With Saw X right around the corner, its director revealed that number ten is aiming to clock in with a record-breaking runtime, making it the lengthiest film in the franchise.
Until now, the longest runtime in the Saw franchise was the third, coming in at 1 hour and 48 minutes. Right behind that is the original, which runs just a mere five minutes shorter.
The rest of the movies, including the two most recent installments (Jigsaw and Spiral), come in at breezy 90-minute affairs—give or take.
Saw X Aims to Be the Longest Installment Yet
At the Midsummer Scream 2023 convention in Long Beach, California, Saw X director Kevin Greutert teased the record-breaking length of the movie.
Greutert exclaimed how “there’s so much more to this film” and that “[he] think[s] it’s the longest Saw movie:”
“…There's so much more to this film than even the amazing amount that was there. I can say it's the most epic, and this might sound scary, but I think it's the longest ‘Saw’ movie... We don't waste. When we're editing a ‘Saw’ movie, we do not waste time. So the fact that it's long, I think, is a testament to just how well done it is.”
The director also expressed how “grateful” he was to Lionsgate “for the amount of attention that they put into bringing this movie out:”
“I'm so grateful to Lionsgate for the amount of attention that they put into bringing this movie out to you and letting everybody in the world know about it. And, you know, as much as this trailer shows, the thing that really blows me away is kind of how little it does at the same time. So, I think anybody who thinks, ‘Well, I've seen that movie now,’ is very, very wrong.”
Initially, Greutert admitted that he “had confidence” he didn’t previously have when making Saw VI (his first directorial debut in the series) and that Saw X “[feels] like the older Saw movies:”
“I think, you know, coming into this movie, I had confidence that I didn't necessarily have when I made ‘Saw VI’, that's my, as my first film. And so, really, I think one of the things you'll see when you look at this movie is there'll be a familiarity that, wow, the franchise is back. And it feels in a lot of great ways, like the older ‘Saw’ movies, but I like to think that we were all just... much better at it. And more experienced, and Tobin Bell, in particular, has spent so much time immersed in this character that he's kind of fleshed out, I think, about as far as any horror dude can be.”
The filmmaker then shared how Saw X “is a much more straightforward story than maybe people are used to:”
“Well, yeah, it's fun figuring out the narrative, puzzle, and intricacy of the whole thing. You know, again, this film, I don't think this is as complex. This is a much more straightforward story than maybe people are used to, but in a really good way, in a really good way. And because the whole thing takes place in the timeline between 'Saw 1' and '2'. We're not bending ourselves into weird contortions to include the Tobin [Bell's] character in the story. So I think anybody who's never seen this movie will watch and understand and enjoy this.”
Joining the director as panelists were franchise producer Oren Koules, cinematographer Nick Matthews, and production designer Anthony Stabley.
On top of a moderated discussion on stage, the production team of Saw X also took questions from the fans—but not too much was revealed.
Many fans took the chance to ask big questions, such as if audiences will ever find out what happened to Mark Hoffman after Saw 3D—to which Greutert sternly replied, “I’m not going to answer that.”
Though, the team did confirm that there will be some answers to long-standing questions at some point in Saw X.
One person asked the panelists if they’d ever considered continuing the franchise without Tobin Bell, to which Koules simply stated that it “honestly has never crossed [their] minds.”
Admittedly, it is hard to believe that is the case since Spiral was an attempt at continuing the franchise without relying on Bell’s infamous Jigsaw.
Another Midsummer Scream 2023 attendee asked them why they chose to set Saw X between Saw I and II. Koules admitted that they wanted to “do more of what [they] like the most about this franchise:”
“… I think it's really those early films [that] are what the Saw audience really loves the most and frankly, me as well. So we just figured, let's do more of what we like the most about this franchise. “
How Does Saw X Benefit From a Longer Film?
So what exactly does a longer Saw movie mean?
Well, it's hard to say for sure. Perhaps it means that the tenth Saw film's runtime could contain more traps than any other installment.
It could also be an opportunity for the franchise to take its time telling the story, as the franchise’s plot is usually moving at breakneck speed.
With how personal Saw X seems, there’ll no doubt be plenty of storytelling meat on its metaphorical bones. With the inclusion of Shawnee Smith’s Amanda Young, the film will probably dedicate plenty of time to fleshing out her dynamic with Tobin Bell’s Jigsaw.
Of course, another quality of a longer Saw movie could also translate into longer trap sequences—more time for the victims to react and deal with their circumstances or maybe directly interact with Jigsaw himself if the new trailer is any indication.
Saw X is set to hit theaters on September 29.