Saw IV (2007)

Crime, Horror, Thriller
Tobin Bell, Scott Gordon-Patterson, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell
Jigsaw and his apprentice Amanda are dead. Now, upon the news of Detective Kerry's murder, two seasoned FBI profilers...
Saw IV is more disturbing than compelling, with material already seen in the prior installments.
  • Lionsgate Films Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 26 Oct 2007 Released:
  • 22 Jan 2008 DVD Release:
  • $63.3M Box office:
  • Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan Writer:
  • Darren Lynn Bousman Director:
  • http://www.saw4.com Website:

Trailer:

The SAW Franchise finally descends into absurdity.6/10
Jigsaw is dead, but his game is far from over. A detective is on the hunt for clues around the city, in which he must act in the same manner as Jigsaw with the victims he finds. He must do this in order to find the location of two of his colleagues and save them.

It's easy to see how the SAW franchise, as it is now called, is turning into the same mess that struck Friday the 13th, Halloween and Nightmare On Elm Street. The story is over, but the cash flow still has some juice in it. In this installment Jigsaw is dead, but his cruel game continues. How you might ask? Well, if I were to explain that, it would ruin the film, but it's hard to review this film without leaking something.

The original SAW redefined the horror genre, so much so that there are now countless imitators. It packed the goods in gore and a shocking twist at the end. The sequel, which really was not needed, tried to capitalize on the same system. It failed. Yet still made boatloads of money. Hence the 3rd, and this film and of course the next one. SAW IV becomes a parody of itself, unintentionally mind you. It tries to re-capture the essence of the original from plot points to the twist, which is a staple in the series now. Why SAW IV doesn't work as well as it wants to, is because it's far too confusing and doesn't satisfy it's audience, instead it leaves more holes, that will be filled in by it's sequel, much like how this one filled in some from the 3rd.

SAW IV answers the questions, such as who the blonde woman was in Jigsaw's dreams and why he covered the tape in wax. Yet leaves out other things, specifically what the letter said to Amanda. It could have easily been explained, but they wanted to leave as much story as possible to continue this franchise, which should have been over at 1 and could have been wrapped up completely with 3. This leaves the audience confused, as well as angry. When the final credits rolled up I sat back in my chair and asked myself if they really answered anything as to why it ended the way it did…it doesn't. It throws in that twist that is expected, but doesn't bother to explain it. I guess we have to wait another year to find out why things happened the way they did.

SAW IV is gory, probably the worst out of all of them, but not quite as nerve flinching as the others. It doesn't have any scenes that make you squirm in your seat like when Dr. Gordon saws off his foot, or when Amanda falls into the pit full of needles, or even when Detective Matthews smashes hiss foot with the toilet cover. Those small things are the ones that get the audience; this film simply shows the bloody entrails of people.

I will give credit to where it's due. The film stays consistent with the others and I applause the actors and writers for continuing certain characters through out the entire series. It gives fans goose bumps when they see a familiar face. Also, the twist, which fails in comparison to the first two but it better then the third, is adequate. In fact there is more then one twist. We also get some more background history on Jigsaw, who he was before he became a psychopath. A little hint as to why as well.

We can't connect to any of these characters. Characters from the previous films that show up here, have very little screen time and are killed off. Why have them survive through all this stuff just to kill them off. It cheapens the films in which we root for them to live; we know their fate in the end. There may have been characters that you cared for in previous installments that were trapped in Jigsaw's game, this time around, unless you knew them from before, we know their fate, we know we don't care.

The ending will confuse the hell out of a lot of people; I had to take a minute to figure it out myself. Maybe because it was really well written, or horrible executed, I haven't decided yet. I found myself sitting there with a confused look across my face, wanting more, not simply because I wanted more, but because the film needed more. The film has a lot of stuff going on, it's not to know who' who, who's dead, what's going on where and so on.If you've missed one film in the series, you will most likely be lost in this film. It asks you, as do the others, to pay attention to the previous films. I really enjoy that; it asks the audience to think a little bit, which is usually missing from horror films these days.

It's a tad better then the second and third, but falls apart near the end. This time around we can't seem to care for the guy whose trapped in Jigsaw's mind game. We've come to expect the unexpected, we've comes to be grossed out. Have the makers of this series run their course? Well, after the next film, to tie everything up, I hope the answer is yes. The first is still the best and I cannot imagine the next one being any better.
"Saw IV" injects new blood into the series... A fantastic and fiendish fourth chapter!9/10
Like many fans, I was crest-fallen by the ending of last year's "Saw III." I assumed that with basically every main character dead, there would be no way of continuing the series.

I was wrong.

"Saw IV", from director Darren Lynn Bousman ("Saw II" and "III"), and writers Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan and Thomas Fenton (taking over for series veteran Leigh Whannell) delivers a story that is thrilling, poignant and disturbing, taking the series in a slightly different direction in terms of tone and style, while at the same time retaining the mood that made the first three films unique.

