For the first time ever for the franchise, Saw X achieved something very unusual for horror films — it received a “Certified Fresh” from Rotten Tomatoes by achieving an 83 percent approval rating from film reviewers. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the newest addition to this gory franchise is the only one critics have ever liked.
Saw X is being praised as the best in the franchise’s history by critics.
Despite the hate from critics, the Saw series has left a pretty memorable mark on cinema over the past 20 years. Known for its gruesome traps, moral dilemmas, and the iconic character of Jigsaw, this long-running horror saga has both terrified and captivated audiences since 2004. With the release of Saw X on September 29, the franchise has made a bold return, and this time, it’s earning unprecedented reviews and breathing new life into the gruesome world of Jigsaw.
A day before its theatrical release, Saw X had already generated an 84 percent approval rating resulting from a total of 48 critical reviews. It’s a far cry from the original rating of the first Saw movie, which saw a pretty bleak 50 percent approval rating upon its release 19 years ago.
One of the key elements propelling Saw X to critical acclaim is the return of Tobin Bell as Jigsaw, also known as John Kramer.
Though the reviews for Saw X showcase the incredible impression these films have left on fans over the years, it wasn’t a continuously upward path. In fact, the Saw movies have been all over the place when it comes to critical reviews, dropping as low as a 9 percent approval rating for Saw: The Final Chapter. Even the 2021 spin-off Spiral: From the Book of Saw could only muster a 37 percent rating.
One of the key elements propelling Saw X to critical acclaim is the return of Tobin Bell as Jigsaw, also known as John Kramer. Bell’s portrayal of the franchise’s iconic villain has garnered high praise from reviewers. His raspy voice and commanding presence have made Jigsaw’s signature phrase, “I want to play a game,” as terrifying as ever.
Directed by Kevin Greutert, who previously helmed Saw VI and Saw 3D (aka Saw: The Final Chapter), Saw X takes the series back in time, serving as a prequel that unfolds between the events of the first two films. This move not only brings a fresh perspective to the narrative but also allows Tobin Bell’s Jigsaw character to take center stage with more screen time than ever before.
In a genre known for its reboots, reimaginings, and diminishing returns, Saw X manages to defy expectations by not only surpassing its predecessors but also offering a revitalized take on the franchise.
Reviewers have lauded the film’s return to its roots, capturing the essence of the original Saw while infusing it with new life. Saw X is being praised for acknowledging the familiar but satisfying elements that long-time fans of the franchise crave, including the visceral gore and bone-chilling sound effects, while also striking a balance by injecting the film with fresh blood.
In a genre known for its reboots, reimaginings, and diminishing returns, Saw X manages to defy expectations by not only surpassing its predecessors but also offering a revitalized take on the franchise. It’s evident that the combination of Tobin Bell’s magnetic performance, Kevin Greutert’s directorial vision, and a narrative that pays homage to the original while taking risks has struck a chord with both critics — we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see if the fans agree.
As Saw X slashes its way into theaters, it goes to show that sometimes, it’s the 10th time that’s the charm. For horror enthusiasts and fans of the franchise, Saw X is a blood-soaked return to the visceral thrills and psychological torment that first made Saw a genre-defining classic.