Jigsaw has returned, and if you thought pig vats, shotgun carousels, and reverse bear traps were bad, wait till you see Saw X.
Director Kevin Greutert’s blood-soaked narrative follows deadly escape room virtuoso John Kramer (Tobin Bell) as he travels to Mexico in quest of an experimental medical procedure that he’s convinced might cure his terminal disease.
As it turns out, the whole affair is a ruse, resulting in a twisted narrative of vengeance packed with some of the goriest sequences in the franchise’s history, with one in particular driving viewers to their breaking point.
How twisted are we getting? Some people’s faces were buried in jumpers rather than facing the TV. Take what you will from that.
But, anyhow, back to the eyeball joke. Fans of Saw will have noticed that a billboard depicting a particularly gruesome trap has been plastered across London buses in recent weeks.
The picture, which depicts a screaming guy with two tubes attached to his eyes, reveals that one unfortunate individual is hooked up to a gadget that sucks out their eyeballs unless they complete one of Jigsaw’s brutal games before a timer expires.
Unfortunately (or thankfully for all you sadists out there), that eyeball-sucking machine is one of Saw X’s more relaxed traps.
Before Kramer realises that he and other terminally sick cancer patients have been duped when at their most vulnerable, he resolves to shed Jigsaw, his serial killer alter persona, having been offered a second shot at life.
Unfortunately, Kramer soon realises that the process was devised by crash-grabbing con artists and vows retribution through a slew of new horrifying traps that result in chopped limbs and skulls aplenty.
Jigsaw presents his most blood-curdling performance yet, with a little help from old buddies Amanda (reprised by Shawnee Smith) and Billy, the bike-riding ventriloquist puppet.
The aforementioned prize stomach-turning moment in the film comes in the shape of a gadget meant to decapitate the subject if they aren’t able to fast slice off their leg and suck marrow from their gory stump.
Valentina (Paulette Hernandez), one of the thieves that helped Kramer scam money, is sitting in the trap.
What happens while Valentina struggles for her life may be the most ‘what the f**k’ scenario in Saw’s whole encyclopaedia, which is saying a lot.
Saw X, although being a tad lengthy and – believe it or not – fluffy at times, finesses the presence of an introspective guy underneath all the blood and guts, owing to Bell’s superb acting and a pretty subtle genesis story of sorts.
Synnve Macody Lund, who portrays key evil Cecilia Pederson, deserves a particular mention as well, although there’s no humanising a baddie of her stature.