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Riveting and mind-boggling: after three sequels, the SAW franchise sky-rockets
SteakSalad_10127 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
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.
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"Saw IV" injects new blood into the series... A fantastic and fiendish fourth chapter!
MaximumMadness27 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
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!
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Decent Film - Hardcore "Saw" Fans Will Be Pleased.
Mickno25 October 2007
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.
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It surpassed my expectations...Saw reigns again for the fourth year in a row.
The_Amazing_Spy_Rises27 October 2007
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
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The SAW Franchise finally descends into absurdity.
Matt_Layden27 October 2007
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.
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Turns down the gore and up the drama
daveh18228 October 2007
Now you might think that from my title I'm going to slate Saw 4, well I'm not.

Like most I'm an avid fan of the series and when Halloween rolls around I'm always wondering will it be good how you keep a genre like Horror fresh.

Well they done it again while don't get me wrong there is a lot of gore in there its seems a lot more toned down and more apportite for the film instead of just torture torture torture, which I feel really helps the film develop into its own skin.

The story line focuses more on jigsaw's back story this time round and how he became to who he was at the end of Saw 3, this allowment of character development I feel is vital to the story as we have always wanted to know more about the man behind the machine.

The story also focuses on Rigg and his story into the sick world of Saw, this film picks up where Saw 3 left off so its the same thing that Jeff went through he has to try help other people decide their own fate.

The ending is a good one but obviously never as good as the first one its safe to say I doubt they will ever be able to recapture what they had to begin with.

My advice for anyone still waiting to watch this film is keep an open mind about it and never set expectations too high because this is a good film and you should really give it a try before dismissing it.
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Saw 'bore'; 'chore'; 'snore' – give it whatever pithy subtitle you like, it's exactly what it deserves.
johnnyboyz8 September 2009
Saw IV represents a sort of landmark for me. It was the first time I'd been genuinely nullified by a horror film that had, or seemed to have, so much going on. Within the runtime of Saw IV, characters will shoot about all over the place, encountering many-a situation that you'd feel would have some sort of effect on them: physical or otherwise. The film is full of is so much visceral content, with a lot of goo and blood getting thrown at the screen and splattering all over the place, while there are also many heinous, yet somewhat creative, traps and incidences being set up and executed. With all this going on, it's a shame that all you can do is sit there, stare and wait for it to end.

Saw IV might equally represent a landmark in the overall franchise, of the kind that nobody is even bothering anymore. If the first sequel was an intriguing and unpredictable, pseudo-Big Brother piece that built to what turned out to be an interesting denouement; while the third entry at least had Angus Macfadyen, whom looked as if he'd stumbled in off of another film, grounding the entry with his morally torn character and his shedding of a 'skin' (a jacket or a dressing-gown) as each task came and went, while the realisation of the situation settled in and he became a different person; then número quatro in the series is a gigantic mis-fire, a non-event of a picture.

Number four has nothing; and I mean absolutely nothing in the way of anything at all. It's the same stuff, and that statement isn't limited to the ideology that the people go in to see the film solely because of the traps, it's linked to the running around; the stern-looking faces; the dumb decisions people make and the sheer outlandishness of some of the executions of the antagonist's plans. Take some of the Saw series' more identifiable moments. If in the past, a character clicked on the TV and saw themselves on it by way of a CCTV monitor hidden in their house, then it might have worked somewhat and was quite eerie. Similallry, a puppet on a tricycle hiding in another person's wardrobe might've worked reasonably well as a visceral and effective jump as our own human eye struggles to identify just what the Hell it was in perfect parallel with our brain's absorbing the initial shock. In Saw IV; piggy mask clad women hiding in hospital corridors as people from prior entries, whose narratives have been done and dusted, are snatched does not make for good, interesting or even frightening viewing – but that's what we get.

But hey; who cares, right? You turn up, you get grossed out and then you leave again. You shrug and you wait for the next instalment, right? Wrong. Wrong attitude. I gave the Saw franchise the benefit of the doubt, I really did, at least for two of its sequels; but this is garbage, and everybody knows it. The film is a part of a growing tradition in recent large scale; lots-of-money-thrown-at-it; productions, of deconstructing the villain or showing them in a humbling light that tells us how they got to the point we all know them for. Following on from the third Star Wars episode; the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes/prequels; the recent Hannibal Lecter prequel; the third Saw entry and now this: a crass, delving into a past nobody cares about as Jigsaw (Bell) comes to be the mechanical, contraption expert we all know him for.

