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Saw IV (2007)

Screenplay by Marcus Dunstan & Patrick Melton Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

   Going into the fourth, one might wonder if this would be where they began to lose their gust. Or rather, finding yourself unable to return for the simple fact of, how could they possibly continue without Jigsaw? Though chances are this will simply be the one that confuses the most people, based on a technicality. Seeing as the films intro is actually the ending to the film. But before I continue on that aspect:

Considering where the last left off, it was only reasonable to begin with the autopsy. A great introduction of which taking out the stomach reveals a hidden tape; that you’re going to want and call bullshit on. However to enter the Saw universe you have be willing to wrap your mind around the immense credit given to John Kramer (Tobin Bell). Because of the fact that nothing he did was without extreme measure and linear persuasion, it should be of no surprise that even in death, John knew how to plan out further understanding of the game at hand. The tape is connected in that while we see John pour wax over an object (in the 3rd) it was swallowed at a later time. A message left for Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) as his involvement with Jigsaw was alarmingly more than initially taking notice of. (He’s perfected his evil glare to not be involved in some way, was the way I saw it)

The reason for spoiling almost immediately being that repeated viewings are required in order to see as those involved did. Though it is mentioned during Jill’s interrogation in this installment about starting at the end and working their way back. Because while the third was still Amanda’s test, the twist in this film is that both apprentices of Jigsaw were simultaneously being tested. So it wasn’t actually its own film as I saw it more of the third, but version 2.0 or simply; a movie that concurrently plays with the third. The subliminal text in Hoffman’s dialogue was laid on thick from the ‘beginning,’ to then wonder after they find Detective Kerry (Dina Meyer) what it could all be leading up to.

This time around we follow Lt. Riggs whose lesson would entail learning that others needed to help themselves in order to survive. As an officer of the law, undoubtedly having an inclination to help those in danger, he’s unable to see the displacement such had caused in his personal life. Thus given a series of three tests in which all victims are connected to the test subject who survived while in the mausoleum. Lawyer Art Blank (Louis Ferreira) had assisted in each of the new subjects escaping some sort of corporal punishment at one point or another. Though also meant to monitor the Final Test room in which Detectives Hoffman and Eric Matthews were constrained in; controlled by a device attached to his spine in order to ensure seeing such through. While having been missing for the past six months, it seemed while Amanda had left Eric for dead, he was dragged away and kept within a cell allotting time to pass in order to complete the bigger picture.

While the contraptions were considered a bit more gory, perhaps the fact that I’ve absorbed so much of the behind the scenes was what made me not see them for what they presumably are. Though I did find them more exciting and intense this time around. I especially liked the first of which featured Sarain Boylan (Brenda); bound by her hair as the combination to get out lay within the gears of the machine she sat in. The next test is held in a motel of which was intended for the person managing it at the time; Ivan (Marty Adams). Riggs was meant to merely assist in Ivan getting into position whose crime consisted of raping/taping such excursions as a means to satisfy his inner demons. The third concerns a couple of which Riggs was familiar with. Having successful covered the abuse done to his family, the Lieutenant had used force on Rex (Ron Lea) which he was almost taken off the force for. Having caught on a bit of the direction of how to play, Riggs leaves Rex’s wife the tool in order to save herself of which she’s eventually able to escape from.

We also receive quite a bit of history of John and his wife Jill (Betsy Russell). Learning that he’d been an established engineer, purchasing his own warehouse in order to work on…whatever the occasion called for. Supporting his wife’s venture in helping those struggling at a clinic she worked for. *You can actually see many of the cast members from the series throughout the back* John’s life shattering when one of the junkies made his way back into the clinic after hours and in a fit to escape, slammed the door on Jill’s stomach as she began to bleed profusely. We also see that the doll Billy was an earlier model for their would be son, Gideon. The fallout between John and his lawyer coming when he gave up his shares on a housing project, uninterested as to what would happen to the number of families depending on them. His anger furthering after the divorce, discovery of Cancer and attempted suicide, as a different person emerged from the wreck. Using Cecil (the junkie who caused the miscarriage) as his first test subject and transforming into the maniacal madmen we know him to be.

A lot to intake in 90 minutes. Which doesn’t even explain the ways they connected the story further with why they show the parade for the year of the pig, which dealt with fertility. Being a planned event, John further took the death of his son as means of already being handed a death sentence. Announcing to his wife that you couldn’t help some people, that they would have to learn to help themselves in the end. Yet I’ve also failed to mention the addition of two FBI agents thrown into the film; Agent Strahm (Scott Gordon-Patterson) and Agent Perez (Athena Karkanis). Chiming in with their two cents after Kerry’s discovered, having been a liaison. When Perez is injured on the job and rushed to the Hospital Agent Strahm takes over, getting closer to finding the missing piece as his instincts tell him not to trust Detective Hoffman. Becoming trapped in the same room with Jeff (Angus Macfadyen) as we’re brought back to the end of the third film to see how closely the events were linked.

~Simply my own side note that if you choose to watch any of the films within the series, (most films in general) watch the Unrated and preferred, Director’s Cut. You’d be surprised what’s left out as a means to “save” the audience. Which is another reason I never mind not seeing a film in theaters and waiting until its released.