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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Rinsed to the core...(may contain a spoiler)

Author: Dan Vale from United Kingdom
29 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Another year, another Halloween approaching, and thus, another Saw film. Why, oh why. The Saw franchise should of stopped producing sequels after the first one. Pehaps even after the second. It was blatantly a cash in. The first Saw epitomised the sheer genius of torture horror of the new millennium - which has sparked off sub-genre type films like Hostel and Vacancy.

Saw I was the king of psychological grim violence fest that had you hooked to the edge of your seat, and with a finale to die for. It was sheer brilliance. The second movie saw the new apprentice from the survivor of Saw I, taking over Jigsaw's work. Pretty much giving us flashbacks of the processes involved etc etc, and giving a pretty cool twist at the end. It wasn't as good as Saw I, but it was a decent sequel. In my opinion. It should of stopped here. But this wasn't enough. Instead they went the extra mile, and made Saw III even gorier and even more grim for kicks. It was shoddy, poor, pathetically acted, and a let-down.

Saw IV however, takes the biscuit. Not only was it bad all the way through, and completely ridiculously over the top, it was without a doubt, one of the worst films I've seen this year. A few familiar faces couldn't even help it nurse its way upwards from Saw III, in fact, Saw III was just completely irrelevant. The whole point of Saw III was for Saw IV to pick up where it left off. Not kill off the poor bugger who had to do the rest of his tests to find his daughter. To be quite honest, by the end of Saw IV, I just didn't even care who was in it, so many name checks, so many people and the story and flashbacks just went all over the place. It was more confusing than a Rubik's cube.

What really annoyed me was the cheese factor about the whole line at the end of the movie "Game Over". As soon as this line flopped out of (insert random character that really has no reference to the movie franchise what so ever, here)'s mouth, it just summed up what I really hope will happen. Saw. Game Over.

It's been rinsed far too much now, and its getting boring. No longer do I even care about people getting tortured and killed in the most interesting of ways. The spark has now disappeared from Saw. Its no longer a cult thing, thanks to its sheer poor sequels/prequels.

If you do like the Saw franchise, you'll probably fall head-over heels in love with this instalment and get sucker-punched, ready for (what can only be called) a diabolical 5th and 6th movie. I personally want to get rid of the memory of watching this movie and the 3rd movie, possibly even the second movie. The fact remains, if you haven't seen any of the Saw movies, stick with the first. It will at least, give the franchise some sort of credibility for being one of the best films this genre has to offer.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Feels Like Belated Sequel with Half the Substance of a Typical Movie

Author: Hellrazr360 from United States
26 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let me just start off by saying that I'm a pretty big Saw fan, the first three movies were fine examples of how to create a psychological horror movie. I was especially fond of the deeper and more integrated character development in Saw 3, which is my favorite of the series. While the ending was too cliché of a cliffhanger (in a sense) to simply ignore, it did get me more pumped up than most movies with those endings, more or less because Saw and Saw 2 were somewhat similar with their endings (aside from not making a sequel so obvious). That said, my initial anticipation for this movie was quite high, but then the early reviews come in and I feel less enthusiastic. But I shun those away and decide to go see the movie today, and let's just say the Saw series has taken four movies to get the horror movie franchise curse started here.

First off, the story is just all over the place. It feels like the movie's basing itself on a book as long as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with twice the text per page. Unfortunately, the movie's less-than two hour runtime can't help it carry all of the story well enough, and many parts that progress the plot feel rushed like Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (although that movie didn't have it anywhere near as bad). Another issue with all the plot-lines this movie has is that about half of them include completely new and generic characters, and it's hard to care for them when you want to know what happened to those who lived through previous installments.

Now, I will say that the first half of the movie isn't so bad since it does follow one character that we've known since Saw 2. However, after the first hour the film just branches off to detail Jigsaw's back story. While the series did need to give an explanation behind Jigsaw and how everything began, it feels misplaced and when the setting returns to the present time it's really easy to feel confused as to who you should really be caring for.

I'd have to say that Saw 4's strongest aspect is that it keeps you guessing throughout the entire film. There are some parts that are rather predictable, but it's always nice when a film has its audience guessing, which has been a staple of the Saw series, and this one is no different. That said, it does feel like these parts are just ways to set plot twists up, and since many of these revolve around new characters it's hard to not feel cheated.

