, "Saw IV"

Jigsaw returns for the fourth edition of the Saw franchise, except, he’s dead!? When you open a film with the main villain in the morgue and proceeds through one of the most ghastly autopsies ever captured to celluloid, you know there is either going to be a massive let down, or one hell of an explanation. To my utter shock, they did an astonishing job working this one out.

The obvious thought pattern here was that Amanda (Shawnee Smith) had somehow proceeded with her twisted versions of Jigsaw’s plans from part 3. But, thankfully, there was far more to this than that simple solution. Also returning from the previous films were Donnie Wahlberg as Eric Matthews, Costas Mandylor as Hoffman, and Lyriq Bent as Rigg, who turns out to be the main subject of this film.

As with all the Saw films, Jigsaw’s mission was to give people who he felt were wasting their lives a chance to see what they were really living for by putting them in a deadly trap that could be escaped depending on the decision that person made. Either way it was going to physically fuck you up, but it was a choice, of say, being blind, or being dead, as is the case with a rapist in part four. Do you live after gouging your own eyes out, or do you die a horrible, painful death because you couldn’t do it? “Your choice, you decide”.

The real plot line here, is that Jigsaw has set his last, posthumous plan, on Commander Rigg. He has decided to teach him how to save many lives by sacrificing others, but Rigg must get over his impetuousness. Time and time again, Rigg must decide to try and save a trapped person, or surpass it and try and save Eric Matthews, someone only Rigg even believes is alive.

On a special effects level, this is as good as any other Saw, and keeps to the superior level of graphic violence one has come to expect from a Saw film. It is amazing to me that time and time again they can come up with viable traps, that are not only visually stunning, but actually could work.

Special Features:

The DVD features two audio commentaries. One features star Lyriq Bent and Director Darren Bousman. The other are the producers and Executive Producers. Since I didn’t see this in the theaters, it was only because of the commentaries that I found the uncut scenes, and although none of them struck me as being essential to the plot or final make up of the film, I do like the fact that there is an explanation as to why they were cut. The best part of the commentary is Lyriq Bent, period. This is the first time he saw the film completed (this was recorded while the film was still in the theaters). He gasps and cringes his way through the entire film and is the but of the pay off scenes time and time again.

The next bonus is a behind the scenes video diary from Darren Bousman. It is about a half hour long, and shows the full range of emotion behind making a film. While there is lots of joking going on and some insight into the film making process, what this really shows is the stress and work that goes into making a feature length film. It isn’t all glamour, that’s for sure.

The next two features are called “The Traps of Saw IV” and “The Props of Saw IV”. These are more of what I would call true behind the scenes pieces. They show how the traps were made. How they were executed and how they pertained to the special effects. It is amazing that you can find the pieces to these killing monsters in a hardware store, or you can according to this piece.

There was one deleted scene on here as well, but there was a lot more in the film during this version, so it seems like kind of a waste here.

The last thing is a music video for the band “X Japan”, and this is a turd. This is blatant promotion for the band and something to make the “Bonus Features” on the back of the package more impressive. I didn’t make it through the whole thing, a first time, never mind watching it again.