Last year I ended the MASSACRE MARATHON with a BANG! I reviewed the first three films in the Saw franchise for the grand finale. I got an itch to continue on with the series, so this year I watched Saw IV. This is the first one that doesn’t feature James Wan or Leigh Whannell in any capacity while Darren Lynn Bousman (Repo! The Genetic Opera, Tales of Halloween) returns to direct for his third and final time.
The farther you get into the Saw series the more difficult it gets for a reviewer to delve into any specifics without ruining the surprises in store. The traps are still creative and inspired, but the way everything is tied together takes precedence in Saw IV. Certain things occur in this film that are actually set up in the previous ones. Things that are obvious if you go back and look for them, but most viewers probably didn’t notice them the first time around. Every little action has a reaction, every nuance a consequence meticulously planned out by Jigsaw. Once again, the fourth entry saves its biggest twist for the end, throwing more than one film’s plot for a loop.
Traps like the one above might come off as cheesy or over the top to some, but they are my favorite thing about the series. So many horror franchises put out countless sequels with the same guy killing people, for the most part, the same way. Saw films not only up the ante with each installment, but keep a steady flow of quality in their creation of imaginative traps. That being said, even if you do start to get tired of the TORTURE devices, it’s OK. There is still Jigsaw’s intricate grand scheme to mull over. There’s something for everybody, so don’t pop an artery!
Saw IV continues keeps the story as fresh and bloody as ever and leads into the next film flawlessly. The second time around wasn’t as exciting because I already knew what was going to happen, but I’ll never forget initially having my mind blown. This chapter focuses on what really pushed Jigsaw to evolve into the MURDERER, ahem, “suicide-encourager” he became. Saw IV is a must-see for people drawn in to the captivating tale of Jigsaw’s reign and need to know more. For anyone else, I suggest you go back to the first movie and start from the beginning to get the most out of it.
5 gushing arteries out of 5
P.S. My traps of choice are the ones involving ICE and KNIVES.