While twists and guessing has become a big staple of the Saw series, it's the traps that have made it so popular and caused many to cringe. But since this is the fourth installment in a series that has become popular for the creativity of its traps, one might suspect the traps will become dry with this one. Fortunately, the producers seemed to have recognized this and have kept the amount of traps to a minimal focus. Of course there's still some great traps that people are placed into here, although not all of them are as well-done as previous ones (more or less due to how some of those took the time to make the impact sink in, some in Saw 4 feel very brief and don't leave much of a fazing feeling).

While I have said a couple good things about the movies, they don't really amount to much, especially when the second half feels completely devoid of effort or compassion. As I said earlier, there are quite a few new characters brought into the story and it really feels like the old characters we care for have become the last resort for detailing. There's nothing wrong with introducing new characters to the franchise, but when old characters are ditched like mere dirt it doesn't really make for a good impression.

And let me just take this moment to say that there's one scene that I think ultimately ruined the movie for me. I won't directly spoil it, but let's just say that one of the centers of attention in Saw 3 is killed off so easily that it's impossible to not feel flat-out back-stabbed. In fact, there are actually quite a few scenes that leave a good few questions about many characters that it feels like the writer(s) and director are playing the fans for fools to buy in to the next installments. Once ending finally comes it's easy to ask just how many more of these movies there will be, and after this movie I really don't want to see another eight-plus part horror series composed of mostly crap.

All told, I'd have to say that Saw 4 is definitely the worst of the Saw movies so far. While I was rooting for this series after Saw 3 (both because I thought it was a great movie and a horror series was finally good for three installments), I feel betrayed and ripped-off after some select events in this movie. The movie is aimed at avid Saw fans, but it's just as likely that those fans will leave feeling disappointed as one that hasn't enjoyed a single Saw movie yet. Approach with caution.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A Messy and Absurd Story – The Game and the Franchise Are Over

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
5 September 2008

During the autopsy of John Kramer (Tobin Bell), the coroner finds a tape inside his stomach and calls Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor). Meanwhile, the police find Detective Kerry dead and the SWAT Commander Rigg (Lyriq Bent) is absolutely traumatized with the tortured corpse of Kerry and obsessed to save Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) that has been missing for six months; however Hoffman asks him to take vacations and leave the case. The FBI agents Strahm (Scott Patterson) and Perez (Athena Karkanis) join Hoffman's team to investigate the legacy of Jigsaw. But Rigg is abducted and forced to participate in another sick game to save Eric's life.

"Saw IV" has a messy and absurd story, indicating that the franchise has really finished. The director Darren Lynn Bousman uses a style of frantic images and flashbacks with annoying noises and does not give time to the viewer to think how absurd and stupid the screenplay is. The result is a sequence of gruesome and gore scenes disclosed in an extremely fast pace that make impossible even to recall the characters of the previous movies of the franchise. "Saw" is over! My vote is three.

Title (Brazil): "Jogos Mortais IV" ("Deadly Games IV")

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

You'll have to see it twice...or more

Author: puling_spawn from Australia
24 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Saw 4 appears to pick up exactly where saw 3 left us. With the death of the famed Jigsaw killer. However, this film is not a sequel in the direct sense and involves itself more in following the events leading up to Jigsaws death, told through flashbacks, however a confusing and somewhat-shocking twist at the end of the film changes the significance of these flashbacks.

Although I can't really say what happens in this film. (As the entire SAW series is based on everything being a potential clue) I will say that the traps match, if not top those in the previous films, maybe not in ingenuity but in brutality and suffering for the test subject and that the film is an adequate addition to the SAW series. The downfall is that there are numerous storyline running at the same time and these story lines all have their own flashbacks and back stories which intertwine and get very confusing. This movie could have been longer and allowed for more explanation...but then it wouldn't be SAW, would it? Overall Saw 4 was a compelling, but confusing film and will have to be viewed many times to truly understand the many clues and story lines that interplay. All i have to say is BRING ON SAW FIVE!!

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17 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

They just keep making them get better and better...

