Though Tobin Bell’s John “Jigsaw” Kramer died at the end of Saw 3, the grisly horror franchise has had no trouble keeping him around, either via flashbacks or through several disciples and imitators. Saw X, due out at the end of the month, puts Kramer back in the spotlight by winding back the clock and placing itself between the first two saw films.
Even in death, Bell’s Jigsaw is part of the whole appeal of the franchise, something director Kevin Greutert seems to understand. In a recent interview with Empire Magazinehe hyped up the film by saying it would feature Kramer “more than in any other Saw. Kramer is the canter of the story.” The only movie in the franchise to not feature Bell was in Spiral: From the Book of Saw (which he executive produced) back in 2021, which Greutert simply called a “pretty gutsy move.”
In keeping with the promise of more Kramer, Greutert went on to describe Saw X as “an emotional journey that you go on with John Kramer, and less a slaughterhouse that you experience from the point of view of the victims.” The film revolves around Kramer’s revenge plot against the medical staff who scammed him out of his money as he was looking for a cure for his cancer, which makes it natural that he gets the most screentime yet across the series. And with a simple revenge story at work here, Greutert said things will be more simple than more previous installments—not to the level of the original Saw, but pretty close.
A semi-back to basics approach is all in service of making Kramer feel righteous as he puts these people through his deadly games. “The more that the audience can get the sense that a smart engineer – which he is – could figure out what to do with these parts and make it work, the better,” added Greutert. His hope for him is that the Kramer focus and pulling things back to be “somewhat more realistic” will satisfy longtime fans and possibly bring some new sickos into the fold. “Obviously there will be people that can’t handle it, but I think it has a good chance of appealing to people beyond gore freaks.”
Saw X is expected to hit theaters on September 29.
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