The film, for the most part, covers the journey of a police officer named Rigg (Bent) as he ventures from one trap involving others to another, all the time aiming to save fellow police officer Eric Matthews (Wahlberg), the guy that has been missing since the finale of number two. Like every film of this ilk, he has a time limit; ninety minutes, which doubles up as your bog-standard length for pieces of junk films such as this one. Rigg's adventure is peppered with dumb, would-be deeper meaning, pseudo-philosophical statements in which he is invited the 'see what I see' and 'feel what I feel' by a Jigsaw character pathetically put across only by way of cassette tape. His journey is uninspiring and episodic; it consists of him stumbling across an array of different people of various past bad-deeds; instances that could unfold in any order at all and we'd all still end up where we eventually end up. Some of the more sicker scenarios in the series worm their way into this segment, in which scalps; eyes and blood circulatory points in the body are the order of the day, and are targeted by these traps.

But everything is tired and dull. The hyper-kinetic editing and camera work becomes tiring, while the zooms and the cuts and the whip pans just completely draws you out of whatever small amount of interest you have invested in all this. Saw IV is a film with a labyrinth of a narrative, but then needs a character of high authority to come on screen at the end and explain everything to you. It's the sort of cynical, self-aware piece that, by this point, knows it's absolute garbage and just provides you with the gore and the blood as its story just 'unfolds' in the background: if you're following it, then great – if not, we don't care. By this point in the franchise; some suit-clad, money-counting producer of sorts, somewhere, seriously needed a slap. Whereas if you enjoyed it, and good God - there actually seem to be some out there that think it's some sort of a minor-masterpiece, then you can all stay as far away from me as possible.
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Painful in all the wrong ways!
stewiefan20127 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"If it's Halloween...It must be Saw." That's the tagline for Saw IV, the newest installment in the gory horror series of Saw. It's almost a tradition that every Halloween there's a new Saw sequel, hence the tagline. But after this messy, self-indulgent bloodbath I kind of wish that this tired series would just come to an end already.

Saw IV involves a SWAT officer named Rigg (Lyriq Bent) who is kidnapped, and placed in a deadly game by the supposedly deceased Jigsaw. He is told that his also-kidnapped partners Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) and Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) are playing a game of their own, and that Rigg must resist saving them for a total of 90 minutes. While searching for his two friends, Rigg continually finds people in life-or-death situations, on the path to his final test. Rigg must choose whether he wants to help save these people (His usual reaction), or follow Jigsaw's rules and let them get out by themselves. Who will win? Who will lose? Who will lose a limb? (Or limbs?) Who will care?

A new Saw movie comes out every Halloween, that means that the filmmakers only have about a year to write it, cast it, shoot it, edit it, and roll it. The first three movies all felt like, for the most part, well constructed films (Saw II not as much). You could tell that they were well thought out, and that a general effort was put forth to create a constant storyline where each movie follows the tracks of the others. Unlike horror flicks like Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street, Saw cannot just go off on a tangent, it has to follow the footsteps of its predecessors in order to keep the Saw storyline chugging along. Saw IV is the first in the series that truly feels like a complete rush-job. Since Leigh Whannel (Writer of the first three Saws) has been replaced by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, it is obvious that these new writers of the series were pressured to write a coherent storyline so that the filmmakers could get Saw IV out by Halloween. Close to nothing in this vapid movie is well thought-out, there are plot holes all over the place, and the characters are so incredibly stupid that even their idiot actions aren't funny. It's an assault on the eyes, ears, and stomach (The squeamish will be puking, and the Saw fans will be nauseous from its stupidity).

About the only thing I enjoyed about this sequel were the revelations of John Kramer/Jigsaw's past. Those are the only dramatic scenes that work, but there aren't nearly enough of them to keep Saw IV afloat. I won't spoil anything but this movie, during flashbacks, shows us Jigsaw's first trap, and it is without a doubt the best scene in the whole movie. That is the only scene where character development and story progress actually came together, and made for a tense and excellently suspenseful scene. However that's about all that I liked about Saw IV.

