Genres: Crime, Horror,

Rated: R

Country: USA

Year: 2007

Runtime: 108 minutes

Studio: Lionsgate

Review done by: Nightmare Child
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
grisly demise.


Jesus Christ, I think I've absorbed too much information in the last 90
minutes. It's not a bad thing, it's just that my head hurts from all the
twists,turns and backstories that Saw IV provided. As you can already tell
from my previous reviews of Saw (which I still can't find), Saw II and Saw III,
I'm pretty fond of the franchise. I guess you can say a "fan," but I'm not
hardcore. I enjoy the films as a series of entertainingly gory films, excluding
part one where it was more about what you don't see. The 2004 motion
picture 'Saw' was an excellent crime thriller/mystery that's been raped into a
horror franchise that's still growing strong (as long as it makes money). I say
raped because we see a new Saw film each year. Normally this would kill a
franchise and run the risk of competing against itself. Look at Halloween's 4 &
5 as a prime example. Miraculously the series hasn't stopped its blood flow.
Each Saw film is released around Halloween, so I guess everyone has a taste
for blood around that time of year, so they pay to see the next big thing to
get them in the mood. This marketing ploy seems to be working.

The films get more violent with each entry and continues to push the
envelope, if not blow it out of the water. Sadly, with the release of part three
I felt that the series was starting to show some rust. I personally thought it
was the worst of the sequels. I enjoyed it, but something was missing in Saw
III. I wont bother going into the details on what these movies are about,
because if you're a fan or someone that goes to the movies before Halloween
then you should already know the drill. Be warned, this review is going to
contain spoilers from the previous films, so if you have yet to watch the
other Saw movies then I suggest that you do and come back when you're
ready. At the end of Saw III Jigsaw and his apprentice Amanda have died.
During the autopsy, a coroner makes a horrific discovery. Inside of John
Kramer's stomach is a tape, and Detective Hoffman is called in to investigate.
On the tape Jigsaw says that although he's dead his work will continue.
Hoffman and the rest of his team investigate further and find the body of
Detective Kerry, who was brutally slaughtered by one of the traps in part III.

This gruesome discovery sends SWAT commander Rigg on an obsessive
quest to find all the answers, leaving his wife and everyone else in the
shadows. After a slight incident in his apartment, Rigg wakes up in a bath tub
and is informed by Billy (the puppet on TV) that a couple of his fellow
comrades are alive and in danger. Rigg has to play a game in order to truly
save their lives. This scenario is almost exactly like part III. Fans will be
pleased to know that Saw IV looks and feels like a "Saw" movie. Despite the
fact that a new team of writers did the script, it has all the twists, turns and
brutal violence that we expected. Saw IV however plays more like a detective
story, which is exactly how the first film was. Basically, Saw IV has the spirit
of its predecessors. I expected it to be the exact opposite. If you're a fan of
the series then Saw IV will definitely be a pleaser. This movie ties in with the
others and continues where we left off. This movie has a gigantic storyline,
which is both good and bad. It's good because one of the main complaints I
had with part 3 was that the story seemed so small.

In the second film we followed 8 characters who went through a series of
trap inside of a house. Part 3 was basic and followed a few characters with
the most bizarre traps ever filmed (until now). Saw IV introduces us to a new
cast of characters along with some familiar faces who managed to have
survived the last two movies. Our main focus is on Rigg, who makes all the
wrong choices. Right from the start we know what he should NOT do. This
just shows that his character is blinded by obsession. As the film progresses
the story gets much larger and more confusing. Some things just appear out
of nowhere and it does a great job of confusing the audience. They feed you
new information every 15 minutes. I always liked the Saw films for their
stories. The blood and gore is nice, but that's just an added bonus to me.
The first film didn't have much gore in it, but I was fascinated with the story
and twist at the end. I felt the same way about part IV. Thankfully, the
violence in Saw IV goes to great lengths.

I thought the last entry was gruesome, but the blood and gore in Saw IV is
beyond gruesome. It's nasty, raw and in your face. The traps in part IV are
incredibly creative. I don't think the writers are running out of ideas yet,
because the kills get much more intense with every sequel. There's one in
particular that features a married couple, which happened to be my favorite
of the set traps. This movie had my heart racing, and that doesn't happen
very often with new movies. Especially if they're already past 3 films. Saw IV
may be a combination of the previous movies, but it feels fresh at the same
time. In Saw IV we're treated to a short back story on how Jigsaw got
started with his work. It's a nice addition to the movie but it's a little different
from the comic book that came out sometime after the first movie. The
ending is a good one, though I've heard others complaining about it. Saw IV
is a complicated movie, so a lot of people wont get the ending and will end up
hating it. It may cause confusion amongst some viewers. I don't blame
anybody for feeling lost, because this movie feeds off a ton of information.

As much as I liked the ending and numerous twists, I wish that it would have
been more informative. Saw IV goes all over the place, but in the end it
pieces together itself as always. That's the basic factor of the Saw franchise,
and it continues with every sequel. I think that's why fans keep coming back
for more. All of the Saw twists are similar in one way or another, and part IV
is no different. Overall I thought Saw IV was a good movie. It had everything
that I thought was missing from part 3. I've been hearing a lot of complaints
about the ending, but personally I thought it was the only way to go. I just
think that the ending could have been a little more informative. It felt rushed,
but it didn't hurt the film much (or at least to me). Gore hounds will droll
over the blood and gore. Saw IV is the sickest entry to date. There's a bunch
of twists and turns to keep you guessing. If you're not a Saw fan then check
this out with caution. It may appeal more to fans and viewers thirsting for
blood. Be sure to check in next year for my review of Saw V.

Overall: 7/10
Online since: February 20th, 2006
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