Saw IV is the fourth installment in the Saw series and is a midquel to Saw III. The film was initially released on October 25, 2007, and in the United States on October 26, 2007. The film's North American release date follows the series' tradition that the films be released the Friday before or on Halloween of each year. This installment continues the story of the Jigsaw Killer, and his obsession with teaching people the value of their own lives. Although Jigsaw died in the last installment (Saw III), this film focuses on his ability to manipulate people into continuing his work. Saw IV was directed by Saw II and Saw III director Darren Lynn Bousman alongside with co-creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell returning as executive producers. Unlike the previous three films, Saw IV was not written by either Wan or Whannell.
During John Kramer's autopsy, a wax-coated micro cassette is found in his stomach. Detective Hoffman is called in to listen to the tape, which says that he will still be tested and the games will continue.
The scene shifts to a mausoleum, where Trevor and Art Blank are chained at the neck to a winch-like device. Trevor's eyelids and Art's mouth have been sewn shut, making communication near impossible. Trevor unintentionally activates the device—which begins pulling them together—and attacks Art in a blind panic, who kills Trevor to retrieve the key from his collar, and free himself, tearing his lips open in the process. In a later flashback, Art finds two items waiting for him elsewhere: a recorded message from Jigsaw and an envelope containing instructions.
It has been six months since the disappearance of Detective Eric Matthews, and four days since Detective Allison Kerry's death. The police discover Kerry's corpse, still hanging in the harness of the inescapable trap that killed her in Saw III at an undisclosed location, and after cautioning Lieutenant Rigg for barging through an unsecured door, Hoffman is introduced to FBI Agents Peter Strahm and Lindsey Perez, who were Kerry's liaison. After coming to the conclusion that this trap was inescapable, Strahm and Perez deduce that Amanda Young, Jigsaw's apprentice, would need assistance with Kerry's trap, indicating that there is another accomplice involved. Rigg, riddled with depression, believes that Eric Matthews is still alive, but Hoffman tells Rigg that the chances of that are highly unlikely and it's time for him to let go.
That evening, Rigg is attacked in his home and Hoffman disappears. When Rigg comes to, a videotape informs him that Matthews is in fact still alive, with ninety minutes to save himself, and that Hoffman's survival is at stake as well. He then undergoes his first test, in which he finds a woman named Brenda. Jigsaw advises Rigg to walk away--to "see what I see," as written on the wall--but Rigg's natural instinct to help those in need clouds his judgment. When Rigg removes the pig mask covering Brenda's face, he triggers a trap device that begins to slowly tear her scalp from her head. He succeeds in freeing her, but to his surprise, she comes at him with a knife; Brenda has been told by Jigsaw that Rigg is there to arrest her and the only way to stop it is to kill him. He throws her into a mirror, killing her and leaves to find the site of his next test.
Sometime later, Strahm, Perez, and the police enter the apartment and find Brenda's body, but also find photos of a woman named Jill Tuck, John Kramer's ex-wife. The police take her into an interrogation room to question her about Jigsaw's current game, but claims no knowledge.
Rigg arrives at a motel, where he is instructed to "feel what I feel," painted on the door of one room. He must abduct the manager, Ivan Landsness, revealed to be a serial rapist. Angered by seeing videos and photos of Ivan's exploits, Rigg forces Ivan into a prearranged trap, which gives him the option between having his eyes gouged out or being savagely dismembered. Rigg hands him two controllers that will drive blades into his eyes, blinding him and saving his life. When Ivan runs out of time after blinding only one eye, his limbs are ripped off his body and thrown across the room.
Rigg's next test, to "save as I save," occurs in a school where Rigg once attacked a man named Rex, whom he suspected of abusing his wife Morgan and daughter Jane. Hoffman had intervened to stave off disciplinary action against Rigg at that time. In one of the classrooms, Rigg discovers that same husband and wife impaled together back to back with several long metal rods. The rods are placed such that they pass through vital circulatory points of his body, but non-vital points of hers. If she has the courage to remove the rods, her abusive husband will bleed to death but she will survive. By the time Rigg finds the couple, she has pulled out all but one rod and gone into shock; she suddenly wakes up and Rigg tells her that she has to save herself. He removes the last spike, wraps his jacket around her, hands her the key to the harness that she and her husband are strapped into, and sets off a fire alarm to alert emergency services to her position, then leaves.
