Saw IV is, as the title would suggest, not the movie to start with if you have not seen any of these franchise films before. However, if you have not enjoyed the previous Saw films, this — the smartest, most polished one — may hook you.
The story picks up where Saw III left off: The vile villain Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is dead. But he's not done. With one last piece of the puzzle left inside him, his autopsy sparks a flurry of activity as the police and FBI search for his final victim. The hunt is led by Officer Rigg (Lyriq Bent), and Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson), while other members of law enforcement — played by Costas Mandylor and Mark Wahlberg — find their own futures hanging in the balance at Jigsaw's dying whim.
As ever, the set pieces are amazing. The elaborately thought-out traps are truly cringe-inducing and gore-gushing. As expected, the Unrated Director's Cut is significantly more gruesome. Some of the actors' roles are expanded, as well. Chance the dog is a standout.
For more plot details, read Horror.com's theatrical release review here
- Audio commentary with director Bousman and actor Lyriq Bent
This is not only an entertaining yak-track, it's also quite informative. I have seen all the Saw movies, each of them at least two or three times, and I learned quite a lot from Bousman's verbal puzzle-piecing. I knew the world of Saw was intricate, but I didn't not know just how little I actually knew! It's good stuff. It's also funny, and Bent's perspective is from a totally different state of mind so it's interesting to hear the pair's interplay. There is some information revealed about Saw V. Also, the shameless plug's for Bousman's upcoming film, Repo The Genetic Opera, are hilarious.
- Audio commentary with producers Oren Koules and Mark Burg and executive producers Peter Block and Jason Constantine
- Darren's Video Diary featurette
This is really candid, and quite dense in its presentation of making the movie from concept to final cut (which, by the way, Bousman laments he doesn't have!). Definitely worth watching, but it's hard to get around the idiotic, extremely irritating tee-shirt blurring that Lionsgate always does on these featurettes. (Note to Bousman: Wear plain shirts on set next time!)
Doesn't add anything to the story but worth a peek.
- The Traps of Saw IV featurette
These featurettes, presented with every Saw DVD, are always the best.
- The Props of Saw IV featurette
Jigsaw's ultra-realistic corpse is one of the "props" and it's really quite fascinating to see how they made it look so authentic.
- Music video: "I.V." by Japan X
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson