Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Prodigy Wars: The Beginning: SAW IV (2007)

SAW IV (2007)
starring: Tobin Bell, Scott Patterson and Louis Ferreira

So John Kramer is dead and appears to had taken everything with him to the grave. From the rusty traps to the grieve stricken prodigy, so it's all over, right?

No, apparently. Not for us, and especially not for plot.

So, looking back at the films, three movies and one dead mastermind didn't spell out finale for the franchise and this entry takes us to a series of new twists on the mythology and a legacy that refuses to die.

Continuing from what could have been a disappointing ending, John Kramer's publicly announced death had held a breath of relieved sighs to the stricken public, but when a SWAT commander on the case is forced to play a new "Game" to save the life of his family, it soon became clear that Jigsaw had more than one accomplice and an unwilling player might be going through his own initiation rites to be a part of the Kramer's legacy.

While it still had it's linking plotlines to the previous entries, SAW IV tried to move back to a more mystery driven plot; the fact that both Jigsaw and Amanda is dead sparks a new puzzle and a revelation to anticipate on who is perpetrating these traps?

So while we enjoy a moderately intriguing thriller, gorehounds will equally be satisfied with the new set of Jigsaw traps that scalps, punctures and dismembers its unfortunate victim with much bright red to the point it finally pushed the franchise to true torture porn territory. This being mentioned, it also marked the franchise's slowly disappearing realism as the traps had gone to elaborate, if not overdone, measures of complexities that's a tad too big to ignore. Note, one of them just so happens to be in a locked room in a sleazy motel. It's looked like it weighs about ten tons and it had two spiked claws. How a machine that big goes unnoticed or the fact that nobody accidentally used that room is beyond me. For short, it's a pure torture show that's made for the grue-lovers and not entirely for people who had a serious take on their genre films.

Another problem with SAW IV was that, while it attempts to bring a new chapter in the SAW series, it's still trying to cover the continuity between previous films and it starts to get more and more confusing unless you rewatch the previous titles. At least two to three characters from prior SAW movie made a comeback, and while series of clumsy flashbacks did explain who they are and what had they've gone through, it's weakening the credibility of the story.Then again, whether they were major characters before didn't matter much as the film's focus was more on the lead's journey into what may be his initiation rite, which honestly speaking, despite watchable and entertaining, isn't that strong of a plot either.

Marking SAW's first step into the peculiar legacy that concerns continuing Jigsaw's works beyond death, SAW IV at least had the decency to try a proper story and an interesting backdrop on the series' mythology. What will happen next will come far estranged and more disappointing so might as well as enjoy this series' entry, at least if yer craving for something gory.

1 male bludgeoned to death with hammer
1 female nearly scalped, bashed through mirror
1 male torn limbless by trap
1 male bled to death from spike inflicted wounds
1 female shot on the head with spike
1 unborn baby miscarried (flashback)
1 male had his face mutilated with knifes, ran into razor wire (flashback)
1 male had his head crushed by blocks of ice
1 male shot
1 male shot in the head
1 male shot, left for dead
total: 11


  1. Yeah, even as a fan of the series, I found this one really confusing at times. Maybe it was because since Costas Mandylor didn't have such a big role in Saw III, that when he stood up at the end of Saw IV and was revealed to be the new apprentice, I was like, "wait a minute, who is that guy again???"
    I liked the limb-ripping trap, though, that was a cool design.

    1. haha, I got the same reaction, too when I watched this the first time!