Saw IV

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Saw IV
Saw4final.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
Produced by Mark Burg
Oren Koules
Gregg Hoffman
Screenplay by Patrick Melton
Marcus Dunstan
Story by Thomas Fenton
Patrick Melton
Marcus Dunstan
Starring Tobin Bell
Costas Mandylor
Scott Patterson
Betsy Russell
Lyriq Bent
Music by Charlie Clouser
Cinematography David Armstrong
Edited by Kevin Greutert
Production
  company
Twisted Pictures
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date(s)
  • October 25, 2007 (2007-10-25) (Australia)
  • October 26, 2007 (2007-10-26) (US and Canada)
Running time 95 minutes
Country Canada
United States
Language English
Budget US$10 million
Box office US$139,352,633[1]

Saw IV is a 2007 Canadian-American[2] horror film and the fourth installment of the Saw franchise. It was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and written by newcomers Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan and Thomas Fenton and stars Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Lyriq Bent, Justin Louis, and Donnie Wahlberg. The film was released in North America on October 26, 2007. The film's North American release date followed the series' tradition that the films be released the Friday before or on Halloween of each year.

The film continues the story of the Jigsaw Killer and his obsession with teaching people the "value of their own lives". Despite Jigsaw being killed in the last installment, the film still focuses on his ability to manipulate people into continuing his work of trapping people. The story follows Daniel Rigg being put in a series of tests in order to try and let go of his obsession of saving everyone, whilst at the same time attempting to save his partner.

Plot[edit]

During John Kramer's (Tobin Bell) autopsy, a wax-coated microcassette is found in his stomach. Detective Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is called in to hear the tape, which reveals that he will still be tested, and that the games will continue. The scene cuts to a mausoleum, where Art (Justin Louis) and Trevor (Kevin Rushton) awaken chained at the neck to a winch. Trevor's eyes and Art's mouth are sewn shut, making communication impossible. In a blind panic, Trevor activates the winch and attacks Art, who kills him during the struggle, and takes a key from Trevor's collar to free himself.

Four days after her death, Allison Kerry's (Dina Meyer) body is found by a SWAT team. After cautioning Lt. Daniel Rigg (Lyriq Bent) for breaking through an unsecured door to reach her, Hoffman sends him home. He is then met by FBI Agents Peter Strahm (Scott Patterson) and Lindsey Perez (Athena Karkanis), who were contacted by Kerry before her death. They believe that an unknown accomplice set up Kerry's trap, as John and Amanda Young were physically incapable of putting Kerry in the harness. Strahm soon becomes suspicious of Rigg, who has developed an obsession with saving everyone and is convinced that Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg), who vanished without a trace six months earlier, is still alive. Rigg returns home just as his wife (Ingrid Hart) is leaving to be with her mother, and declines her plea for him to accompany her.

That night, Rigg and Hoffman are attacked by pig-masked figures. Rigg awakens in his bathroom and learns that Matthews is alive and has ninety minutes to save himself, with Hoffman's life at stake as well. In the meantime, Rigg must undergo his own tests in order to face his obsession and "truly learn how to save a life". His first test is in his living room, where Brenda (Sarain Boylan), a pimp, is bound to a chair and wearing a pig mask. Rigg is implored to walk away, but he accidentally activates the trap by removing her mask and gag, which slowly tears her scalp. He succeeds in freeing her, only to kill her in self-defense when she attacks him with a knife: she had previously been told by tape that Rigg would arrest her, and killing him was the only way to stop him. While the police and agents investigate the scene, Strahm finds a clue that points to Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell), John's ex-wife, and she is brought to the station for questioning.

A man arrives at the room where Matthews and Hoffman are being held, to oversee their game. Matthews stands atop an ice block with a chain-noose around his neck on one end of a large see-saw, and Hoffman is strapped to a chair with electrodes at his feet on the other end. If too much ice melts or Matthews jumps, he will be hanged and Hoffman will be electrocuted, killing them both. For his second test, Rigg is led to a motel and is instructed to abduct the owner, Ivan Landsness (Marty Adams), and place him in a prearranged trap in one of the rooms. After finding photo and video evidence that Ivan is a serial rapist, an enraged Rigg forces Ivan into the trap and leaves after handing him two controllers. Ivan's test requires that he blind both eyes with blades, but he only succeeds in blinding one eye before the timer expires and the trap dismembers him.

Meanwhile, the agents alternate between investigating the scenes of Rigg's test and questioning Jill, who reveals John's backstory. He was a civil engineer involved with property development, while she ran a clinic to help drug addicts. She was pregnant with their baby, to be named Gideon after John's first building project with Art Blank, and Jigsaw's puppet was designed as a toy for him. Seven months into her pregnancy, her clinic was robbed by Cecil Adams (Billy Otis), an addict she was familiar with, and she miscarried when Cecil slammed a door into her stomach while fleeing. The agents are called to the motel, where they learn that they are the next two targets and that the room was rented out to Art Blank, who vanished two weeks prior. The man overseeing the current game is revealed to be Art when he prevents Matthews from jumping and hands him a gun.