The story makes dangerously little sense, and the characters are basically only there for a quick kill. For instance there's a scene involving a pedophilic rapist who is held at gunpoint, and forced to get into a trap where either his limbs will be torn apart, or he gets his eyes ripped out (That means no more porn watching. Yikes!). Scenes like this won't even be enjoyable for the torture porn crowd. They are so horribly edited, lit, and acted that they are reduced to absymal trash that nobody will be able to appreciate. The editing in the Saw flicks have always looked like the result of an editor on acid. There are endless flashing lights, fast zoom-ins, Pan-shots that spin around faster than Linda Blair's head, and repeated shots of screaming that should build tension...but only build laughs. I've had it up to here with Saw's editing because it gives me a headache, and when it's all over I feel like I just woke up from a nightmare where I was addicted to crack.

The effort put into making Saw IV is minimal to the point that you can tell it was just made so the series can thrive on till the final film (Supposedly Saw VI). It's like the middle child, or older brother, that gets ignored while everybody is busy adoring the newborn baby. In other words the filmmakers didn't seem to care about this sequel as much. They're just stalling until they get to the big payoff with Saw V and Saw VI. And trust me Saw IV's twist ending is the epitome of both "rush job" and "stalling". I give Saw IV a 1 out of 5. No wonder Darren Lynn Bousman walked away after this one.
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The ultimate in modern horror...
silentcheesedude26 October 2007
It's a rare occurrence, but get ready to see this more then once. Saw 4 plays more like a detective story lifted from a page of a who-dun-it novel. This time, we delve deeper into John's past, his ex-wife, and the real secrets about what made him Jigsaw. During his autopsy, it's reveled his stomach contains an audio tape. The tape warns that his work will continue.

It seems that die-hard fans don't wish to know about what's in the story, since I had to re-edit my comment so that none of the story would be revealed (except that which you see in the ads anyway). In my previous comment, I said nothing about the ending, yet just giving away some of the plot is enough of a no-no. I don't blame them, since this 4th outing has too many elements that make it easier to predict what's going to happen. Regardless, you'd have to be some kind of rare genius to figure out what will happen in the end.

The series has flowed like a smooth, well-oiled Rube Goldberg machine. It's the most complex of the bunch, in some ways, outdoing the previous ones. I repeat: it begs to be watched again. Just when you thought that the previous Saw Traps had done everything they can to a human body, this one has some clever ones of it's own (not as gruesome as Saw 3, though). The autopsy scene is set to the extreme; the MPAA stating that most viewers have now gotten used to seeing programs like CSI and other medical procedures, so they let this slide easier.

Deceptive, dark, very edgy and well written, the Saw series can easily end here. It's almost necessary to have watched the previous Saws, but can stand on it's own as one of the best of the chapters. Of course, it leaves it open for yet another in the series, which will be in production soon. I don't know when I will tire of the series, but honestly, I can't wait to see what other delicious traps they cook up next.
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Do you Saw what I Saw?
Shingle1 November 2007
Without a doubt, Saw has become an absolute phenomenon. I find it quite impressive how a small $1 million horror film garnered strong word of mouth and made it big, spawning a franchise which has become Lionsgate Films' yearly bread and butter. I've really enjoyed the Saw films and have been there since the beginning, viewing the first film on opening day in the UK. It was refreshing to see something original and to my surprise, the sequel, Saw II was just as good. However, the third instalment (still good) showed signs of clutching at straws.

SWAT Commander Rigg (Lyriq Bent) has become obsessed with finding Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), particularly since his fellow officers have died via his sadistic games. However, Jigsaw finds Rigg and has him play his own game. With two of his colleagues, Officer Matthews and Hoffman (Donnie Wahlberg, Costas Mandylor) held captive in one of Jigsaw's traps, Rigg has 90 minutes to try and find them. Meanwhile FBI Agents Strahm and Perez (Scott Patterson, Athena Karkanis) question Jigsaw's ex-wife Jill (Betsy Russell) in an effort to uncover Jigsaw's mysterious accomplice.