Author: Mac34de from United States
25 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I marked this as having spoilers because it might accidentally happen, don't expect anything big though ;-). Let me start by saying that the entire premise of this installment into the series is excellent. the way the film makers mis-lead the audience repeatedly even going as far as to use prior tricks again, is amazing. I saw an advanced midnight screening earlier and most of the audience consisted of college kids. the movie had our attention the entire time, leaving little to no bored groups quietly chatting under the harsh score. The film as far as plot dives into the history of our leading man giving him new life even in death. As I said the way they trick the audience into seeing something and then explaining that it is in fact something entirely different is a gigantic plus. Not being able to figure out the plot ten minutes into the film is what has made this series so successful, that and the gore both of which are plentiful in this third sequel. If you are a fan of the other films you will undoubtedly love this one as well. It shows improvement from the previous films and guides the series in a direction fitting for the obligatory Halloween, expect part V.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

For gorehounds only...

Author: MrGKB from Ohio
3 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

...and even then, only the braindead ones, "Saw IV" does nothing to advance an already crippled franchise beyond setting up the next (and hopefully last) installment. Director Darren Lynn "Repo! The Genetic Opera" Bousman is really cementing his growing reputation for being a schlockmeister; his third helming of the "Saw" series is easily the worst so far, thanks not only to Bousman's predilection for sequences edited in a strobe light fashion to the beat of second-rate industrial metal, but also for the near-incomprehensible scripts he accepts. This one, by the goofballs who wrote "Feast" (a mildly amusing horror comedy) and will apparently be serving up a no-doubt awful remake of "The Tingler," is chocked full of characters no one cares about, an utterly absurd premise, and more plot holes and contrivances than an average audience can hope to follow, let alone the braindead one that actually planted butts in theater seats for this one.

This is make-work cinema, and I really don't want to insult any of the major players in this project by actually mentioning their names; they know who they are, and why they took the paycheck. I don't hold it against them. I hold it against the unprincipled knuckledraggers who greenlighted this mess. They know who they are, too.

This is one to avoid.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Another entry in a shockingly stupid horror franchise

Author: Hamish Gavin from New Zealand
6 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is the first in a series of reviews I will do on the torture horror franchise 'Saw'. Saw IV will be the first as it is the most recent I have seen.

To begin, I am appalled at the high ratings for the sequels in this franchise. I understand there are many saw fan-boys out there but the fact is, these films are cheap, tacky, look and feel like episodes of a TV show and have acting so hammy it puts Nicholas Cage to shame (oddly enough the 'bad cop' character in this episode has an uncanny resemblance to Cage himself). It has me questioning whether the horror franchises of the past (Friday, Halloween, Nightmare) degraded themselves in similar ways with all the sequels. It may be true of some of the Friday sequels (Manhatten may be the best or worst example of this), perhaps even the latter Nightmare additions (Five and final) but for some reason the look and feel of all the Saw sequels gets on my nerve.

The influence of the recent flashy crime TV shows, in particular CSI is obvious in the direction of 'Darren Lynn Bousman'. There are flash-cuts, unsubtle lighting and set design all contributing to giving the film an overly MTV, cheesy teen pop feel. The fact that your pretty much watching an episode of a bad crime TV show, with more gore that has been released theatrically pisses me off. Its exploitation at its highest, exploiting the audiences stupidity to make money and probably keep funding the rest of Liongate's film endeavors. So perhaps if its letting the company fund films of more artistic merit then OK ill except the crass nature of the saw series, but I wont except high rated reviews for it.

The plot is full of twists, unexplained events and coincidences that pretty much just points to lazy and rushed screen writing. Of it course its rushed when the team behind it is forced to deliver a film every year. Characters enter and exit without much information as to who they are, assuming that you've studied incredibly carefully the plots of the previous films in order to remember these bland characters or perhaps the screenwriters prefer to keep the audience in a state of constant confusion so that their ham fisted attempts at plot twists can seem far more clever then the lazy revealing of information that they really are.

Special effects wise, well I've already mentioned the cheap TV feel of the film. Set design such as the over-used industrial spinning fan, with luminous green light behind it has been over-used and therefor is completely ineffective in the film. Other sets include the default busy police station (featuring a hilariously obvious good-cop/bad-cop scene with our Nicholas Cage act-alike), the default crack house operated by the corrupt fat guy in a singlet and the various rooms of torture and abandoned factories where we see the creation of the first torture machine created by Jigsaw/John (told in flash-back). Characters jump between sets with very little explanation, which adds to the rushed feel of the movie.