In his third test, Rigg enters an elementary school and finds Morgan and Rex (Janet Land and Ron Lea), a woman and her abusive husband, impaled together by rods in a harness. The rods pass through vital circulatory points in Rex's body, but non-vital points of Morgan's. By the time Rigg arrives, Morgan has removed all but one rod and passed out from shock, her husband long since dead. She wakes up and Rigg pulls the last rod from her body and gives her the key to her harness, telling her she has to save herself. He then finds the location of his final test and leaves, pulling the fire alarm on his way out. The agents learn at the scene that all three dead victims were represented in court by Art, who was also Jill's lawyer. They find Jigsaw's puppet in another room, where a cryptic message is played for Perez before the puppet's face explodes, sending shrapnel into her face. After she is hospitalized, Strahm furiously interrogates Jill, now convinced Art is the accomplice. She reveals that John's depression following the miscarriage ended their marriage as well as his partnership with Art, and that after surviving his suicide attempt he began his work testing others. His first victim, Cecil, was to push his face through several knives to release his razor blade arm and leg restraints. The trap collapsed, but Cecil died anyway when he lunged at John and fell into a tangle of razor-wire.

Strahm connects her story and a prior clue to the Gideon Meatpacking Plant, the location of Rigg's final test. He arrives shortly after Rigg but ends up trailing Jeff Denlon (Angus Macfadyen), arriving in front of the door to the sickroom just as it seals itself. He unlocks it using Kerry's key and finds Jeff, only to shoot him dead in self-defense when Jeff points a gun at him, believing Strahm to be his daughter's kidnapper. Meanwhile, Art pulls out a small device and explains to Matthews and Hoffman that he can use it to release all three of them when the timer expires. If he tries to do so before then, a pair of pincers will sever his spine. Unaware of this, Rigg arrives and breaks into the room with one second to spare, just as Matthews shoots him, which releases two overhead ice blocks that swing down and crush Matthews' head, killing him. A mortally wounded Rigg shoots and kills Art, believing him responsible for the game, and learns from Art's tape recorder that he failed by interfering: Matthews would have lived if Rigg had not gotten involved. Hoffman, the real accomplice, releases himself from the chair and leaves Rigg to die, and seals Strahm in the sickroom before leaving the plant. The scene then cuts to John's autopsy, which took place after the events of the film.

Cast[edit]

For more details on the cast and characters, see List of Saw cast members and List of Saw characters.

Production[edit]

The film's writer was Thomas Fenton.[3] There was also a hunt for the director of Saw IV before it was officially stated that Darren Lynn Bousman would direct the fourth installment, with creators and executive producers, James Wan and Leigh Whannell also returning.[4][5] principal photography took from April 16, 2007[6] to May 3, 2007.[7] The filming location was Toronto, Ontario,[8] the same place both Saw II[9] and Saw III[10] were filmed. Post-production period began on May 19.[11]

In an interview with Darren Lynn Bousman, he stated that the last work on Saw IV would happen in August to be able to have prints made.[5] At Comic Con 2007 it was revealed by Bousman and producer Mark Burg that the MPAA had given the film an NC-17 rating. They would have to figure out whether or not to cut the film to achieve an R Rating or release it as an NC-17 film,[12] the former of which they accomplished.[13]

Lionsgate held its fourth annual "Give Til It Hurts" blood drive for the Red Cross.[14]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $63,300,095 in the United States and an additional $71,228,814 internationally, bringing the theatrical total to $134,528,909.[15] It is Lionsgate's sixth highest-grossing film in the United States and Canada.[16]

Reviews[edit]

Critical reception to Saw IV was negative. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 16% of critics gave the film a positive review, based upon 73 reviews, with an average score of 3 out of 10.[17] On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 36 out of 100, based on 16 reviews.[18] Scott Schueller from the Los Angeles Times called it "a film as edgy as a rubber knife" and said that "if the terrible craft of Bousman's film doesn't turn your stomach, the borderline pornographic violence will. It's disconcerting to imagine anyone enjoying the vile filth splashing the screen."[19] Frank Scheck from The Hollywood Reporter said "the famously inventive torture sequences here seem depleted of imagination", but added that "it hasn't yet jumped the shark like such predecessors as the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th movies eventually did."[20] Peter Hartlaub from The San Francisco Chronicle called it "the Syriana of slasher films, so complicated and circuitous that your only hope of understanding everything is to eat lots of fish the night before and then watch each of the previous films, in order, right before you enter the theater."[21] James Berardinelli wrote that "Saw IV functions as a drawn-out, tedious epilogue to a series that began with an energetic bang three years ago with Saw, then progressively lost momentum, coherence, and intelligence with each successive annual installment. Saw IV is nothing short of a money-grab. Despite a couple of loose ends (that are tied up unsatisfactorily here), Saw III finished the story."[22]

