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The Saw franchise just won the Nicole Kidman AMC parody wars

‘Somehow, self-amputation feels good in a place like this’

Tasha Robinson leads Polygon’s movie coverage. She’s covered film, TV, books, and more for 20 years, including at The A.V. Club, The Dissolve, and The Verge.

People who haven’t seen a movie in theaters for the past couple of years, for whatever reason — COVID, rising prices, not into Barbenheimer, you name it — have missed out on one fairly silly cult phenomenon about the moviegoing experience: Nicole Kidman’s weirdly fervent ad for AMC theaters, which airs in AMC theaters to sell you on the moviegoing experience while you’re impatiently waiting to see the actual movie. The spot, which features Kidman in a silver-pinstriped pantsuit, talking about the theatrical experience like it’s a religious rite, has become a small rite of its own, with some theatergoers mockingly reciting along with the ad. Over the two years since it’s launched, Kidman’s AMC spot has inspired a series of mocking memes, a lot of cosplay (and cosplay how-to videos), public reaction videos and public recitation videos, and eventually, a Saturday Night Live parody.

Now the marketers for Saw X, the latest movie in the sprawling, confusing, beloved Saw franchise, have gotten in on the act with their own pitch-perfect satire of the video, in which the creepy Jigsaw puppet that’s become the primary face of the series performs his own take on the ad. “Blood-soaked blades on a huge silver screen… Fear that I can feel. Somehow, self-amputation feels good in a place like this,” Jigsaw says in the ad, in a note-for-note horror-movie version of Kidman’s narration.

Unlike most of the people parodying the AMC ad, though, the Jigsaw puppet doesn’t try to match Kidman’s native Australian accent. Just as well — that would be some real horror.

Saw X opens in theaters on Sept. 29.

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