Let the games begin. Saw X is here to serve up more violent contraptions, psychological warfare, and stomach-turning reveals. The tenth installment in the long-running horror franchise is technically a “midquel,” taking place between 2004’s Saw, which launched the series, and 2005’s Saw II, which gave audiences more insight into the motivations and mindset of John Kramer, the Jigsaw Killer played with such twisted aplomb by Tobin Bell.
Bell reprises his diabolical role in Saw X, and he gets more screen time than ever before, with much of the story unfolding from his perspective as he seeks treatment for the brain cancer which forms a crucial plot point in several of the other Saw movies.
Critics seem largely impressed by this most recent chapter in the series, with Bell’s performance garnering particular praise. Frank Scheck at the Hollywood Reporter applauded Bell’s “riveting” presence and “menacing gravitas,” and applauded the “fiendishly clever” franchise as a whole for managing to make audiences feel sympathy for such a deplorable villain.
It seems that there is plenty of life left yet in these blood-drenched, bone-crunching movies. So, does this mean there will be a Saw XI? And might a post-credits scene provide some clue as to the future of the franchise?
Is there a post-credits scene in Saw X?
Yes! And like many other franchise movies, this does set up another sequel. Kind of.
Remember, the action of this film occurs between the first and second movies. However, the mid-credits stinger does bring back a well-known character who had not yet appeared at this point in the series chronology.
Spoilers follow for Saw X.
The film’s main plot follows Jigsaw’s elaborate quest for revenge against the con artists who tricked him into paying for an “experimental” cancer treatment in Mexico which turned out to be fake. He is aided throughout the movie by his apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith), who has appeared in previous movies. However, it isn’t until the mid-credits sequence that we see what became of Henry (Michael Beach), who first lured Jigsaw into the scam.
Henry suffers a suitably gruesome fate, but it is not Amanda helping Jigsaw this time, but Mark Hoffman, played by Costas Mandylor. Hoffman was first introduced as a police officer in Saw III, and eventually revealed to be another one of Jigsaw’s students in Saw IV. He would continue to appear as a villain in Saw V, Saw VI, and Saw 3D. And as another fun Easter egg, the scene takes place in the same dilapidated bathroom that provided the setting for the original Saw.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Kevin Greutert said the moment is “probably the most fan servicey thing that we did in this film.” And in a post-screening Q&A, producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules teased that this will set up an eleventh movie focusing on Hoffman’s character.
“Oren and myself are superstitious so we never talk about another movie until this movie opens,” said Burg. “But should this movie open well, and should Lionsgate want to make another one, that’s exactly where we’re going with the next one.”
Koules added: “One of the things that we’ve read a lot about is that Jigsaw always seems so ahead of everybody. So one of the tricks in this movie that we wanted to show is that he’s been dealing with Detective Hoffman for a long time. So when he’s been ahead of everybody – and knows things that people are doing – it’s a little nugget for the fans to realize that he’s been talking to Detective Hoffman a lot earlier than we previously saw him in a movie.”
Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.