Saw X director Kevin Greutert explained what exactly the post-credits scene from his horror epic was supposed to mean.
After the events of the tenth film come to a close (albeit not a hard and fast one), fans are treated to a post-credits stinger—something that has never happened with the initial theatrically-released version of a Saw film (Saw VI's director's cut includes one end-credits tag.
In an exclusive interview with The Direct's Russ Milheim, Saw X director Kevin Greutert was asked if he could elaborate on the reasons for including a post-credits stinger which makes for a historic first for the franchise. Greutert explained quite simply, "it's really just a tease:"
“Well, it's really just a tease. For the audience. What the rules of that game would be? Well, we'll never know.”
Warning - The rest of this article contains plot spoilers for Saw X
In the scene itself, audiences were transported back to the iconic bathroom from the first film, where Tobin Bell's John Kramer and Costas Mandylor’s Hoffman have another victim. The poor soul is none other than Henry Kessler (played by Michael Beach), the fellow cancer support group member who first informed John about the miracle treatment in Mexico seen earlier in the film.
The twist? Well, audiences don't actually get to see the trap play out—at all.
While Hoffman shows up in the post-credits scene, he is never given a substantial role in the sequel. But was there ever a time when including him alongside Amanda Young was considered? According to the director, that "was never really considered:"
“... Having them together was never really considered. Hoffman's role is pretty small in this film, and they're not even in the same country.”
The conversation then pivoted to deleted traps. Over the years, fans have heard how traps that didn't make it into a Saw movie might eventually be considered in a future installment.
Was that the case for any of the devices that made their debut in Saw X? Greutert admitted he wasn't aware of any and that he "can't think of any real examples" of the situation occurring in past films either:
“No, not that I'm aware of. In fact, I know that I've heard talk of this sort of thing on fan forums, but I can't think of any real examples.”
On the topic of traps, at Midsummer Scream 2023, the director revealed to attendees that there was a scene in Saw X that was potentially his favorite in the franchise. Its direct competitor was the haunting carousel trap in Saw VI.
The moment sees six people chained to a rotating carousel that rotates, one person at a time until each comes face-to-face with a gun that will go off. The only way to avoid that fate is for their boss, who is the one going through Jigsaw's tests in the movie, to press a button to make it fire into the ceiling—something he can only do twice.
When asked what scene might have trumped the big Saw VI trap, Greutert took a moment to talk about the carousel, which he noted "is its own beast:"
“Well… the carousel is its own beast, you know, you've got seven different characters simultaneously behaving in a Jigsaw test. And, you know, that was a huge undertaking for me as a director and an editor. We went way over schedule shooting it and you know, loved it, like loved what we were doing as we went along… Shawn Mathieson the actor, I can't remember the character's name, but he took me aside. He's like, what if I do it like this, ‘you look at me when you're killing me!’ Like that whole monologue that he does was such a great piece of inspiration. And I was like, Oh, hell yeah, you're gonna do it that way. That was great.”
The filmmaker went on to reveal the scene he referenced at Midsummer Scream 2023 was "when we first find ourselves in that main location where everybody kind of meets everybody else for real:"
“So the scene that for me, in ['Saw X'], is comparable isn't that comparable, but it's when we first find ourselves in that main location where everybody kind of meets everybody else for real, if you know, I mean, and it's a long scene, the original cut was a lot longer. And then it culminates in one of the Jigsaw tests.”
The director admitted the long sequence was "very hard to do," and that "there are so many characters in the scene," which goes on to "hit a very high emotional pitch:"
“And it was a huge challenge, because there are so many characters in the scene, it hit a very high emotional pitch for, you know, what's something like 12 minutes of action, and there's so much coverage that I had to get in order to make that scene work. And then, even though the challenge itself, or the trap itself is only one person, it was just very hard to do.”
He expressed he's "very proud of it," and he worked on "nothing but that scene for two weeks" while editing:
“And the actress did such a great job sort of selling the experience of the character, that, to me, that's like the most interesting scene that I've ever shot. And in any film, I think. Could just be my own opinion, but I just loved it. And when I, it took me two weeks to edit that scene. Like I've worked on nothing but that scene for two weeks or the 10 weeks that I had to cut the film. And so I'm just very proud of it.”
The Saw Trap Fans Will Never See?
It’s extremely rare that fans are shown a fully designed Saw trap without seeing it go off.
The closest example can be seen in Saw 3D when the story briefly cuts to two victims hanging over a bunch of spinning lawn mower blades. But very little is seen, and most of the details remain a mystery to audiences, including who built this Jigsaw test and when it all occurred.
At least with Saw X, fans know why Michael Beach’s Henry Kessler is there. But the tease of the trap, which looks intriguing, to say the least, really makes one wonder what he has to do to survive.
Kevin Greutert seems pretty confident that there are no plans to see the trap play out more on-screen, which is a shame. At the very least, it would have been nice to see how the inventive trap functioned.
At the very least, it was nice to see Costas Mandylor’s Hoffman once again. Many fans likely wish that he could have been a bigger part of the movie.
Hopefully, if this film gets a proper sequel, Hoffman can return—potentially alongside Amanda Young, so that fans can see more of their dynamic and relationship.
Saw X is now playing in theaters.