Saw IV is a 2007 Canadian-American 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. It 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 continues the story of the Jigsaw Killer's obsession with teaching people the value of their lives. Despite Jigsaw being killed in the last installment, the film focuses on his ability to manipulate people into continuing his work. The story follows Lieutenant Daniel Rigg being put through a series of tests in order to try and let go of his obsession with saving everyone, whilst at the same time attempting to save his partner.
During John Kramer's autopsy, a wax-coated microcassette is found in his stomach. Detective Mark Hoffman 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 Blank and Trevor 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. Art kills Trevor during the struggle, and takes the key from Trevor's collar to free himself.
Four days after her death, Allison Kerry's body is found by a SWAT team. After cautioning Lieutenant Daniel Rigg for breaking through an unsecured door to reach her, Hoffman sends him home. He is then met by FBI Agents Peter Strahm and Lindsey Perez, who kept in contact with Kerry before her death. They believe that an unknown accomplice helped 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, who vanished without a trace six months earlier, is still alive. Rigg returns home just as his wife 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 Eric 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, a pimp, is bound to a chair and wearing a pig mask. Rigg is implored to walk away, but accidentally activates the trap by removing her mask, 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 agents investigate the scene, Strahm finds a clue that leads him to Jill Tuck, 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 on top of an ice block with a chain noose around his neck on one end of a large seesaw, 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 by the runoff water. For his second test, Rigg is led to a motel and is instructed to abduct the owner, Ivan Landsness, 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 son, who was to be named Gideon, after John's first building project with Art Blank. Seven months into her pregnancy her clinic was robbed by an addict named Cecil Adams, who slammed the door into her stomach while fleeing, causing her to miscarry. The agents are called to the motel where they learn that they are now 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 where he finds Morgan and Rex, a woman and her abusive husband, in a harness. They were impaled together by rods, which passed 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. When she wakes up Rigg gives her the key to her harness and tells her she must 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 and neck. After she is hospitalized, Strahm returns to the interrogation room and furiously interrogates Jill, now convinced that 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 after 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, and arrives in front of the door to the sickroom just as it seals itself. He unlocks it using Kerry's key and finds Jeff, but shoots him in self-defense when Jeff points a gun at him, demanding to know where his daughter is. 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, releasing two overhead ice blocks that swing down and crush Matthews' head, killing him. A mortally wounded Rigg shoots and kills Art, believing he is 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, before sealing Strahm in the sickroom and leaving the plant. The scene then cuts to John's autopsy, which took place after the events of the film.
Saw IVââ'âs writers were Thomas Fenton, Marcus Dunstan, and Patrick Melton. There was also a hunt for a director 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. principal photography took from April 16, 2007 to May 3, 2007. The filming location was Toronto, Ontario, the same place both Saw II and Saw III were filmed. Post-production period began on May 19.
In an interview with Bousman, he stated that the last work on Saw IV would happen in August to be able to have prints made. 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, the former of which they accomplished.
Lionsgate held its fourth annual "Give Til It Hurts" blood drive for the Red Cross.
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. It is Lionsgate's sixth highest-grossing film in the United States and Canada.
Critical reception to Saw IV was negative. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 17% of critics gave the film a positive review, based upon 75 reviews, with an average score of 3.7 out of 10. On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 36 out of 100, based on 16 reviews. 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." 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." 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." 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."
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 â" so the fact that these producers actually give a damn about narrative continuity (right down to the smallest detail) is fairly impressive." Horror.com said that "with Saw IV, the pieces have all come together and [it's] the best of the lot." Jamie Russell from the BBC called it "deeply unsettling; just like a horror movie should be." 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."
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 features a 95-minute running time of the film.
Extreme Limited Edition
This edition was only released in the United Kingdom.
- 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
- Music Video "I.V." by X Japan
The soundtrack was released on October 23, 2007 by WEA/Warner Bros. Records.
- Official website (archive)
- Saw IV at the Internet Movie Database
- Saw IV at Box Office Mojo
- Saw IV at Rotten Tomatoes
- Saw IV at Metacritic