Saw IV is a sequel that is struggling to stay consistent with the numerous plot strands and filling up of plot holes. It almost feels like an extreme connect the dots puzzle as one tries to piece together all the characters and incidents from the previous instalments. Even when watching it, I could already imagine Internet forums swarming with hundreds of questions.

What made the first film so unique was that the victims are often people who essentially deserved to be punished, be they drug dealers or con artists frantically trying to save themselves from the macabre situation they were in. With Jigsaw as judge, jury and executioner, do we as an audience side with his objective, or do we sympathise with the wrongdoing victim during their last few seconds before they die a fantastic death? As the sequels have progressed, saving oneself appears to have been completely abandoned, for in the third instalment as well as this one, some victims simply have to wait to depend upon someone to help them. Also some supposedly innocent (?) people are dragged in (the guy with his eyes sewn shut is involved in the film's best trap, but who the hell was he?), while some injured victims are merely swept aside and we never know if they live or die.

In an effort to try and make a bigger sequel, games are no longer in one confined space, but set in different locations across the city, pushing 'suspension of disbelief' to the limit. For example, Rigg's apartment is turned upside-down within a matter of minutes, with blood on the walls, pictures hanging from the ceiling and how someone managed to get a scalping chair up there without anyone noticing is beyond me! Some may like the distancing from the previous movies, but for me this is a slight shift towards conventional slasher movies.

Acting wise, it's rather mediocre. Apart from Tobin Bell, quite a bankable name now because of the Saw franchise, a number of small stars litter the film and help keep the costs down. For me, the only other name that stands out is Donnie Wahlberg, and even he is somewhat wasted.

As expected, it's reliant on flashbacks, some of which made me feel like I was watching a soap opera rather than a horror. However director Darren Lynn Bousman does fulfil on account of gore, pushing Saw IV with 'in-your-face' violence and close ups that probably wouldn't have passed through the BBFC with an uncut 18 certificate five years ago.

If you've been following the franchise then you can't help but be roped along for the ride. I certainly was. For something that was written, shot, edited and practically gift-wrapped all inside one year, it still works. It's just a shame that what was once so original three years ago now feels stale with hardly anything new to offer. Hell, there aren't even any jumpy moments! Given the rush-job nature at dishing out sequels, maybe they'll have more fun at turning it into some kind of weekly/monthly TV series.

I really do hope that this is the last one, because really now, enough is enough. But as Jigsaw says, "the games have just begun."

Rating – five out of ten.
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It would be comical if it wasn't so patronizing!
andell30 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Against my better judgment, desperate to see a horror that wasn't "30 Days of Midnight" (which I'd already saw), I decided to give the "Saw" franchise another look by partaking in this sequel. It was a stretch you see, because I think after the first one, the movies went way downhill. Of course, I didn't realize how badly they'd gone downhill until I saw this one.

This is not the most grotesque of these films, although the autopsy at the beginning of the film is enough to make you lose your lunch, popcorn, or whatever. Naturally a tape is found, reminding the police that the game is just beginning.

This in itself begs the question: why exactly are the police the targets of Jigsaw's "games?" This was a man whose past victims included a man who wanted to die, a swindler, a drug addict, an apathetic young man, an uncaring doctor and criminals in general. So why does Jigsaw have it in for the cops? Okay, the shady cop is one that made sense- but why the others? Who knows? I don't think they care anymore.

But it really Jigsaw at all? He died in the last one- the said autopsy is proof of that. Well anyone who saw Saw 2 or 3 knows where this is going- even a child could figure out that its not Jigsaw anymore, but one of his "students."

To illustrate how ridiculous this film gets, in the final scene you see the man from the third movie, still looking for his daughter and the remains of the Doctor who got her head blown off. As Jigsaw died in this room, along with his initial student, why exactly wouldn't the coroners actually take the Doctor's body? Why would this man still be running around, looking for his daughter? Are the rest of the bodies still littering the building?

Of course, if you've seen any of the other three Saw movies, you realize there is a gory aftermath, which is inevitably followed by a rehashing of ALL the events that have happened, proving that everything is interconnected.