It is honestly very hard to summarize the story without revealing the many twists and turns, but here I go: Jigsaw and Amanda are dead. However, during the autopsy of Jigsaw's body, an audio tape is discovered in his stomach. Detective Hoffman (who you may remember from a brief cameo in "Saw III") hears the tape, that warns Jigsaw's games will continue...

At the same time, SWAT leader Rigg (of "Saw II" and "III") has become a shell of a man. Everyone he works with and treasures as friends have been killed. He is becoming reckless... burnt out and hollow.

However, something sinister is about to happen... and Rigg will have to play a part in a fiendish new game orchestrated by Jigsaw, who despite being dead, is still the master puppeteer of morals and torture.

That is the basic plot line in a nutshell. However, don't be fooled. Though he is dead, Jigsaw is still very much an important part of the story. We get numerous flashbacks of him before his transformation into the brilliant madman we know from previous films, and see exactly what events triggered his desire to turn... If you think his only problem was the cancer inside, think again... There is much more to be discovered about John Kramer... And I think there is still more to the character to explore in future films...

There are also other new characters, including Jigsaw's ex, and a pair of FBI agents, who complicate the movie (in a good way), by creating numerous intersecting sub-plots.

But onto the real fun of the series... The traps. I, personally, loved every trap in this film. We get to witness Jigsaw's first effort (which I can only say is painful in many different ways), and we get new, disturbing and complicated set-ups... While the film might not have the "ouch" factor that past traps (paticularly "The Rack" from "III") might have had, they are certainly gory and zany enough to keep everyone entertained and revolted at the same time. In fact, I would say the audience I saw the film with (a sold-out theater at 10:25 opening night) had the best reactions I have ever seen with a film. Bravo to the filmmakers! There were really very few down-points in the film, for me. I ate-up everything that I saw, and loved just about every second of it!

Also, the numerous twists and turns throughout kept me reeling. And for once, I can honestly say I did not see the (series staple) twist ending coming... A real shocker!

And while I did miss some of the characters from previous installments (I wish Shawnee Smith's Amanda could have gotten more screen time), the new characters have so much promise and potential, I can forgive any complaints I might have.

Here's to "Saw IV"... A frenzied and freakish sequel that has only fueled my hunger for future installments! 9 out of 10!
Decent Film - Hardcore "Saw" Fans Will Be Pleased.6/10
When I first sat down to watch "Saw IV", I was not expecting much as it seemed it would be very difficult to make a good sequel with Jigsaw dead. I am not a huge fan of the "Saw" movies, but I was very impressed with Saw IV considering it lacked the presence of Jigsaw.

The film opens up with an autopsy of Jigsaw/John, where an audio cassette is discovered in his stomach, and that sets out the whole plot for the movie. Throughout the film we learn a little more about Jigsaw's history, and why he did what he did. Of course Saw IV also includes some creative, painful and very gory traps which lead to a few slow and painful deaths, which will make even the strongest moviegoers cringe.

Saw IV is nothing like it's prequel, Saw III. It doesn't have a lot of random and somewhat pointless violence like Saw III, it makes you think and had a good twist which Saw III also lacked. If you go to watch Saw IV expecting an average, overly violent, torture porn horror film, I guarantee you will hate this movie. Much like the first "Saw" film, you will be pondering over the final twist for hours.

Overall I thought Saw IV was a decent film, it was entertaining and had a pretty solid script which keeps the audience interested, and the usual bloody "Saw" special effects. However, I thought that it did lack in suspense towards the very end and was a little too far-fetched in some scenes.

6/10 - Entertaining, hardcore "Saw" fans should be pleased.
Riveting and mind-boggling: after three sequels, the SAW franchise sky-rockets9/10
Who would've thought that a slasher horror film franchise, after three sequels, could STILL be one of the best things Hollywood has to boast today? Not I, that's for sure. The intricate, original, crowd pleasing, absolutely shocking, riveting, suspenseful "Saw" wowed audiences in 2004 and a very solid sequel did the same in 2005.

I still remember seeing Saw and Saw II for the first time and realizing how amazing they were. Yet, I was unhappy with Saw III along with many others for reasons being: it focused more on violence than plot, there was no twist, and the ending was very unsatisfying.

I know for a fact I wasn't the only person who thought the "Saw" franchise was officially over, judging by the very disappointing third film...yet, I still possessed a strange love for these films and couldn't wait to see the fourth when it hit theaters. I wasn't expecting a masterpiece at all...but I got one.

"Saw IV" is not the average horror flick. If you're a Saw fan that likes the series for its blood and guts, you're going to despise it. If you're not willing to completely concentrate on the film's every little detail, you're going to despise it. If you feel like just kicking back, watching a nice gory horror film, and not spending a night analyzing the film, racking your brain until you drive yourself insane, you're going to despise this film. Quite honestly, that's why so many people hate this film: because they were expecting something completely different. Make no mistake--the Saw franchise as we know it is now going in a completely different direction.

