The medical system is a confusing and frustrating labyrinth. You can’t blame anyone for being frustrated with the difficulties of obtaining basic care. And when the situation is life or death, things get even more difficult in a system that never seems to have a patient’s best interests in mind.
But if that patient is John Kramer, aka Jigsaw, the outcome of a fraught medical situation might be messy… for the caregivers. Make that "caregivers." In SAW X, Kramer seeks treatment for cancer only to find that he's been had. Soon the scamming pseudo-docs who lied to Kramer are caught up in their own violent and horrifying labyrinth. Here's the first trailer and everything we know about SAW X.
When Does Saw X Come Out?
Lionsgate will release SAW X in movie theatres on September 29. It was originally set for a late October release, but Lionsgate pulled it up to the end of September.
Watch the First Saw X Trailer
Warning: the first SAW X trailer is pretty gory! Not that we'd expect anything different. Since this chapter takes place between the first and second movies, we're deep in the vibe of early-2000s horror. These movies were mean, and SAW X looks like it keeps that front of mind.
The Prime Saw
There has never been a franchise quite like SAW. The original was a grungy, low-budget horror riff on SEVEN that blew people’s minds in two different directions. On one hand, you had the novel idea of horribly violent traps designed not to kill, but to test a resolve to survive. (Of course, not many characters had that resolve.) On the other, the film boasted a wild twist ending. SAW was a huge success.
That was just the beginning. In sequels, the SAW franchise doubled back on itself, telling branching stories within a narrow, parallel timespan that kept Tobin Bell’s newly-iconic Jigsaw character onscreen after (spoiler!) the guy died in the third movie.
Even as the narrative leaps required to keep the story moving became drastic, the effort was fun to behold. We never knew how wild the story would get. And then, after a rollercoaster seven-movie run, it ended.
From Saw to Spiral
A franchise as popular as SAW won't ever really end. In 2017 came JIGSAW. (No sequel numbers here.) It wasn't exactly in line with the first seven entries, but it’s not a completely different thing either.
The movie features a bunch of traps, a cop hopelessly trying to stop a game without knowing he’s actually a participant, and it has Jigsaw in all his "how did they bring him back this time" glory. Pretty much all it lacks is chronological fealty to the first seven films.
Then Chris Rock brought his own SAW movie idea to Lionsgate. And so we got SPIRAL, a sidequel in which Jigsaw does exist but is not present. The movie focuses on cops, played by Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, who investigate Jigsaw-influenced murders that they may have a personal connection to.
It’s a lot of fun to see something like SAW through a completely different set of eyes. For that alone SPIRAL has a lot of value. It also proved that you don’t necessarily need Jigsaw to make a SAW film. But it also lacked sequel potential. So what's next? Rumors have flown about a proper new SAW sequel, and it turns out they're true!
Now, Jigsaw Returns
The new SAW film is called SAW X, which is a bit confusing given some comments that were made in 2021. Then, SPIRAL director Darren Lynn Bousman said, "Just because we made SPIRAL doesn't mean SAW ceases to exist… This is not the ninth film in the SAW franchise. There easily could be a SAW IX that follows Jigsaw. I think they're waiting to see how SPIRAL goes and how audiences respond to determine what happens next."
At Cinemacon in April 2023, the SAW X title was revealed. So it turns out that SPIRAL was the ninth SAW movie after all! It's probably just easier that way.
When Does Saw X Take Place?
The announcement that Tobin Bell will return as Jigsaw led to one big question: How? The trailer makes clear that this is set between the first two SAW movies. So it is essentially one big flashback — not a first for this series! We do not know if there will be any wraparound story set in the present day.
The basic story is, "A sick and desperate John Kramer (Tobin Bell) travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure in hopes of a miracle cure for his cancer." After watching the trailer, we know how that works out.
The Cast of Saw X
In addition to Tobin Bell, the flashback nature of SAW X means that another classic character can return: Amanda Young, played by scream queen Shawnee Smith. That's a great bonus!
Additionally, the cast features new characters played by Synnove Lund, Steven Brand, Renata Vaca, Paulette Hernandez, Octavia Hinojosa, Joshua Okamoto, and Michael Beach.
There's a lot more we don’t know about this movie, and given the love for twist endings in previous movies, that is unlikely to change until we all get to see it for ourselves. We don’t know how they’re going to pull this off, but we're eager to find out.
SAW X opens in September.
All images courtesy of Lionsgate.