The fourth SAW film takes fans into uncharted waters. Now that John/Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is dead, screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (writers of the Project Greenlight-produced FEAST) give us Jigsaw's origin story--finally showing us why he does what he does. Along they way, they still find time to work in the usual dose of elaborate Rube Goldberg-like torture devices and heaps of censor-defying gore in what plays like an extreme version of CSI. During his (extremely graphic) autopsy, Jigsaw's final tape (swallowed in SAW III) is found in his stomach. Promising that his work will continue despite his passing, his message sets off a series of grisly tasks for anxious SWAT team leader Rigg (Lyriq Bent), who is given 90 minutes to rescue detectives Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) and Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), who are to be dispatched via blocks of ice and high voltage wires. Trailing Rigg are FBI agents Strahm (Scott Patterson of GILMORE GIRLS) and Perez (Athena Karkanis), who get some unexpected blood on their hands along the way. A series of flashbacks details a pivotal event between Jigsaw and his girlfriend, Jill (1980s beauty Betsy Russell, PRIVATE SCHOOL), which inspired him to devote the remainder of his life to the creation of his signature puzzles.
Saw 4 (DVD)
Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) may be dead but the game isn't over in Saw IV, a slick sequel that gets the floundering series back on track. After a tape recorded message is found in Jig's stomach, Detective Hoffman (Carlos Mandylor) and SWAT Commander Riggs (Lyriq Bent) are thrown into yet another fiendishly complex morality play. With restless flashbacks fleshing out the late Jigsaw's origins and a collection of infernal torture implements shredding the flesh of the living, it's a cut above the rest of Saw's sequels.
Killing off its serial killer villain, Saw III left the franchise with a major headache; how to make a Saw movie without Jigsaw? The answer: don't. Instead, flashbacks show us the making of Bell's monster, a lost family, cancer and car wreck turning him into Jigsaw, the twenty-first century's first bona fide horror icon. Bell plays him as pallid and chillingly still as always; meanwhile, the rest of the cast wade through blood and severed limbs as the sadist's inventively nasty machines do all the hard work. One poor gal is scalped, a rapist is quartered and a survivor from Saw III spends ninety minutes dancing on a melting block of ice; if he falls off, the noose around his neck will ensure he doesn't make it to Saw V.
"A TRULY MISERABLE WORLD"
With two sequels already on his resume, helmer Darren Lynn Housman nails the series' dank, yellowing aesthetic once again. He sticks us in a truly miserable world so lacking in human kindness it could be set in '80s, pre-Giuliani, New York. It's deeply unsettling; just like a horror movie should be. True, the labyrinthine plot makes little sense (is making it impossible to follow a deliberate ploy to ensure DVD sales?) - but then Saw's always been about sensation: an assault on the the stomach, not the brain.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
rate my review
Surprisingly better than Saw III, the fourth installment in the franchise delivers the suspense in a very tricky manner. While I can't divulge just why the movie ups the ante, just suffice to say that, with Jigsaw dead, this movie takes place begining in the moments before the awful scene at the end of number 3 (and other info deleted to appease other Amazon crybabies).
You are also given a deeper back-story for Jigsaw, (Tobin Bell, again deliciously malevolent) and the lady that appeared in his flashbacks. Other characthers reappear as pawns in a dangerous game, as the dearly departed seems to have left posthumous recruitment tapes for SWAT Commander Rigg. Along with the typical ominous warnings, Rigg is led through the well-known series of SAW traps as Jigsaw tests his mettle. At the end of this test are two other fellow officers, including a returning Donnie Wahlberg, restrained to another nefarious device. As you can guess, not everything goes according to plan. The final twist is a doozy, and for a change, hard to see coming
5/5 for this one from me
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
saw 4 (dvd)
i like many others bought the first saw film on dvd and could not wait to see the next part!.this fourth film does not start like the other three ie exactly where you were at the end of the previous one.it's good and explains more but as far as gore goes saw 3 i think has more gore.it's a shame jigsaw and amanda were killed off in saw3 but he lives on via tv screens and memo recorders.and of course you get to work out in the end who continues his gruesome work from now on.considering i bought the extreme version i was expecting more gore from it.A good film none the less and roll on saw 5.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Nothing that we haven't already seen
So I sawSaw 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.