What are the Saw X traps? Would it even be a Saw movie if there weren’t the most horrific torture devices imaginable? Absolutely not. If there’s anything the Saw movies have going for them, it’s the ability to cause collective shock and horror among its audience.
The new Saw movie, Saw X, doesn’t skip out on this feature. This time, John Kramer uses his traps as a revenge tool when he’s scammed out of money by a fake cancer treatment program. One by one, he takes those who tricked him and puts them through the usual ringer, making this one of the goriest new movies of 2023. Hey, when you watch the Saw movies in order, it’s to be expected.
So what are all the new traps in Saw X, and who are they used on? Well, we’ve left no bloody stone unturned when it comes to breaking down Jigsaw’s new toys. Here are all the Saw X traps, victims, and deaths explained, with our rating of how horrible each one was. (Warning: Major spoilers for Saw X ahead, and prepare for some graphic details.)
The Eyeball Vacuum Trap (Custodian)
This is the trap you’ve no doubt seen across the board in the horror movie‘s marketing. It’s on the poster, for god’s sake. You may not need to think about this one too hard, given the name, but we’ll break it down for you. When John Kramer sees a custodian in the hospital rummaging through their unconscious patient’s personal belongings, he imagines a trap that takes care of his “sticky fingers.”
The trap involves the custodian strapped to a chair with each of his fingers attached to a mechanism. Attached to his eyes are two long rubber tubes which link to a vacuum. There’s also a dial by his hand, and he’s told by Jigsaw that he must crank the dial to ‘5’ within 60 seconds to escape.
He quickly finds out that each time he cranks the dial up, one of his fingers is pulled back and broken. He turns the dial slowly, with each of his fingers painfully breaking as he does so. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get to ‘5’, and has his eyes sucked out of his head. As we said, this is all in John’s imagination, and the custodian actually sees him, leaves the items, and walks past with a cheeky comment from John, who says: “Good choice.”
Gore factor: 8/10. In our opinion, self-induced broken bones, for some reason, are so much worse than anything else.
The Arm Bomb Trap (Diego)
After John Kramer discovers that his medical team is actually a bunch of scammers, he goes about plucking them from the streets and putting them into his traps. The first is Diego, the cabdriver who took him to the house and later posed as a surgeon. When he wakes up, he’s tied up in rope with bombs embedded into his forearms and scalpels taped to his hands.
When he cuts himself free and steps forward, the bombs are activated, and he has only a few minutes to surgically remove the bombs before they detonate. He makes a real mess of his arms, but he manages to do so within seconds of them going off. Needless to say, these limbs are ruined either way.
Gore factor: 7/10. Gory, for sure, but not the most imaginative of Jigsaw’s traps, we think.
The Bone Marrow Extractor Trap (Valentina)
Valentina, who posed as a nurse, is strapped to a mechanism that has a wire stretched in front of her neck. Jigsaw tells her that she must cut her own leg off and extract the bone marrow using a suction tool. By her side, there’s a weighted mechanism that will set her free. She has to extract the correct amount of bone marrow in order for the trap to stop working.
In the most painful-looking trap of the movie, Valentina has to saw through her leg and suck out the marrow. She succeeds in finding the strength to remove her leg, but she doesn’t manage to get enough marrow out in time to stop the timer. Basically, her head gets chopped off. As you can imagine, it’s pretty graphic.
Gore factor: 9/10. Incredibly unpleasant and wildly visceral. Admittedly, it had us looking away.
The Brain Surgery Trap (Mateo)
Mateo, who posed as the anesthesiologist in John’s ‘surgery’, gets a pretty grizzly end. He’s strapped to a chair with his head entrapped, and is given surgical instruments by (you guessed it) Billy the Puppet! He’s told that he must do brain surgery on himself and extract some brain matter. Now, this is where things get a little muddy, because it’s not quite clear what the brain matter does.
He’s supposed to drop it into a vile of acidic solution, which will then dissolve it and move the dial (good luck guessing how that works), eventually unlocking the key to the trap if he does it in time. Incredibly, Mateo does manage to perform brain surgery on himself while strapped to the chair, but doesn’t quite manage to dissolve the brain matter in time. Because of this, the head trap snaps shut, revealing the imprint of an ancient statue that was pointed out to John earlier in the movie.