A less negative review came from Scott Weinberg from Fearnet, who said that while it "is almost certainly the weakest of the series where stuff like plot, logic, and chills are concerned... there's still more than enough here to keep the fans intrigued, entertained, and squirming in their seats" and added that the "Saw-makers are to be commended for actually putting forth this sort of effort. I grew up in an era that offered little more than quick-cash, stand-alone horror sequels like Halloween 5 and Friday the 13th Part 7 — so the fact that these producers actually give a damn about narrative continuity (right down to the smallest detail) is fairly impressive."[23] Horror.com said that "with Saw IV, the pieces have all come together and [it's] the best of the lot."[24] Jamie Russell from the BBC called it "deeply unsettling; just like a horror movie should be."[25] Chris Hewitt from St. Paul Pioneer Press claimed that "Saw IV is a fluid film, as neatly constructed as the deadly puzzles Jigsaw creates to snare his victims." Film School Rejects said that "One of the things that is most intriguing to me about the Saw movies is how much I actually have enjoyed them" and claimed that "As far as fourth installments in a series, Saw IV is quite impressive." Linda Cook from Quad-City Times gave it a positive review also and said "The twists and turns are deadly, the 'lessons' are taught once again, and we have the perfect setup for Saw V."[26]

Awards[edit]

Award Category Result
Empire Awards Best Horror Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards Best Horror TV Spot Won
Best Horror Poster Nominated
Best Teaser Poster Nominated
Best Thriller Poster Nominated
Best Thriller TV Spot Nominated

Home media[edit]

The Unrated Director's Cut was released on January 22, 2008 in America and March 3, 2008 in the UK, on DVD and Blu-ray. The "Extreme Edition", which was released in the UK only, before the release of Saw V in October 2008[27][28] features a 95-minute running time of the film.

Extreme Limited Edition[edit]

This edition was only released in the United Kingdom.[27]

  • Exclusive automated spinning Saw with a sound clip packaging
  • A copy of the Saw: Rebirth comic
  • Two audio commentaries (One with director Darren Lynn Bousman and actor Lyriq Bent; the other featuring the producers.)
  • Video Diary of Darren Lynn Bousman
  • Traps of Saw IV
  • Props of Saw IV
  • "I.V." by X Japan music video

Trivia[edit]

  • Saw IV was originally rated R in Australia (Restricted to adults aged 18 and over) but it was re-rated on appeal to MA (Not suitable for people under the age of 15).[citation needed] This was due to the content being similar in the previous films and while the autopsy scene was done realistically, it didn't require legislative restriction for adult category. Saw IV was released also MA15+ rating for DVD/BD releases.

Soundtrack[edit]

Main article: Saw IV (soundtrack)

The soundtrack was released on October 23, 2007 by WEA/Warner Bros. Records.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Saw IV (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  2. ^ "BFI Film & TV Database - Saw IV". British Film Institute. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ Actual writer for Saw IV revealed
  4. ^ Bousman Returns to Direct Saw IV. ComingSoon.net, 2007-02-20.
  5. ^ a b Darren Lynn Bousman Interview, SAW 4. Movies Online. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
  6. ^ Date set for filming
  7. ^ "Production in Ontario 2007" (pdf). Ontario Media Development Corporation. Retrieved September 4, 2010. 
  8. ^ Location set for the filming of Saw IV
  9. ^ Saw II filming location MovieWeb retrieved 2005-27-10.
  10. ^ Saw III filming location MovieWeb retrieved 2006-04-17.
  11. ^ IMDb post-production period
  12. ^ Saw IV Too Much for Comic-Con Retrieved on 2007-08-07
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "American Red Cross Partners With Lionsgate on SAW IV Blood Drive". Red Cross. August 6, 2007. Retrieved September 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Saw IV (2007) - Box Office". The Numbers. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  16. ^ "Lionsgate All Time Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Saw IV (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  18. ^ "Saw IV (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  19. ^ "Movie review: 'Saw IV'". Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  20. ^ "Saw IV". Retrieved 2007-11-10. [dead link]
  21. ^ Hartlaub, Peter (2007-10-29). "Review: The hunt for the Jigsaw Killer continues in 'Saw IV'". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  22. ^ "Saw IV". Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  23. ^ "Saw IV". Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  24. ^ "Saw IV". Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  25. ^ "Saw IV (2007)". Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  26. ^ "Saw IV (2007)". Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  27. ^ a b Coolest DVD Packing Ever For UK 'Saw IV' Release
  28. ^ SAW IV DVD Extreme Limited Edition - WHAT DOES THE DVD DO? on YouTube

External links[edit]