“”We made this for the fans!” is a defense frequently trotted out in the face of critiques of franchise films.
“However, there’s perhaps no more apt a description of Saw X than something crafted specifically for longtime viewers. Which is not to say that it’s impenetrable to outsiders — though 10 entries in, you probably know whether or not Saw is for you — but rather, that it’s built on the kind of meta-textual adoration that only long-time devotees could have for a twisted serial killer who once audited freshman Philosophy 101.
“Saw X isn’t just good; it’s good in a way that none of the other Saw films have been. This doesn’t mean it ranks above the best of them per se, but rather that it appears alongside them in a parallel column, a differentiation in style and substance that become necessary in order to discuss it at all.”
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