And yes, there's the gore. The film begins with an extended autopsy scene of the corpse of Jigsaw, which is farely gruesome and a little too long so early in the film. The discovery of a tape inside the stomach of Jigsaw leads to the beginning of this films wild goose chase, with obsessive cop Rigg as the man in the middle of all the traps. Perhaps the only positive thing I can say about the film is the traps, which I guess is the very reason for the films being. The are creative, entertaining and would be shocking to those who are not long-time horror watchers. Everything on screen has been done in the Lucio Fulci films, the cannibal films, the Japanese exploitation films of before. For that reason I wasn't shocked but could still be entertained by scenes such as the battle between a man with sewn up eyes and a man with a sewn up mouth in a race against time or the flashback trap in which the man that causes the serial killer in John to emerge is subjected to a viciously inventive trap with no possible exit. I felt the gore in general was lower then Saw 3, or perhaps it was a little less sadistic, you wont find anyway twisting crucifixes or drownings in pig carcass's here.

The ending is yet another twist, setting up yet another film of traps and twists, bad acting and rushed writing and lazy TV quality direction. Do we really need yet another Saw? Despite the traps being inventive and entertaining at time there's only so many times we can learn life lessons while dying in creative ways. If the series is not wrapped up within one more film, I very much hope for the sake of naive film goers that the series goes straight to video because I cant see any possible way that the series can be taken in a different direction or improve in its artistic vision. If you do feel the need to watch this film, wait till it hits the one dollar section at your local video store, its a curiosity worth nothing more then that.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Major plot flow errors & an overabundance of total gore.

Author: lois-lane33 from Montreal
12 October 2014

This will probably be touted as some kind of horror masterpiece by many but it is actually a movie seriously flawed on several levels at once. The film opens with the antagonist being autopsied and then later in the film closes with a scene that takes place before the autopsy as the culmination in the series of events that happened after the autopsy. In short it is absolute cinematic trash. If that mistake isn't bad enough there is more gore in this film than in any other film I have ever seen-so it has achieved greatness-if you like a great stink. The actors are-as usual-just doing their jobs following direction-but since the people in charge of this didn't know what they were doing, having decent actors didn't help much. They should have stopped at three films-or better yet-not made them at all. Other gore orientated franchises like 'Wrong Turn' also suffer from similar issues-all gore and no plot logic. In WT the father of three 'mutants' is killed by way of being blown to little bits only to reappear in a later film installment. if they are not going to do these films right-why bother at all? Even a crappy film guarantees some kind of a profit margin based on audience expectations.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Stupidest Saw Yet

Author: Scars_Remain from United States
30 October 2007

After the atrocities entitled Saw II and Saw III were released, I didn't think the series could possibly get any worse. I hate to tell you, it did. I'm actually ticked off at myself for watching Saw IV and I didn't even pay for it.

It starts off pretty much the same as all of the other films. Jigsaw picks a victim, and the victim has to choose to save people or not. We learn more about Jigsaw in this film but I've just stopped caring. Every movie is left open ended so that the producers can make more money off the next film the next year. Thankfully, I heard they're taking the year off next year.

My final complaint is about the twist. The writers of this film claimed that they had a twist that competed with the original Saw. The twist in Saw IV absolutely sucks! I can't believe they would make such a bold statement. Basically, if you're like me and you loved the first Saw but thought the next two weren't very good or average at best, then save yourself an hour and a half and don't see this one.

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56 out of 110 people found the following review useful:

Jigsaw returns .. better than ever !!!

Author: bargainsaustralia from Australia
25 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jigsaw returns to his games but as we know from Saw 3, he is dead. The opening of the movie starts with the autopsy of Jigsaw. But later they find that even that he's dead, he has planned more twists for then and his work hasn't ended.

The main idea of the sequel is uncovering the true reasons why jigsaw became the man he is today. Many of the characters from Saw 2 and 3 and present in the 4th sequel which they used to build on the story and i can admit that there is a lot of suspense and mystery in this sequel.

It is hard to predict what is gonna happen in the next scene but again this is what made the SAW series one of the best psychological thrillers ever made.

I was disappointed by the ending, unlike the other 3 parts of saw, the element of suspense died in the last 10 minutes of the movie and i think this is where the movie will loose a lot of its rating power.

However, this a movie that will be nice to watch more than one time .. i know i will and i do recommend watching this movie at home.

One lesson can be learned from this sequel and that is Patience ... after u watch it you will know what i mean

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