Saw X breaks franchise’s Rotten Tomatoes record – by quite some distance

New horror sequel isn’t playing games

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 01 October 2023 17:17 BST
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Saw X - trailer

The new Saw film has earnt the gory horror franchise its best reviews yet.

Saw X, the 10th film in the series, is out now, with critics praising it as one of the best entries in the franchise’s 19-year history.

The franchise was launched in 2004 and, after grossing $103.9m (£84.9m) from a budget of just $1m (£817m), spawned eight sequels – the last of which, Jigsaw, was released in 2017. In 2021, a spin-off starring Chris Rock, titled Spiral: From the Book of Saw, was released.

Although the series mostly fares well at the box office and has generated a cult fanbase, critics have largely been left cold by the films, including the first one, which is generally considered to be the strongest overall. With Saw X, however, critics have a new favourite Saw movie.

Saw X brings back original star Tobin Bell, who plays John Kramer, the Jigsaw killer who tests his victims’s desire to live by placing them in gruesome contraptions.

The events of Saw X are set between the first and second Saw instalments, showcasing a previously unseen chapter in Kramer’s life as he travels to Mexico to receive non-FDA approved treatment to cure himself of his terminal cancer.

After coming to a heartbreaking realisation regarding his treatment, Kramer captures a group of people and places them in a new set of traps, resulting in gory ends for several characters.

After 91 reviews on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, Saw X has a score of 85 per cent. This is 36 per cent higher than the second best-reviewed Saw film, which is the first instalment. The 2004 film, directed by James Wan, has 50 per cent.

The remaining scores range from 39 per cent for Saw VI (2009) to a measly nine per cent for the seventh Saw film, titled Saw: The Final Chapter (2010).

In The Independent’s review of Saw X, critic Clarisse Loughrey said: “Ten films in and it’s a routine we’re so intimately familiar with that it’d be hard to call any element of Saw X original but returning director Kevin Greutert knows what’ll satisfy his audience: a few buckets of blood and the gag-inducing sound of crunching bone. Here, they’ll get exactly what they want.”

‘Saw X’ is the best-reviewed ‘Saw' film by quite some distance

Lionsgate, the franchise’s distributor, will no doubt be happy over its acclaim – as will fans of the Saw franchise. If the positive reviews translate to high box office takings, it seems this will not be the last hidden chapter we see from Kramer’s background.

Fans in the UK are able to get a double helping of Saw by visiting the immsersive Saw: Escape Experience in London, tickets to which can be purchased here.

Saw X is in cinemas now.

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