, adding to the franchise's sense of dread and making him a key part of the franchise's unique atmosphere.

The Villains Are Villaining (In a Bad Way)

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For the first time in the Saw franchise, we are introduced to the real villain, Cecilia, the mastermind behind the scam on Kramer. She undergoes a rapid and somewhat one-dimensional transformation from a well-meaning doctor to a ruthless and egomaniacal character.

Unlike previous Saw movies, which managed to present morally conflicted characters, Cecilia is a flat character who hardly gets any support from the audience, which makes it almost impossible to root for her and the other scammers trapped in Jigsaw's games.

Kinda Lacks the Point

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The movie tries to fill gaps in the Saw series, taking place between the first and second installments and exploring John Kramer's journey to become Jigsaw. However, this content has been hinted at or explored in previous Saw movies, and despite the tonal differences, Saw X can feel like an excuse to bring back Jigsaw.

While it does add depth to John Kramer's character, it doesn't significantly alter the mythos or narrative of the series, nor does it lead to any new revelations or directions for the series.


Tobin Bell

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Tobin Bell reprises his role as John Kramer after only brief flashbacks in previous installments, impressively maintaining his character's presence despite the two decades that have passed since the series began.

Bell's performance is the most outstanding part of the movie, offering a sincere portrayal that adds depth to the character of Jigsaw's killer.

John Kramer’s Backstory

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The movie takes the story behind creating Jigsaw killer on another level as it explores the character The film takes the story behind the creation of Jigsaw's killer to another level by exploring the character of John Kramer in a deeper and more human way than in previous films.

It reveals his vulnerabilities, his caring nature, and his desire for a second chance as he faces his final moments alive. The film challenges viewers' understanding of Kramer's morality and adds complexity to his character, making it a surprisingly personal exploration despite its gruesome elements.


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This time around, Saw differs from the other films in the franchise in its emphasis on character development and staging over gruesome traps. John Kramer's personal involvement in the traps and the focus on motivations is a departure from the typical theatricality of the franchise, while the gory scenes maintain the style of the series, but emphasize foreboding and disgust rather than shock value.

The traps may not be the goriest in the series, but they still manage to be the peak of creativity and keep the audience on the edge of their seats.