Lets face it...the rehashing in itself is meant to say to the audience "see, you didn't notice how all of this is intertwined," however how many times can this finale play over and over again before it simply patronizing? How about giving your audience some credit? We've been down this road three times before- if you're going to change the direction of the films, then do it in a way that doesn't rely on a cheap retelling of events that would make Aesop recoil in agony!

If you're a "torture porn" fan, there will be plenty of gore and torture for you to indulge in, and no doubt "Saw V" will be out Halloween 2008. If you're looking for a good movie however, you'd best try your luck with "30 Days of Night." Enough of this franchise- it is just getting dumber and dumber.
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Nothing that we haven't already seen
vichyka26 October 2007
So I went to see Saw IV yesterday night. What do we actually gain from this movie? Basically it shows nothing new, it's like a reprise of Saw III. And the question is, do we prefer Saw III or Saw? Saw started with only two guys, chained in a bathroom, wondering where they are and what's this all actually about, and those questions are typical for existentialism. The point of this movie reminded me a lot of "No Exit", written by Jean-Paul Sartre.

Both Saw II and Saw III distinguish from the first Saw but Saw IV doesn't bring anything new. It sticks to its prequel. We get to see the same scenes (flashbacks), the same places and again we face those Jigsaw traps that never seem to end. I think that we all know by now what Jigsaw really wants and how we are supposed to play. But the detectives and agents seem to lack intelligence and don't listen to his rules. That's how we face again the catastrophe of this spectacle. We also get to see a bit of John's past and his ex-wife, Jill. I thought she was there to reveal something new about John but she never does.

Actually, Saw IV offers quite a lot, many traps, many people who got into them, many stories and also a lot of blood and violence. The truth is, I don't want to see those things anymore. I have already seen all of that in Saw III. It's like the creators of the movie are falling with every sequel deeper and deeper into meaninglessness. They have forgotten a long time ago about the meaning of this whole thing and rather decided to focus on blood and violence. Too bad the team Leigh Whannell and James Wan, the founders of Saw, does not any longer exist. Nothing can save Saw anymore.

But the director Darren Lynn Bousman keeps on trying, which is actually a big plus. He really can create the atmosphere that fits best to the movie.

I have also nothing against the new actors that appear in Saw IV, p.e. Costas Mandylor and Scott Patterson, who played really professionally for those two roles that they got.

I guess I still hope that they will save Saw, because I'm a big fan, although I already assume that the situation is hopeless. They have sunk too deep.

Good luck with the next sequel. You will definitely need it.

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The Simpsons did a better flashback within a flashback...
thesar-229 September 2009
Let the games slow down. Thankfully the best thing I can say about 'Saw IV' is they cut back on the gore. They didn't necessary replace the gruesome aspect of the series with more plot, story or acting, in fact, if anything, they all but eliminated those aspects that were the only thing holding the previous installments alive. Okay, sure this movie is gory, but comparatively speaking, it's "SawLite." Here we have more of a back story of Jigsaw (and the Mrs.) as he had died in the previous film. That's not a spoiler; the movie starts with his autopsy. It didn't really gross me out, as it was all medical, though it might be not for the squeamish. It does set the scene for some of his postmortem games – basically what parts IV+ are set up since they killed off the main character/ring-leader. Unfortunately, as that's a key plot point to keep the series (or games) alive and incidentally, its downfall. From there, you never know if you're in the present or past. It is flashback, upon flashback, including, hilariously the now made-famous: flashback within the flashback. (I saw that once on 'The Simpsons' and that was hysterical. Unfortunately, here, it's to be taken seriously, though I still laughed.) Just to jump ahead a bit, in 'Saw V' it's more relevant, but part 'IV' sets the stage where they simply just make up stuff that happened in the background to keep the story alive. If you watch this movie, or the following one(s), you'll see where character's just appear where the writers want them to – around corners, behind doors, etc. I pity them as it seems like they're grasping at straws to keep the series going. Not a horrible movie, but, boy, they needed to end it with 'III.'
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Let's hope the games never end
IamtheRegalTreatment25 October 2007
Will it ever end? I don't know, but after this one, I'm eager for more still! I know what you're thinking, it's been overdone. I admit that it's your opinion and you can judge the series after three movies, but you don't close the book on the 3rd movie when the story is "just beginning".

