Returning to form is often a wise choice when you take into consideration a prequel like Saw X (2023). Instead of going back to that nasty bathroom, we focus on the events before Saw II that took place primarily in Mexico. John Kramer (Tobin Bell) takes revenge on a group of medical scammers, who try to trick him into believing they’ve cured him of his cancer. Naturally, when John figures out they screwed him and many other people over, he takes his revenge. Of course, there is social commentary surrounding medical scams and the insidiousness underbelly of the healthcare system. And there’s also a lot of blood as well as gruesome death scenes in Saw X. It wouldn’t be a Saw film without those!
The grit and grime and gore (GGG if you will) are an integral part of the Saw franchise. Therefore, focusing on the deaths in this 10th installment only feels right. You know? There aren’t a copious amount of deaths in the film, certainly not compared to other entries, but they are gruesome enough. And that’s how I’m ranking them!
Plenty of horror films have nothing characters that just barely serve the plot. Parker (Steven Brand) happens to fall into that category. Does he at least get an interesting death? I’m afraid not. When he shows up again in the film after his brief introduction, it’s obvious he’ll die somehow. However, the way he dies could have been more creative, surely. John and Amanda thwart him and his lover/main antagonist, Cecilia (Synnøve Macody Lund) and in order to survive, Cecilia stabs him and lets him breathe in the poisonous gas filling the room. It’s the least gruesome when you compare it to the other deaths in the film.
Sure, it’s horrific to be forced to perform brain surgery on yourself and then have your face roasted by a mask that heats up. The only problem is that the gruesomeness isn’t fully shown, and we’re not left with an ounce of aftermath. Mateo’s death isn’t an easy one, but due to the lack of visuals and just implication as to what’s happening to him, he lands lower on the list. If we had seen the violence, it would be easier to rank it higher.
Sign-up for Letters From The Psychopomp
a weekly letter from The Psychopomp about Death, and the latest from Psychopomp.com:
When taking into consideration all the tested characters in this entry, Gabriela (Renata Veca) is the character that deserved her fate the least. Her addiction was exploited, and she was taken advantage of by Cecilia because of her struggles with substance. Her death is one that’s even more unsettling because she survived (if you can count exposure to radiation and a near death physical state) her trap. But her neck is crushed by Cecilia when she’s revealed to be the primary antagonist of the film. It might not seem as gruesome, but it genuinely is.
It’s one thing to barely survive your trap, but to be so close and fail is even worse. There’s no arguing that Valentina (Paulette Hernández) gets it the worst in this film. The act of sawing off your own leg without any anesthesia is enough to make anyone want to pass out. But going through the hoops of extracting bone marrow for the trap to avoid decapitation was never going to be an easy feat. Ultimately, Valentina going through the excruciating pain of sawing off her own leg was for nothing. And she ends up decapitated by a Gigli saw. It’s gruesome, and the way her body crumbles makes for nutty visuals.