Here's where the line's drawn between Saw IV and it's predecessors. With the deaths of two main characters in Saw III, you can't possibly think of how Saw IV could really be close to a decent film. Instead of a basic storyline of traps, unlucky individuals who don't appreciate their lives, and suspenseful jump scenes, Saw IV delivers a completely different premise: it's darker, edgier, scarier, more complex, more intricately designed, and more controversial than its predecessors. In some ways, the most horrifying thing about the film is instead of watching people being tested on screen--YOU, as a viewer, are tested--challenged to see what Jigsaw sees, feel what Jigsaw feels...judge how Jigsaw judges. The traps aren't there to entertain, or to make you recoil in disgust...they're there to make you THINK.

Even if you don't want to, or don't feel like it, Saw IV will whisk you away into a land of nightmare where you're forced to make the choices to what happens to the individuals on screen--you're the one in control. By the end of the movie, you'll be so shaken up you won't be able to move. For me, this one "Saw IV" HUGE points because it's actually scary, unlike II and III! It's not a body-count movie--it's a riveting, mind-boggling psychological thriller in the sense of the first film. The film feels like it balances a huge amount of plot and story and a huge amount of gore and ends up taking the cake. The film is exceptionally, brutally violent (even more so than Saw III) and some scenes are very, very disturbing--not because they are violent, but because stuff so horrifying is happening you just want to vomit your brains out. Saw IV is NOT for the faint of heart and there is some very disturbing sexual violence in one scene and another massively disturbing scene where five people in my theater got up and left...and this scene has haunted me since I came out of my theater.

Though horror veterans James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the original creators of Saw, did not write Saw IV--it almost seems better. Darren Lynn Bousman's exquisite directing incorporates a dire sense of urgency throughout the whole film, making it feel like you're watching a "24" episode.

I will warn you now the ending will confuse the hell out of you, which apparently is another reason for people to completely, wrongly condemn this film. Me and my friends spent a good two hours discussing the film afterwards and it made much more sense to us. Be prepared to watch this film with an open mind and be ready for some serious post-viewing discussion afterwards. The ending is very much like that of "The Prestige," and you may have a desire to watch "Saw IV" again the minute it ends.

If you're a Saw fan that was disappointed with the lack of psychological horror in Saw II and Saw III---fear not. Saw IV has what you're looking for and will take you to hell and back...but hold onto your dinner. I have no idea how this film made it past the MPAA without an NC-17 rating. Along with your dinner, try to hold onto your sanity while watching the film...good luck with that.

Enjoy which, is in my opinion, one of the best treats of the 2007 movie season.
It surpassed my expectations...Saw reigns again for the fourth year in a row.8/10
As a die hard Saw fan, Saw IV was one of my top must sees of 2007. Fortunately, I didn't get my hopes up, and therefore I wasn't disappointed. The movie has its fair share of flaws, don't get me wrong. However, the movie made this Saw fan happy because it maintained the spirit of the series. The movie's biggest flaw is that it is by far the most unrealistic of the series and relies too much on chance within the story. Too many events are contingent on others, which makes Jigsaw look almost clairvoyant. However, I was able to look past this and enjoy the fourth Saw film.

Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is dead. Though he is gone, he vows that his work will continue. And it appears he is true to his word, for SWAT Lt. Rigg (from Saw 2 & 3) is the latest member of the police force to be thrust into one of Jigsaw's deadly games. Meanwhile, Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is joined by a pair of FBI agents to help stop the Jigsaw killer once and for all...They'll start by looking into his past, beginning with his ex wife, Jill.

The acting is pretty good. Costas Mandylor, Tobin Bell, and Scott Patterson are the standouts. Bell brings so much more to the character this time around through flashbacks as we learn more about John Kramer. Showing that he has created one of the most memorable characters of recent memory, Bell makes us almost sympathize with him, despite the acts he has committed. Mandylor is really good as Detective Hoffman, even though he has limited screen time and dialog. I liked Patterson a lot because of the toughness and reality he brought to the character. Agent Strahm is a good character and definitely one of my favorites in the series. One big surprise was Lyric Bent as Rigg. He definitely showed a lot of range in this movie. He has a future.

The plot is probably the most complex, as there can be as many as 3 different subplots going on at the same time, all while the audience has questions from the first 3 movies answered. The ending also leaves a little to be desired, as it is the least impacting twist of the series (and most obvious). However, I really enjoyed the traps, which were definitely a step up from Saw 3. The random gore was kept to a minimum, but the beginning is absolutely horrifyingly gory. It also felt rushed, which means I can't wait to see the unrated DVD. Hopefully it'll have more extra footage than the others. Saw 4 has the weakest script of the series, but it's still better than I expected. At this point, it appears as if Darren Bousman is going through the motions, and that's what keeps the series spirit alive. As long as Bousman, Wan, or Whannell continue to be involved, the spirit should live on. I also have to give props to the editor for the smooth and catchy transitions, not to mention the production design is top notch. That and the lighting provide at least some horror realism, as the plot does border on absurd at times. The sound is better than ever, with the classic 'Hello, Zepp' tune that has become one of the most recognizable tracks in movie history making its dramatic appearance in the climax of the film. The ending also leaves us wanting more, so I'm expecting Saw 5 next Halloween.

8/10 --spy