Saw X: All of the traps explained

Daisy Phillipson
Still from Saw X

Halloween might be over, but that’s no reason to stop bingeing horror. Following the release of the anticipated Saw X, here are all of the brutal traps explained.

The Reverse Bear Trap, The Needle Pit, The Rack, The Pound of Flesh – these names are enough to send shivers down the spine of any Saw fan, referring to some of the most horrific traps from the franchise

Producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules previously told Dexerto that Saw X will “go back to the traps of the early movies that were less complicated,” describing them as simple yet “scary as hell” – and they certainly delivered on their promise. 

Saw X has some of its most brutal traps to date, and we’re here to explain each and every one in gory detail in the order they appear in the film. Let’s get into it. Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Saw X!

Eye Vacuum Trap

Perhaps you remember this from the early promotional material for Saw X – a poor soul whose eyes are attached to two suctioning devices. This is the Eyeball Vacuum Trap, which sees a hospital cleaner with “sticky fingers” caught up in one of Jigsaw’s games. 

The rules are simple: all he has to do is turn a dial five times in order to avoid having his eyes sucked out of his head. The catch? His hand is attached to an intricate device, and with each turn of the dial, his fingers are snapped backwards. 

Unfortunately for him, the pain is just too much to bear and his eyeballs get ripped out in graphic fashion. However, as one of the earliest twists in the movie, Saw X reveals that this whole scene is simply in Kramer’s head – as soon as it’s over, we see the hospital cleaner deciding to do the right thing and put the patient’s belongings back into their drawer.

As he walks out of the room, Kramer’s there to let him know he made a “good choice.”

Pipe Bomb Trap

Joshua Okamoto in Saw X as Diego

First in the firing line is Diego, the taxi driver who’s in on a scam that fools Kramer into parting ways with $250,000 in exchange for a “miracle” cure for his cancer. When Kramer catches on to the fact that he’s been duped, he sets up a series of sinister games for the fraudsters to teach them a lesson. 

Diego’s Pipe Bomb Trap sees him wake up to find he’s tied up with scalpels duct-taped to his hands. When he uses them to cut the rope around his chest, he sets off a three-minute timer – and so the game begins. 

In those three minutes, he’s got to use the scalpels to cut two pipe bombs that have been surgically implanted into his forearms. After a tense and gory struggle, Diego manages to detach the second pipe bomb using his teeth to help rip it out, kicking it to the side just before they both explode. 

In his messed up way, Kramer shows his empathy as soon as he sees Diego survives, bringing him a medical kit and reassuring him he’s “going to be okay.”

Bone Marrow Trap

Paulette Hernández in Saw X as Valentina

Next up is Valentina, the supposed “nurse” who is actually a sex worker, and one who was set for a big payday for her involvement in scamming Kramer – but this is cut short when she is made to play a game. Valentina’s Bone Marrow Trap is the first to unfold in front of the other players, including Dr Cecilia Pederson, Gabriela, and Mateo

It also might be one that generates the most visceral reaction, as she is left with two grisly choices. The first option is grim: she’s got to cut off her entire leg (from the upper thigh) using a Gigli saw wire, shove a bone marrow suction device into the open wound, and suck out enough marrow to activate the release of a key to free herself. 

But the second option is death. You see, she’s strapped into a frame with another saw wire in the direction of her neck. If she fails to extract enough bone marrow in the three-minutes she’s given, the frame pulls back and decapitates her. 

Watching her painstakingly pull the Gigli saw back and forth as it tears through her flesh is vomit-inducing stuff, and the same goes for when she starts suctioning marrow out of her bone. Despite managing to slice her entire leg off, Valentina runs out of time at the last second and she is decapitated, becoming the first casualty of Saw X. 

Brain Surgery Trap

Still from Saw X

Being one of the central figures in the scam against Kramer, Mateo doesn’t get off lightly when it comes to his game. As is shown in the trailer, he’s wheeled out to the other players in a device that has two components to the side of his head and a series of wires around the top like a crown. 

Billy the Puppet then makes his grand entrance by wheeling in a series of surgical tools and one of the infamous Saw tape players, which explains that Mateo must drill into his own skull and cut out a piece of gray matter, aka a piece of his brain. When he’s done this, he must place the sample into a vat of acid, creating a reaction that will generate enough weight to release a key and allow Mateo to free himself. 

While Mateo pretended to be an anesthesiologist during the scam – he’s actually a drug dealer – Kramer tells him that he won’t be allowed to use any anesthetic for his own personal brain surgery. “Trust me, you will want to remain alert,” he says. 

Just like Valentina’s trap, audiences are subjected to a grueling scene as Mateo manages to drill through his skull and dissect his own brain. And just like Valentina, he just about misses the three-minute time limit. This causes the two pieces of the contraption to close shut, forming a mask in the shape of a Mexican statue Kramer sees earlier on in the film but with burning hot filaments on the inside. His head essentially singes and Mateo screams in agony before dying, making him the second victim. 

