Saw IV (2007)

saw iv poster 2007 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

Linking between the pictures still is interesting

Feels like more of the same, overly and unnecessarily complex

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Saw IV

Studio:  Twisted Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 26, 2007

MPAA Rating:  R

saw iv knife blades billy otis

Possibly the dumbest “escape the trap” and die death ever.

Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is dead…but that doesn’t mean the games continue.  When Allison Kerry (Dina Meyer) is killed by Jigsaw or his possible accomplice Officer Daniel Riggs (Lyriq Bent) finds himself in a race against time to find the killer before it is too late.  As Riggs searches, Agent Peter Strahm (Scott Patterson) and Agent Lindsey Perez (Athena Karkanis) are on Rigg’s trail and question if John Kramer’s former wife Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell) could have the key they are searching form.  Everyone around Riggs is dying and he cannot save them…can he save his former partner Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) and another of Jigsaw’s prisoners before it is too late or is it all part of Jigsaw’s final game?

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, Saw IV is a survival gore-horror movie.  Following Saw III in 2006, the film was met with negative reviews but a continued strong showing at the box office.

Saw III did something unusual, but not necessarily unusual for Saw…it killed Jigsaw aka John Kramer the star and killer of the movie.  He was dead…no questions asked.  It wasn’t like a Friday the 13th or Halloween where you expect him to bounce back.  Leading into Saw IV, it is a bit of an intriguing premise, but due to how Saw through Saw III played out, it feels less surprising.  Due to aspects of the plot, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

saw iv family bound ron lea janet land

Divorce can be messy

The story is rather typical of Saw in that you know what you are seeing isn’t true.  There is manipulation (generally time) and by this point in the series, you are almost just watching for the flip rather than the torture which seems repetitive by now (I do like the ice blocks).  The monotony of getting through the plot to the flip is one of the harder parts of many of the Saw movies…and this one is loaded with some uninspired characters.

Tobin Bell (despite his character’s “death”) gets some opportunity to expand his character’s persona, but it also makes Jigsaw even more sanctimonious and pious because he decides he gets to choose people’s fates…it isn’t like you like the character, but there have been points where Jigsaw “sticks it to the man”, and now it just seems pathetic and petty in many of the cases of the murder.  Shawnee Smith was a fun addition to Jigsaw’s “puzzle”, but Costa Mandylor is a weak substitute.  Lyriq Bent isn’t bad, but once again punishing him for “trying to make a difference” seems a little out of Jigsaw’s wheelhouse even if the people have to make their own changes.

saw iv ice blocks death donnie wahlberg

No! He’s a new kid ON the Block…not smash BY blocks

The movie’s clever traps feel less clever at this point.  The original Saw was pretty basic with handcuffs and saws (and a crazy headset), but the movies seem to try to want to top each other with more and more elaborate traps that require almost 100% prediction of the actions of the victim to work (which seems to always be the right prediction).  It feels lazy rather than creative now and the fact that they generally have to spend much of the end of the movie in a flashback (or in this case the whole movie), it feels like you can almost manipulate time any way you want.

Saw IV has the difficulty of a dead villain, but it also skirts the difficulty of a dead villain leaving it up to the next person to try to solve their way out of the Saw plot problems.  It is like a weird exquisite corpse story with just as ridiculous cliffhangers that are made up by kids when telling a story in that format.  Saw IV was followed by Saw V in 2008.

Related Links:

Saw (2004)

Saw II (2005)

Saw III (2006)

Saw V (2008)

Saw VI (2009)

Saw 3D (2010)

Jigsaw (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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