Saw X is here and it's packing its full arsenal of blood, guts, mayhem, carnage, and John Kramer. This is the BEST Saw film since the original. The 2160p 4K transfer looks excellent and the Dolby Atmos track sounds amazing. There are over 188 minutes of bonus materials here and all of it's worth watching. Highly Recommended!
Not one soul predicted that when Saw was released in 2004, it would have ten sequels, and licensed merchandise that brings in millions of dollars a year. But in the year 2023, Saw X enters that chat, bringing everybody's favorite killer genius to the screen along with his faithful sidekick who was once a victim and now his padawan. This 10th installment goes all the way with its gore, guts, and blood, but also manages to navigate that never-ending mind of John Kramer and what drives him to pick his victims and judge them. There are still surprises to this franchise and it shows here in Saw X, which believe it or not, is a breath of fresh bloody air.
How does one keep up with these different characters and storylines across ten films? Luck saves the day here as Saw X is the direct sequel to the first film from 2004, bringing Tobin Bell and Shawnee Smith back together again in their respective and iconic roles as Kramer and Amanda Young. The film franchise over the years has set up this narrative that John Kramer isn't a bad guy. He was a man who was diagnosed with cancer but had been screwed over by the system and others over the years, even though he did the right thing. It was his Falling Down moment and he took matters into his own hands by creating traps where he'd kidnap people and place them in these diabolical situations where they could escape with their lives if they served up a proverbial and sometimes literal pound of two of flesh.
This element of Kramer's character is key and necessary as an anti-hero of sorts. He doesn't necessarily kill anyone himself, but he places these people who he believes have wronged him or society into these death puzzles where it's almost impossible to escape. And Saw X is no different. Additionally, Kramer's character is given even more sympathetic notes and is even more justified in his gory deeds this go-around where the tables have turned where everybody should be rooting for the would-be villain rather than the victims. Maybe this is a modern-day cliche, but it works and Director Kevin Greutert does a great job in selling this info.
Kramer is of course diagnosed with brain cancer and he hears of some special doctor in Mexico who could cure him. Any rational person with any means would explore this option as he does and find that there are patients, doctors, and nurses treating people and making them better. It's a big relief for John as he goes under the knife and once awake is told his cancer is cured. The man behind the Jigsaw has a new open mind for human beings and life, none like anybody has ever seen. It's a rather delight to see, but it's short-lived when he goes back to the clinic and it's completely vacated, realizing the entire setup was a scheme. Little did anyone involved in this crime know, that their near future was going to be one met with intense, blood-curdling decisions, and agonizing pain.
Kramer always manages to have the upper hand and it's still amazing to see how different filmmakers create a new and original atmosphere with these surprises and twists. The contraptions that are set up this go-around are no joke either. There are more blood, guts, entrails, and eye sockets than ever before, and the sympathy for Kramer and his traps is completely justified as he furthers himself into horror history and perhaps as a wicked member of the Avengers - fingers crossed. Saw X is a much-needed welcome back to the franchise that should not slow things down but should ramp up more sequels like this and explore Kramer and Amanda's dynamic duo that is bathed in blood.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Saw X puzzles its way to 4K + Blu-ray + Digital Code via Lionsgate. The two discs are housed inside a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork is the same on both fronts, which consists of the amazing eye gouge trap with someone screaming. The sleeve is embossed. The two discs have circular saws on them. There is an insert for a digital code.
Saw X comes with a 2160p UHD 4K transfer and looks amazing in the format. The HDR10 enhancement allows those details to shine through the darker sequences. The color palette is similar to most other Saw films. It's mostly dark, and cool with some of those blue or green filters that make everything look dirty and gross.
Those nuanced blues and greens now look bolder with the HDR10. Warmer scenes in Mexico or in well-lit interiors bring out orange, yellows, and other warmer colors. The iconic Billy the Puppet has an amazing shade of white with bright red paint in his black suit. The blood has varying shades of red that look excellent in the different lighting and the entrails have that pink meaty look to it. Black levels are inky and rich without any crush or murky shadows. The skin tones are also natural.
The detail is sharp and vivid, which is great since most of the film is steeped in darkness. With this HDR10 doing its job, closeups of facial features such as gory wounds, practical makeup effects, facial hairs, and more look fantastic. Wider shots are never soft and give the film depth in those smaller trap rooms. There are no issues with banding, aliasing, or video noise. This is one of the best-looking Saw films out there.
This release comes with an exquisite Dolby Atmos track that does everything it needs to do and then some when it comes to creating a horrifying listening experience. In these Saw movies, the sound is important. Every little bone crunch, skin slice, and eye gouge needs that squishy plop that bubbles and oozes. This Dolby Atmos track allows for these nuanced sounds to flow freely through each speaker. Those sound effects are loud and boisterous, whether it be a large trap being set, a vehicle's engine revving, or even the intense screams heard by the people put inside these traps.
But the real magic happens in those smaller sounds of metal scraping bones, or insteines being used to catch the jingle of keys. It's like music to the ears. The height speakers bring in those noises from above nicely and the low end of the bass has a wonderful rumble that never crosses into rocky territory. The dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow. Kramer's voice is still haunting and iconic. The score always brings suspense and dread to each scene too. This is a top-notch audio mix.
There are over 188 minutes of extras here, plus a commentary track. Who does this release think it is? Criterion? This is an all-encompassing behind-the-scenes look at Saw and is quite incredible.
Saw X is a fantastic movie that shouldn't work. But it does in every way from the gore, to the originality of the traps, to even furthering the characters of Amanda and Kramer. Next to the original Saw film, this is hands down the BEST one. The 2160p UHD 4K image with HDR10 looks amazing and the Dolby Atmos track sounds fantastic. The bonus features are next-level great. Highly Recommended!
Order your copy of Saw X on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray