Jigsaw is back for some all-new games in the hit 2023 sequel Saw X, and the movie has come home on physical media, including a feature commentary and more than three hours of bonus content.
So how do you make the 10th entry in a 20-year-old franchise feel at all fresh? The answer in this case is to wisely focus on the character of John Kramer himself, played brilliantly by a never-better Tobin Bell, in a story that takes place right after the events of the original 2004 Saw film and before those of the popular sequel Saw II. It’s no spoiler (it’s clearly spelled out in the trailer) that Kramer, reeling from his cancer diagnosis, falls for a miracle surgery scam in Mexico and soon enough makes all those who were in on it play twisted “games” to prove that they deserve to carry on living after profiting from false hope and lies to the dying.
Saw X also makes the smart choice of bringing back Kramer’s first apprentice and the first to ever successfully win one of his games, Amanda, played once again by an outstanding Shawnee Smith, who brings nuance and emotion to a role that she clearly relishes reprising.
This plot makes for an unexpectedly emotional first act, and allows audiences, many of which already consider Jigsaw to be more of a do-gooder than a villain, to wholeheartedly cheer on his traps being used on those who cheated him.
The 4K set that was provided to HDN by Lionsgate Home Entertainment features the main theatrical poster with the “eye trap” as the cover art, with an embossed slip case and the same art on the disc case, and it includes the Ultra HD disc, Blu-ray disc, and digital code.
The home entertainment physical media release of Saw X graciously includes a ton of bonus features, including a six-part feature length behind the scenes documentary called Reawakening, as well as over a dozen deleted and extended scenes, detailed breakdowns by director and editor Kevin Greutert (Saw VI, Saw 3D) on three key sequences, extensive makeup screen test videos from preproduction on all of the film’s traps, and the theatrical trailer, all of which totals more than three hours of extra material.
In addition to that highly informative and encompassing 90-minute documentary, the 4K disc also includes a feature commentary track with Greutert, cinematographer Nick Mathews, and production designer Anthony Stabley. Read on for some highlights of what we learned from both the Reawakening documentary and the feature commentary.
- The original title of the film, which was first conceived right after the release of 2017’s Jigsaw and prior to any discussion of Chris Rock’s Spiral: From the Book of Saw in 2021), was Saw IX: John Kramer, immediately signifying that this film would focus on Kramer the man far more than Jigsaw the myth.
- The producers and writer always knew they would come back to the John Kramer-focused idea after Spiral, explaining, “Everything stopped when Chris Rock wanted to do a Saw movie.”
- Much of the idea for Saw X came from a deleted Saw VI scene where John goes to his insurance company and pitches an experimental treatment that they refuse to cover, tying Part VI to X.
- The producers’ policy was always “we don’t endanger kids,” until X.
- Tobin Bell “pretty much writes his own dialogue.”
- Saw X was shot and lit to look like the earlier films, bringing back familiar techniques likes the circular dolly track.
- Longtime franchise composer Charlie Clouser explains in depth some the new sounds he explored in creating a fitting sonic atmosphere for this unique new entry in the series.
- This film used the genre gears Lionsgate logo that the studio created for the release of Saw II, marking the first time that opening logo was used in over 10 years.
- Greutert and Matthews paid much homage to Italian giallo horror with the lighting and various staging, including Cecilia’s abduction.
- Greutert states that he does not like the term movie “franchise” instead preferring to call it a “saga.” During the commentary, he says, “It’s not a business, it’s an art.”
- This is the first Saw movie to attempt to “humanize” John Kramer.
- Matthews’ use of the 1:85 aspect ration, rather than the wider ratio of more recent Saw films, was another attempt to make X look as close to Saw and Saw II as possible, and also because it allowed for closer shots that would showcase Kramer’s emotions better.
- Some of the film’s color pallet decisions were inspired by Dante’s Inferno.
- Saw X holds the “world record for hugs” in a Saw film, as Greutert calls the movie, “Saw with heart.”
- The already announced next film, Saw XI, coming this September, will most likely include another appearance of Cecilia, X‘s true villain who shockingly survives.
You can watch our Saw X 4K unboxing video below.
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