"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 Since Leigh Whannel (Writer of the first three Saws) has been replaced by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, it is obvious that these new writers of the series were pressured to write a coherent storyline so that the filmmakers could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.
Action / Crime / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
Action / Crime / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
Jigsaw and his apprentice Amanda are dead. Now, upon the news of Detective Kerry's murder, two seasoned FBI profilers, Agent Strahm and Agent Perez, arrive in the terrified community to assist the veteran Detective Hoffman in sifting through Jigsaw's latest grisly remains and piecing together the puzzle. However, when SWAT Commander Rigg is abducted and thrust into a game, the last officer untouched by Jigsaw has but ninety minutes to overcome a series of demented traps and save an old friend or face the deadly consequences.
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September 11, 2011 at 01:31 PM