Saw IV (2007)

If there's something I like about the Saw franchise (other than the fact that, film after film, we slowly get to know why Jigsaw killed those people) is its consistency. The original Saw was great and the followings didn't live up to that, but they all are pretty much on the same level and they still make for decent films. Saw IV is another of those movies. Nothing great, but still a decent horror.

Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is finally dead but his sick games continue as Lieutenant Daniel Riggs (Lyriq Bent) is put through a series of tests that is supposed to teach him to let go of his obsession with saving everyone and that allows him to save his partner, Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg). Meanwhile, FBI agents Strahm (Scott Patterson) and Perez (Athena Karkanis) investigates the legacy of Jigsaw.

Once again it is your typical Saw plot filled with traps, horrible people who can't appreciate their lives, holes everywhere and gore. There are too many storylines and the film struggles to keep up with all of them. The story probably makes less sense than ever, but they were able to connect this story with the previous movies' decently. At times though it seems like that's the only thing they tried to do with this film, connect the dots from the previous movies.

Lions Gate Films
However, one of those storylines is what I enjoyed (the most) about Saw IV. It's Jigsaw's. Even though he's dead, he really is, he has a very important role in the story. Through numerous flashbacks, we get to know John Kramer, the man behind Jigsaw. We get to know his true motives and what events turned a normal man into a monster. This storyline also allows some nice-ish character development. Tobin Bell once again does a fine job as Jigsaw, this time around being almost able to make us sympathise with him despite of what he has done. Keep in mind that I said almost, I'm not a psycho.

The one thing I truly hated about this entry was the characters. Jigsaw excluded, they all are one-dimensional characters. We don't get to know them, they are beyond stupid, their actions are even more stupid than they are, and most of them are there only to be killed almost immediately. Also, there isn't a single character with a motive in this film.

In spite of that, Saw IV still managed to keep a slight interest in me as it delivered a little tension and suspense. It's not a particularly scary film, but if you like gore, you'll find plenty of that.

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