With the release of Saw X this weekend, longtime fans of the series are celebrating. The movie is getting rave reviews from horror fans seeing it early, including our own review here. It’s always an achievement when a series can hit ten entries. When you go this deep, including the twisting, twisted narrative of the Saw series, going back to basics is always welcome. That’s exactly what Saw X does. It brings back franchise steward and hero/villain John Kramer for a story set between Saw and Saw II. Naturally, that means Amanda (Shawnee Smith) is also back. The possibilities are endless between the movies we already have. Jigsaw has been operating for quite a long time, and there are plenty of other murders in between to focus on.
The Saw series has an electric fanbase that latches on to anything and everything the franchise puts out, good or bad. Unlike other horror fans of series like Halloween, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, A Nightmare on Elm Street, or even Leprechaun, they all seem to enjoy the movies, even the worse ones, in their own ways. It’s refreshing to see fans look at a movie like Saw 3D or Saw: The FInal Chapter, depending on what you call it, and still see some things about it that are worthy of talking about. There’s no Halloween Ends type discourse here, with fans lobbing bombs around at people who either love it or hate it.
So why is that the case besides a bunch of people who enjoy seeing people who have wronged others stuck in demonic traps that are designed to inflict as much pain as possible? Well, it might have to do with the legacy and motivations of the series’ main character, John Kramer.
John Kramer Never Directly Kills Any Of His Victims
That is something that Saw X really hits home for audiences. It makes sure to tell you, John Kramer might be psychotic, he might be evil, but he always gives his victims a choice. That choice might be two really horrific options that require mangling your body in increasingly ungodly ways, but they get a choice.
That’s the crux of all the crazy things that go on involving Jigsaw and his various legions of copycats, proteges, and anything else. It might not be a hard rule of the series like Batman, but this latest chapter of the franchise hammers it home. The series is mean, nasty, violent, brutal, and grisly, but it always comes out with its own style. Outside of Spiral: From The Book Of Saw, the series has always kept to its guns regarding style, tone, and traps. Even Spiral had traps. It just had a much more narrative-driven story that tried creating an anthology-style entry.
The other thing that permeates through the series is a sense of mystery. Like a fucked up Columbo or Poirot, Jigsaw is always two-steps ahead of his victims. Saw X applies that philosophy to great effect with John Kramer and his round of con-artist “medical doctors”.
Thunderous Reaction Delights Fans
I wasn’t sold on this whole idea before I saw the reaction from Saw fans at the Midsummer Scream Saw X panel. It was thunderous. I’ve been in the room for Marvel trailers at Comic-Con, and this was a similar type reaction. Saw X isn’t your traditional tenth entry crap-job from a long-running horror series. It knows what fans want out of these movies and delivers it in spades. It might be high-time for other horror franchises to take a look at what Saw has been doing so well for so long.
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