Heaters start to work, and while we don’t see it, it’s obvious that Mateo was, essentially, fried. Not exactly the result you want when you’ve just operated on yourself.
Gore factor: 6/10. Mateo’s actual death is obscured, and probably wouldn’t bother you if you’re okay with the idea of surgery.
The Radiation Suspension Trap (Gabriela)
Ah, Gabriela. For a minute there, it looks as if she might just catch the sympathy of John or Amanda enough to get free, but no dice. John doesn’t give people freedom unless they earn it, and Gabriela is put to the test when she’s suspended from the ceiling by shackles on her wrist and ankle. She’s targeted by a radiation machine, which gradually increases in severity.
She must free herself from the shackles if she wants to escape without being burned alive. She’s given a hammer, and realizes that she must break her wrist and ankle in order to get out. It’s hard (obviously), but she manages it. She falls to the ground, severely burned, but alive. That is, until, Cecelia later steps on her neck and breaks it.
Gore factor: 5/10. The radiation trap is brutal, but tamer than traps we’ve seen before.
The Bloodboarding Trap (John and Carlos)
The bloodboarding trap is a slight misdirect on John’s part. We assume this trap was being saved for Cecilia, but there are spaces for two people on the platform. This all comes into play when Cecilia and Parker overthrow John and Amanda and have John and the local boy, Carlos, strap themselves in instead. There’s no real logic as to why Cecilia would suddenly want to kill a literal child, but hey, this is Saw X! Logic is optional!
John and Carlos are strapped to opposite sides of a see-saw platform with levers on either side. Tubes come out of the ceiling and begin pouring blood down onto their faces, waterboarding them. John pulls the lever on his side, and it’s revealed that the platform can tilt to get one side (his) lifted out of the way, leaving the other person to drown.
Frankly, it’s pretty horrific seeing an innocent child be at the mercy of Jigsaw’s trap, and perhaps a step too far. That said, we’ll save you the worry now and tell you that he survives. John and Carlos take turns to tilt the platform, ensuring they each get equal time to breathe until the trap shuts off when the other, secret trap is activated.
Gore factor: 7/10. It’s not strictly gory (aside from the buckets of blood), but seeing a child in the mix is disturbing and, honestly, a little unnecessary, in our opinion.
The Poison Room Trap (Cecilia and Parker)
What’s that, you say? A secret trap? Well, you can’t underestimate John Kramer. When Cecilia and Parker think they’ve got the upper hand, they go into John’s ‘office’ and take back the bag of money they’ve scammed from their poor victims. But when they grab the money bag from the shelf, it activates a timer and locks them in the room. It also turns off the bloodboarding trap, setting John and Carlos free.
The room begins to quickly fill with a poisonous vapor which burns their skin and chokes them. They can’t get out, but there is a small hole in the wall that they can stick their head through, giving them space to breath. Of course, there’s only one hole, so they battle it out to see who gets to live. Cecilia stabs Parker and saves herself, but she’s still stuck in the room, and the implication is that John ends up leaving her there to die.
Gore factor: 3/10. This didn’t have us looking away or running for the bathroom, since there’s little to no gore.
The Belly Claw Trap (Henry)
This one takes place during the Saw X post-credit scene, but it still counts. The additional scene reveals that John also got hold of Henry, the man from his cancer support group who first introduced him to the fake medical treatment, and he decides to give him the latter the scar that he had originally faked from his made-up surgery.
In order to do this, he attaches a device to him while he’s strung up from the ceiling. Attached to the device are a series of sharp claws that start to move, and although the scene cuts away, it’s implied that they will cut into his stomach and give him the scar for real this time.
Gore factor: 1/10. Since the scene cuts away before any damage is actually done, there’s nothing really to show.
There you have it — all the Saw X traps explained. You can find out more with our Saw X review, or check out our guides for the Saw X age rating and when Saw X takes place. There’s also a breakdown of all the best body horror movies, if you’re looking for more gore. Don’t miss our list of the best horror movies, as well as the best movies of all time.
We’ve also got explainers on future releases, like The Exorcist: Believer release date and the Five Nights at Freddy’s release date. Or, for a change of pace, take a look at our feature on why PG-13 horror can be great.