Genres: Crime, Horror,
Runtime: 108 minutes
Review done by: Serial McKiller
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Starring: Tobin Bell, Angus Macfadyen, Shawnee Smith, Lyriq Bent, Scott
Patterson, Justin Louis
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Synopsis: Jigsaw, as well as his apprentice Amanda, have died. After hearing
of Detective Kerry's murder, two veteran FBI agents, Agent Strahm and
Agent Perez, assist Detective Hoffman in sorting out the remains of Jigsaw's
last game. However, SWAT Team Commander Rigg has been put into a
deadly game himself, and has only an hour and a half to prevail over a series
of twisted, horrifying traps to save an old friend, as well as himself, from a
If it's Halloween then...well then it's yet another "Saw" film. One of the few
successful horror franchises in the past ten years that started back in 2004
when co-writer/director James Wan and writer/actor Leigh Whannell made the
first film with a low budget and some forgotten stars like Cary Elwes, Danny
Glover and Monica Potter. It made big bucks and turned "Saw" into a big,
bloody, over-bloated horror titan that has many spawns and look-a-likes.
"Saw IV" continues in the bloody and not nearly as smart as it wants us to
think it is psychology of the series. We pick up after the events of the third
film in which Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is dead. During his autopsy though a small
tape is found in his stomach and Det. Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is
dispatched to investigate, which leads to the discovery of another officer's
However the game is more about SWAT commander Rigg (Lyriq Bent), who's
obsession with finding partner Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) and ending
the line of murders is taking a tole on his personal life. Thus as you can
imagine, somehow, some way from beyond the grave, Jigsaw manages to
inspire others to do his work so more can "cherish" life. In a word, "Saw IV"
is lazy. There was nothing here that I hadn't already seen or thought about.
Director Darren Lynn Bousman returns again and does his nicely styled "CSI"
camera work while showing off some impressive gore, but in the end it merits
nothing but more gore with less tension or entertainment. All of these
characters are boring and not particularly smart either. I mean I think
everyone watching knows from the start of Rigg's game what he's NOT
supposed to do. Yet after everything, well, you can figure it out.
I can admit that I have taken somewhat of a liking to Jigsaw, or at least Tobin
Bell. The guy's just cool. The way he operates and teaches is one of those
things that while watching is indescribable other than to say the word 'cool'.
That said I still think Jigsaw is a rip-off of the John Doe killer from "Se7en",
but with much less psychology to him and menace. Partly because it seems
we know just about everything there is to know about Jigsaw. Hell I'm a little
surprised we didn't see him as a kid telling other children to cherish their
youth. As for the traps well, there was a couple of clever ones, but nothing,
that made me cringe or really impressed me. I was much more jarred by the
ones in the third film (the body twisting one was good). And it all started to
blend the same at the end. And then it happens; after a healthy 95 minutes
of back story, blood, cogs turning, women and men screaming helplessly, we
hear Charles Clouser's theme and we know that once again, the game is just
Only this time the snappy and clever twist is actually a pretty damn lame one
that you couldn't care less about. Probably because all of these characters
could die horrible deaths and it still wouldn't be interesting. Just more blood,
screaming and flashy camera work. Then you're back where you started. I
guess that's why I've never found the real appeal of these movies. Because
you don't go anywhere! You learn a little more about the bad guy, someones
tries and usually fails to save damned people, then someone who's looking
for them or just generally near them finds yet another hidden tape player and
we learn that the game is just beginning. Sadly will never end at this rate.
Ahhh the cycle of "Saw."