Should you bother seeing this movie if you haven't seen the other Saw movies? No. What if you like gore and suspense... sure. But this movie is strictly for the Saw fans who have seen the first three and followed every step and hint, otherwise it's a big waste of time. The only thing that helps those people is that every Saw movie shows flashbacks. Honestly though, it's not as useful as seeing them to begin with.

Now to the movie...

This was the first Saw movie that was not written by Leigh Whannel. Is this a problem? I don't really think so. Saw IV was just as riveting and plot-detailed as the first three. I watched the movie tonight with 2 friends in a closed theatre, and we were all talking during the entire movie asking each other questions and trying to figure out the plot. I feel bad for the massive amounts of people cramming the theatre on opening night; there's going to be so much talking, it will be unbearable to follow. "Who's that guy?" "Do you think he really died?" "I bet he's playing a game as well". Not so much fun.

Let me be completely honest about this movie, and that will be all for me. There were many twists and turns, all what we hoped for. The details are superb; everything clicked and was managed well. Most of all, the gore, violence and games were top notch. I was stunned at how amazing the tests were... seriously. It was a joy to watch.

Completely entertaining. If you liked the first Saws, then you will not want to miss this one. 7 out of 10. In my opinion, it was better than Saw III, but slightly below Saw II... and of course, not near the original. But still, Saw IV was brilliant.
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Saw IV: Pointless gore and nothing more...
sam_aj_013 December 2008
Saw IV continues the story on Jigsaws efforts to teach people the value of their lives and what they can do to survive from his dangerous traps. Previously however Jigsaw died yet his familiars continue his work.

This would seem like a clever film, that fills the gaps like Saw III but it basically fills nothing but our mouths with vomit.

Saw IV contains nothing more than pure blood-shed, despite the occasional police investigation everything seems a bit too morbid and dark...

A little too much this time, bring back the cleverness!
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Insert Bad Word here.
zstatrdust11127 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Saw 4 is a terrible film - I LOVED the first one, it's genuine shocks, insane brutality and INSANE ending. Ever since then it's been going down hill - but still watchable. In parts 2 & 3 the traps and gore still kind of shocked me and were very tense moments. In this one, nothing works - nothing shocks you anymore because it's all been done in that "Saw manner - it's fast editing, flash screen segment just get annoying and when people scream you just really want them to suck it up and die...Even though this tripe was happening in a big screen in front of me I was eager to see the end, I'd heard the actors were all signing back up because of "the end". Lemmie tell you, the end is the start..."The games have just begun" and I couldn't care less - no character has any real motive for doing anything in this film and it's one big trailer for the next 5,675 Saw flicks that will be bled out this increasingly ridiculous franchise. It really sucks. They might try and explain stuff in Saw V but I don't really care. All-in-all this is a waste of mine, yours and the film-makers time - nobody can be bothered anymore...Another point why the hell is "the creepy doll" a baby version in this one - seriously it's like 1/2 the size of the original!
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Saw IV (2007) *1/2
JoeKarlosi6 February 2008
Every long-running horror series has to have its nadir, and for the SAW films it's this muddled installment. It didn't strike me as a total disaster this time though, as compared to when I first saw it at the theater (I rated it a total BOMB at that time). I think it helps to see this right after the first three rather than cold on its own, but even being somewhat familiar with the characters and scenarios set up in the storyline so far, many people are still bound to get lost and mixed up. Director Darren Lynn Bousam at this point established himself as the go-to guy for this franchise (he also directed parts II and III, each diminishing quality) but this time the dizzying camera-work and bouncing around from flashback to flashback take on new heights of tedium.

