Justice Beyond Fear: The Unexpected Triumph of Saw X

Grade: A

Author: Billy Madden

It’s common for long-standing movie franchises to lose their spark over time. Often, anything beyond a trilogy feels excessive. An eighth or ninth sequel? Really? By the time these later sequels roll out, many viewers experience “franchise fatigue.” However, Saw X, the latest entry in the Saw series, might just be its crowning jewel.

I’ve never been a huge aficionado of horror films. To me, the Saw series doesn’t exactly fit the horror genre. They don’t instill fear in me. Yes, the lethal “challenges” over the years are intense and might give some viewers sleepless nights. John Kramer, also known as “Jigsaw” (brilliantly portrayed by Tobin Bell), operates on a set of principles and hasn’t taken a life directly. I hesitated about Saw X, thinking it might be another letdown like some of its predecessors.

The initial three films were genuinely captivating. The sequels that followed seemed to lose their essence. However, I often watched the latest Saw releases in cinemas, mainly as a Halloween ritual with friends. So, I thought, why not give Saw X a shot? It couldn’t possibly be worse than the ones leading up to it.

Unexpectedly, Saw X resonated with me more than any of its predecessors. It presents a compelling narrative and a poignant message that makes you empathize with John’s actions, seeing them as morally justified.

Saw X bridges the gap between Saw and Saw 2. John grapples with a cancer diagnosis and seeks a remedy. His quest leads him to Mexico, where he invests $250,000 in a medical treatment that offers a ray of hope. Discovering that the doctors are swindlers who fail to heal him, John subjects them to one of his notorious games in the pursuit of retribution.

Like all Saw films, John presents the culprits with a stark choice: participate in the game and possibly survive or refuse and perish. This time, the stakes are deeply personal.

Oddly enough, you find yourself hoping for the deceivers’ downfall. Exploiting a terminally ill patient’s hope for financial gain is heinous, and they get their just desserts. Without revealing too much, the film’s climax, accompanied by the signature Saw soundtrack, is sheer brilliance, leaving me elated as I exited the cinema.

If you’re a Saw enthusiast, this is a must-watch. Even if you’re not a fan but can handle intense visuals and sounds, the film’s underlying theme of justice will resonate.

Give Saw X a chance. It’s a cinematic experience that might just reinforce your sense of right and wrong.

Check out my colleague’s review of Horror Vibes Saw X themed coffee drink!


John Kramer (Tobin Bell) is back. The most chilling installment of the SAW franchise yet explores the untold chapter of Jigsaw’s most personal game. Set between the events of SAW I and II, a sick and desperate John travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure in hopes of a miracle cure for his cancer — only to discover the entire operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable. Armed with a newfound purpose, John returns to his work, turning the tables on the con artists in his signature visceral way through a series of ingenious and terrifying traps.

  • Rating: R (Language|Grisly Bloody Violence|Some Drug Use|Torture)
  • Genre: Horror, Mystery & thriller
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Kevin Greutert
  • Producer: Mark BurgOren Koules
  • Writer: Pete GoldfingerJosh Stolberg
  • Release Date (Theaters): Sep 29, 2023  Wide
  • Box Office (Gross USA): $41.4M
  • Runtime: 1h 58m
  • Distributor: Lionsgate
  • Production Co: Twisted Pictures
  • Aspect Ratio: Flat (1.85:1)

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