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Why Saw X Is Different From All Other Movies In The Franchise

Why Saw X Is Different From All Other Movies In The Franchise

And No, it’s Not Because it Takes Place in Mexico

When news of the tenth Saw movie was being released, longtime horror fans around the world dropped everything and ran to theaters. The Saw franchise is particularly known for the sadistic games Jigsaw would orchestrate for his victims and the gory body horror that came with it. However, the original early 2000s movies ended with a bombastic finale in 2010: or did it? 

The series was, albeit unsuccessfully, revived with the usual plot twists and convoluted traps for unsuspecting victims with the movies Jigsaw (2017) and Spiral (2021), which is why many people had low expectations of the tenth installment of the series. But as soon as marketing, trailers, and promotions for the movie started rolling out, it was clear that this Saw movie was unlike no other. With Saw X being the highest rated movie out of the entire franchise, it’s clear the rules that were amended were for the better. 

If it wasn’t obvious before, there will be spoilers in this article, so read carefully!

Familiar Faces Return

It was no surprise that Jigsaw, John Kramer himself, would return to the game. Tobin Bell has been playing the notorious serial “killer” for almost two decades now, and it only gets better every time, especially with his development in this movie. At the beginning of the movie, audiences saw John Kramer consider a life without being Jigsaw, with his terminal illness progressively getting worse. He even started to look at life through a different lens and formed connections with characters, which was a rarity for the films to touch on. 

However, after being scammed with the promise of a “miracle treatment” from a foreign doctor, all hopes of a peaceful life were scrapped, and here is where the formula of the games deviates from the originals: he conducts the games as himself. No speaking through Billy the Puppet (though he does make an appearance), no wearing his statement dark robes, no hiding in the shadows: John Kramer punishes his victims face-to-face, making this the most personal round of games ever conducted in the movies. 

Along with the return of Jigsaw, fans get to see familiar fan-favorite Amanda Young return in all her glory. More fresh off of her brush with Death than she was in Saw II (2005), fans get to see more of the inner workings within Amanda and John’s relationship, which was lightly touched on in Saw III (2006). This fresh new look at the budding Jigsaw offers more characterization to her character as a whole, and viewers particularly enjoyed that aspect of the movie.

Another note-worthy appearance to mention is the return of Detective Hoffman. The detective was mentioned several times throughout the movie but never showed up on screen. When fans were losing hope as the credits rolled, a surprise mid-credits scene featured Hoffman and John Kramer conducting one last game in the famed dirty bathroom of the Saw franchise, ending the movie with a bang.

Why Saw X Is Different From All Other Movies In The Franchise

The Story of Saw X

A key difference that separates Saw X from its predecessors is the plot of the movie. As many audiences can see, this movie was centered more around John Kramer rather than the victims in his games. Every movie in the franchise always started with a game, usually with an unsuspecting victim and a grotesque trap to set the mood for the movie, and the plot continues into one victim completing multiple trials to ensure survival in Jigsaw’s games (which, more likely than not, wasn’t the case). However, this movie starts and ends with John Kramer, which is a deviation from the formula these movies have presented that worked out so much better in the long run.

Adding to that, most of the victims in the other movies were usually people who had wronged John Kramer from the start. However, this movie showed him forming connections with his victims before putting them through the games out of revenge, showing audiences how personal this is to him. This also adds more characterization into the humanity of John Kramer.

This movie also presented itself as more of a hero-villain story rather than a survival thriller movie. The plot was structured around John Kramer being the good guy, which was a different perspective to look at the longtime villain, and it had people rooting against the victims surviving. There was even a moment in the film where it looked like John Kramer and Amanda would “lose” to the villain, a thematic element that’s never been explored in these movies due to John Kramer usually being the bad guy. However, it had audiences on the edge of their seats and more connected to the story and its characters, which is one of the reasons why this movie performed as well as it did.

How Saw X Fits In The Timeline

The last important difference from this movie compared to the other ones in the franchise is the placement of it in the timeline. The movies before were all direct continuations and built off of each other, which worked out fine for the original movies since they were released year after year. However, when looking at Jigsaw and Spiral, they were mainly unsuccessful additions to the franchise due to the plots falling flat. They were also direct continuations of the original movies, but since so much time had passed in between, it came off as corny and outlandish.

Saw X is sandwiched between Saw I and Saw II, which opens up a lot of doors in the creative process when developing the plot. As mentioned before, Amanda and Hoffman were featured in the movie, but that wouldn’t have been possible if not for the fact that this movie is set in a time where they both are crucial partners for John Kramer. 

With earning $130.5 million worldwide and being the highest rated movie of the franchise, with 80% on Rotten Tomatoes and 89% audience score, it’s evident that the changes that were made in Saw X were a key factor in the success of the film. Hopefully, fans old and new can look forward to more blood, body parts, and Billy the Puppet in upcoming years. 

Saw X is still in theaters and available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime and Peacock.

Why Saw X Is Different From All Other Movies In The Franchise

Saw X (2023) Official Lionsgate Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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My name is Reya Krishna, and I’m currently a Journalism student at the University of North Texas. Writing is one of my biggest passions, and working in entertainment as an editorial writer is my dream. Be sure to check out my Instagram (@shreyakrii_) to be updated with other pursuits of mine!
Cailen Fienemann is a current student at Le Moyne College pursuing her BA in English and Communications with a film studies minor and a creative writing concentration.  Though uncertain about her career end-goals, any job that allows her to write is a cherished one indeed.