Tobin Bell (as the now-definitely-deceased John Kramer, aka Jigsaw) returns via numerous insights back into his past life, but there is getting to be less interest in what made him the angel of death he is, since we've already learned enough of that in the previous films. We're introduced to his ex-wife (Betsy Ross) and there are some new angles toyed with amidst the confusion, but the best thing that may be said for this sequel, for those who would look at it this way, is that the gory death traps which are the main staple of this series are still potent. *1/2 out of ****
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Unfortunately, the 'games have just begun'
LoneWolfAndCub6 September 2008
Much the like the three preceding Saw films, Saw IV is filled to the brim with inconsistencies, bad acting, annoying editing and poor twists. However, despite its shortcomings, this was definitely more watchable Saw II. The film begins with an incredibly graphic (and pointless) autopsy on Jigsaw, who was killed in Saw III. A wax-covered tape is found in his stomach, and quite clearly states his legacy will continue and that the games are far from over. We are then introduced to Rigg (Lyrqi Bent) who has 90 minutes to save Detectives Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) and Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) while passing through a series of tests which involve random people. To add some more story into the mix, Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) and Agent Perez (Athena Karkanis) are hot on Rigg's tale, while also trying to find Matthews and Hoffman.

Obviously story was thrown out of the window when making this movie, as the story is convoluted and predictable. It is merely an excuse to show off some inventive and sadistic traps for the ADD riddled target audience. Whereas in James Wan's Saw, traps were secondary to the mystery and intrigue, here they are the focus. Not to say I do not enjoy watching how they work, as they provide some excellent gore. Director Darren Lynn Bousman has not changed his style very much, because the editing is as atrocious as it always has been with quick, flashy cuts that plague most scenes. These are incredibly irritating and make it hard to follow the action. Even parts of dialogue are reduced to this MTV music-video style of camera-work.

None of the acting is particularly worth mentioning; Tobin Bell really needs lessons to broaden his range, as all he does is talk in that same gruff voice he has done in Saw - Saw III. Betsy Russell is probably the best as Jill, Jigsaw's ex-wife. To be fair, the actors are not helped by the script, as it is pretty darn poor. The twist at the end could probably be seen a mile away and lacks any punch whatsoever, and it does not help that we are treated to a series of flashbacks which explain it, like we are not smart enough to think for ourselves! The story itself seems contradictory, as Jigsaw's motive was to kidnap people who did not appreciate their life (like druggies, arsonists, rapists) and test them. In this, Rigg is chosen, although he is a policeman whose flaw is trying to save everyone?! Seems a bit dodgy to me...

Regardless, you could do worse for 95 minutes. If you are a hardcore Saw fanatic you will probably love this, if you aren't you should probably just skip it. This is nothing but a rehash of Saw III with more gore and the same silly story.

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A Messy and Absurd Story – The Game and the Franchise Are Over
claudio_carvalho5 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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Rinsed to the core...(may contain a spoiler)
djvale29 October 2007
Warning: 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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Feels Like Belated Sequel with Half the Substance of a Typical Movie
Hellrazr36026 October 2007
Warning: 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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The trap in Saw IV is the movie itself!
dyl_gon1 November 2007
The Saw movies always feature people stuck in terrible trap in which to survive, they must go through excruciating torture. The latest installment in the series, Saw IV, is one of these traps itself, in which you will either suffer through 95 minutes of excruciating torture or commit suicide before the end credits come up.

The first Saw was an accomplished horror movie. It was new and interesting, as well as very unsettling. Most of the film was spent in a single room and it focused more on suspense, rather than gore. As new installments came to theaters, there was a gradual decline of suspense and the focus was put more on gore and torture. By the time Saw III rolled around, the entire movie was basically disturbing torture, but there were at least a few scenes that attempted to be frightening.

Now that Saw IV is out, you can tell that they're really dragging this series out as far as it will go. This installment has two separate story lines, one in which a police officer is put through a series of tests to save his friend. Although Saw IV had a new writing team, the story is almost identical to the one in Saw III, which wasn't a good story to begin with. The movie is set up to showcase as much gore and torture as possible, which means the main character's trap is that he has to try and free other people from traps, and more often than not, they die excruciatingly painful deaths. The storyline isn't scary and there isn't even an attempt to be. The director, Darren Lynn Bousman, just tries to cram as much torture into the film as he can. This is exactly the same type of storyline we got in the third Saw. It sucked in the third one too, but at least it was original. The only difference between the story lines is that in Saw III we got a lady's rib cage being torn open, and in Saw IV it's a lady's scalp being torn off.