Radiation Therapy Trap

Still from Saw X

In her trap, Gabriela comes face-to-face with a reality facing so many cancer patients: radiation therapy. The key difference here is she’s chained up by her arm and foot, suspending her in the air, and the radiation machine is directed at her face and turned up to 11. 

The machine starts off at a normal level, with Gabriela being told that she must use a tool in front of her to break her foot and hand in order to free herself from the chains, or else she’ll be subjected to a lethal dose of radiation. At first, she refuses to play along, at which point the machine turns up, causing burns to her face. 

Eventually, she starts bashing away at her foot, managing to get out of the shackles and swing away from the radiation beams. Although she takes a moment to catch her breath, the machine maneuvers so it’s once again in her direction, meaning she has little time to break her hand. 

After a brutal few moments, she finally gets out and falls to the ground, surviving Jigsaw’s game. In a cruel twist of fate, however, Dr Cecilia Pederson later manages to overpower Kramer and his accomplice Amanda Young and ends up murdering Gabriela to make a point – don’t worry, she gets her comeuppance. 

Blood Waterboarding Trap

Still from Saw X

As said, Cecilia manages to overpower Kramer and Amanda with the help of her boyfriend Parker Sears – who we discover has been secretly in on the scam this whole time. Cecilia forces Kramer to play the final game, and she even makes a young local boy who Kramer befriended earlier on to take part. 

Strapping the chains around their necks, the pair are tied down to the floor of a platform, with little wiggle room other than to reach for a lever that’s beside them – one that Kramer tells the boy not to pull. The platform raises up before two pistons come down, and blood starts spurting out of them, effectively waterboarding them but with the red stuff. 

The reason Kramer tells the boy not to pull the lever is because it causes the other person’s platform to lift up, moving them away from the river of blood. In other words, Kramer doesn’t want the boy to suffer and is willing to sacrifice himself. He pulls it instead, allowing the kid to breathe. However, he realizes what’s happening and decides to do the same for Kramer, with the two embarking on a back and forth in a bid to save each other. 

As this is going on, Cecilia and Parker go looking for the money they earned from their fraudster scheme, believing it’s upstairs in the room where Kramer’s been keeping a watchful eye on the game. However, this activates the start of the real final game and puts an end to the Blood Waterboarding Trap, allowing Amanda to set Kramer and the boy free. 

Burning Gas Chamber Trap

Still from Saw X

Last but definitely not least is the Burning Gas Chamber Trap, which activates when Cecilia pulls the Piggy costume off of a cabinet, believing it’s where the money is. She and Parker are instantly locked in, and burning gas starts filling the room. 

As for how Kramer was one step ahead of the pair, it turns out Diego had previously told him that Parker was in on the scam and he and Cecilia were an item. Additionally, earlier on in the movie, Cecilia manages to get hold of a phone and she makes a call, only to get cut off instantly by Amanda. We find out that Amanda saw Parker’s name in the call history. 

So, knowing the pair would end up looking for the money, Kramer set it up so that they’d think they’d caught him in a trap, only to pull the rug from under them at the last moment. 

As the couple start to panic, they find out there’s a hole in the wall they can put their head through to breathe in clean air: but there’s only room for one person. Kramer tells them only one of them can survive, and they fight to the death, with Cecilia eventually managing to overpower Parker, stabbing him with a blade before poking her head out of the wall. 

Saw X finishes with Kramer, Amanda, and the boy walking out, making eye contact with Cecilia as they do. Although it doesn’t show her dying, it’s implied that she’ll be stuck there for good as she’s locked in the room. But this being a Saw film, you never know – she might make a return in the future. 

Scar Tissue Trap

Still from Saw X

Psych! Yes, there’s one more trap after the last game, but it doesn’t arrive until the post-credits scene. In the movie’s biggest surprise, we see Henry Kessler – the character Kramer meets at the start of Saw X at a cancer support group. The pair later bump into each other, and Henry introduces him to the Pederson Project, claiming it saved his life. He even lifts up his shirt to present a huge scar across his stomach, claiming the “miracle” treatment saved his life and sent him into remission.

Guess what? He was in on the scam too, and it’s safe to say he doesn’t get away with his lies. In the post-credits scene, Henry is shown suspended in the air and attached to a contraption that has a series of nasty-looking blades moving in a circular motion towards his stomach. But the biggest surprise is that Kramer is joined by none other than Mark Hoffman, Jigsaw’s apprentice from the earlier Saw films.

The scene fades to black before we get to see what happens to Henry, but we’re going to guess that it ain’t pretty.

To find out how to stream Saw X, head here, and you can check out more of our horror coverage below:

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