Saw X Was Great, Until the End

December 13, 2023 — Jt Spratley

I've been a fan of Liongate's Saw franchise for years, not because of the gore, but because of the stories behind the traps which influence victims' decisions. I know, many people have a hard time getting past the red room-esque murder scenes. Each Saw movie, including Chris Rock's "Spiral," has at least one sociopolitical theme that was prominent around the time of its release, though. Saw X, whether intentional or not, had some tropes that bother me. Spoilers ahead.

Themes in Saw Movies

Saw - cops unlawfully stalking civilians and the Patriot Act, which reminds me of TV show E-Ring Season 1, Episode 21.

Saw II - police brutality.

Saw III - overworked registered nurses (RNs).

Saw IV - first time responders doing job and letting go versus going above and beyond to genuinely helping people and follow up with them.

Saw V - corruption and mistrust between departments and connected agencies.

Saw VI - medical insurance coverage in the United States.

Saw 3D - more police brutality, mistrust, and politricking.

Jigsaw - past mistakes and major unforeseen consequences, and what can women get away with legally.

Saw XI - apparently in the works, to be determined.

Saw X, or Saw ESG

Getting to the point, I loved the movie up until the end. I enjoyed seeing John Kramer and Amanda Young together, fleshing out their story. Riding their emotional roller coasters in Saw X brought back memories from previous movies. The antagonists were interesting, and so were their relationship to the Jigsaw killer: scammers.

During the final act, the main antagonist and leader of the scammer group, a white woman, and her (presumably) white male lover fought to stick their head out of an air duct while the locked room is gassed. Yes, they could've worked together long enough to outlast the limited supply of poisonous gas. No, they didn't know that the gas was a limited amount. Anyway, she disarmed him, beat him up, and ended up beating the trap. I'm not saying a woman can't beat man in a fair fight. I am saying that in that short fight scene, given their body types and the fact that he had a gun, clumsily progressed to that result. The moment she started bashing his head against the table, I was expecting her to somehow win. When she did, Kramer and his protege left her there, alive. She received no comeuppance. This leaves fans to question where she was during the events of every Saw movie, excluding the first release.

After some credits, a scene starts with Kramer, protege and detective Mark Hoffman, and the black man, who introduced him to the scam, tied at the hands inside a room. Near the beginning of the movie, the man wore a convincing scar across his stomach to show and help trick Kramer. In the final scene, the fake scar was gone. The Jigsaw killers hung a clawing device around his neck which rested on his stomach. Then, we just hear him screaming. No trap. No cassette tape. No choices. Just an eerie smirk from the Jigsaw good'ol boys. That didn't sit well with me.

Dr. T. Hasan Johnson's hembrism video (definition and examples) mentioned how much mainstream media (MSM) is influenced by stakeholder capitalism and the super giant environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG). I'd forgotten about the ESG score. It is basically a massive propoganda enforcer that rewards companies who push certain narratives. Related to Saw X, that could include the small white woman overpowering a much bigger man, and surviving, and a black man being killed. Maybe its a reach. I don't think so, though.

Cybersecurity + Saw

There were some interesting bits in Saw X related to health information technology (health IT). All antagonists were social engineering John to some extent. Before he goes to meet the scammers, he sent them his health records. I don't know how much that would be worth on the dark web during whatever year this movie takes place. I do know that personal health information (PHI) includes a lot of personally identifable information (PII). In a deleted scene, Kramer boasts that Amanda became a competent hacker and coder since the events of Saw I and lectures the baddies about phishing, after someone talks about fishing.

Great movie except for the ending.

Tags: black-community, cybersecurity, movies

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