Not only is the whole movie pointless, it's poorly written too. This has to be the first Saw movie where I'm almost positive I could've escaped from at least two of the traps easily. They are so poorly designed. It's a miracle at least half the characters die in them, as they rely solely on unlikely coincidences and chance. In the first Saw, the characters tried many different attempts at escaping and all angles were covered. In this one, everything just falls into place perfectly and the victims in the traps never do the "smart" thing. It doesn't even make sense. We never learn why the hell the main character couldn't just call the police and have them come help him work his way through the traps, as there is nothing stopping him (yes, in Saw IV, the main character actually has the option to not partake in the trap at all if he wanted).

The second storyline is told through flashbacks and attempts to explain why Jigsaw, the old man creating these gruesome devices, got into the business of killing people. This new storyline provides absolutely nothing interesting or any insight into why he became what he is. The audience was already given enough of an explanation for his motives in the previous three films. Saw IV just adds a new, unnecessary motive, involving Jigsaw and his ex-wife. Not only is it pointless, it's poorly done too. Tobin Bell wasn't a recognized actor before the Saw series and now I know why. He has no acting ability and can't convey any emotion. The flashbacks are supposed to show his progression from a regular guy into a crazy psycho, but he acts exactly the same throughout the entire storyline. Even at a pivotal moment, when something terrible happens to him that is supposed to change him, we get shots of him standing there with the same damn expression on his face.

A key part of the Saw movies is the twist ending, but they aren't even trying anymore. It's as if they just threw in the first thing that came to mind. The twist comes out of nowhere and further insults the audience by showing flashbacks to different points throughout the course of the movie, as if they are supposed to point in any way to the nonsensical twist. There are so many plot holes in the last 10 minutes, including the fact that the characters all do random, idiotic things that nobody on this planet would ever do in the given situation, as well as a death straight out of Final Destination (which I guess could happen, but it's just cheesy).

When it comes down to it, if you liked Saw III, there's an inkling of a possibility that you may enjoy Saw IV. They both lack suspense, a good plot, and good writing, but at least Saw III was original. If you're looking for a good horror movie, I suggest you go see 30 Days of Night. I'm not going to debate whether or not 30 Days was a good horror film in a review for Saw IV, but it at least attempted to be good. Saw IV doesn't even try. It just tries to show off tons of gore and adds a twist at the end, and hopes the fans will eat it up.
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If it ain't broke... torture it some more
brendon-kenny11 November 2008
*** This review is courtesy of - the One to watch. ***

Another year, another instalment of this 'if it ain't broke, torture it some more' franchise. For fans of the series, and sick little puppies in general, there are plenty of the contrived traps and grisly ways of disposing of hapless victims, even though Jigsaw (the villain of the first three) is now dead. Needless to say, if you couldn't face the previous films, then this is unlikely to win you over – in fact, if you haven't seen the previous instalments, avoid this entry as it's so embroiled in it's convoluted plot line it'll leave newcomers completely bewildered.
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Jigsaw returns .. better than ever !!!
bargainsaustralia25 October 2007
Warning: 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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Saw IV was a thinker.
theprekursor27 October 2007
Despite what other people may say, I'm very glad that the Saw crew has decided to continue the Saw franchise. There were too many loose ends at the end of Saw III that needed tying up, and I believe that Saw IV accomplished this to the degree that it was supposed to. Sure; as a stand-alone movie, it's quite confusing. I would strongly recommend viewing the previous three before this one; otherwise, as aforementioned, you'll be lost throughout the movie. As expected, IV had all the down-right blood, gore and grisly traps that I've come to know and love from the series in addition to explaining a bit more about Jigsaw's past and the inner workings of his little 'set-up'. I understood that ALL of my questions wouldn't be answered; that's what Saws V and VI are for. But I was satisfied that some of the most important 'puzzles' had gotten a few more pieces by the completion of IV. All in all, I view the Saw franchise as a 'thinking man's horror' kind of series. If you can tie the four movies together in your mind, it makes a lot more sense and you can understand what's happening better. So, I'll give it a 10/10 for avid Saw fans like myself, and even a modest 7/10 for people that aren't too into it. Saw IV is definitely worth watching through, regardless of your stand.
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