Strahm and Perez arrive on the scene, having previously realized that they have both become targets in this latest series of games. They determine that all of the victims were defended by a lawyer named Art Blank, who is also Jill's lawyer. Suddenly, a gun used to insert the rods into Rex and Morgan fires a spear through a photographer and kills her on the scene. Strahm and Perez find Billy, Jigsaw's puppet, in the principal's office; Perez is told via tape recorder that Strahm will "soon take the life of an innocent man" and that her "next step is critical." Ignoring the warning, she takes a closer look at Billy, whose face suddenly explodes and showers her with shrapnel; she is rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
Furious, Strahm interrogates Jill roughly, who recounts Jigsaw's backstory. She was once pregnant with a boy to be named Gideon (after John's first construction project), but the baby was lost when Cecil robbed the clinic at which she was employed and caused her to suffer a miscarriage. John and Jill were devastated and grew apart and divorced. After learning that he had cancer and only a short while to live, John kidnapped Cecil and placed him in a trap, the first trap he ever built. Cecil had to push his face against several knives in order to release his wrists, which were slit due to razor blades in the arms of the chair. He began to do so, but the chair collapsed before he could reach the release switch. Noticing John standing in front of him watching, Cecil lunged at him but fell into a mesh of barbed wire as John moved aside at the last second. Strahm makes connections from Jill's story to the Gideon Meat Factory, the scene of Rigg's final test. Strahm arrives but finds himself lost, accidentally trailing Jeff Denlon.
Rigg, meanwhile, approaches his final test. In the next room are Art, Matthews, and Hoffman; Matthews stands on an ice block with a chain-noose cinched around his neck, while Hoffman is strapped into a chair with an electrode by his feet. They are at opposite ends of a balanced seesaw, but if Matthews slips off the ice or too much of it melts, he will be hanged and the weight shift will dump the runoff water onto Hoffman's end, electrocuting him. Art is watching over them both, with a device strapped to his back that holds a set of pincers against his neck, ready to cut through his spine. Once the ninety-minute timer for Rigg's tests runs out, he can push a button to release himself and the others. All three men discover that if the door is opened before time runs out, Matthews' head will be crushed between two ice blocks and Hoffman will die by electrocution from the melted ice water while connected to wires.
Seeing an approaching figure (Rigg) through the door's grimy window, Matthews attempts to warn him off without success, then shoots out through the door at him with a gun supplied by Art. The shot hits Rigg in the stomach, but he still crashes through the door with one second left on the clock, releasing the overhead ice blocks, killing Matthews. Hoffman's chair is lowered into the water and he is apparently electrocuted. Rigg shoots and kills Art Blank, believing that he is responsible for the game and mistaking the tape recorder in Art's hand for a gun. Just before being shot, Art plays the tape and Rigg learns he has failed his final test by not learning that he could not save everyone by himself. Had he allowed the time to expire and not barged through the door (something Hoffman had earlier warned him against), he would have passed and the three captives would have all survived. Hoffman, whom was never in any danger, is revealed to be the actual second accomplice of Jigsaw when he releases himself from the chair unharmed. As Rigg helplessly watches in shock, Hoffman unplugs the cameras watching Rigg's tests, says "game over" and leaves Rigg bleeding on the floor.
Elsewhere in the factory, Strahm faces off with Jeff in the makeshift sickroom from Saw III. It is revealed that the events of Saw III and Saw IV are occurring at the same time. Jeff waves a gun at Strahm, believing him to be involved in the abduction of his daughter; Strahm shoots and kills Jeff in self-defense, fulfilling Hoffman's prediction from Perez's tape. Before he can react further, Hoffman locks him in the room with the corpses of Jigsaw, Amanda, Jeff, and Lynn Denlon. The end of the opening autopsy scene is shown again, indicating that it took place after the events of the film. The tape from Jigsaw's stomach is further explained as Jigsaw promises Hoffman that, though he may feel that he now has control and will "walk away untested" that he has ensured his work will continue and "the games have just begun".
|Agent Strahm||Scott Patterson|
|Agent Perez||Athena Karkanis|
|Eric Matthews||Donnie Wahlberg|
|Dr. Heffner||James van Patten|
|SWAT Pete||Kelly Jones|
|Crime Scene Photographer||Joanne Boland|
|Lab Technician||Zoe Heath|
|Young Cop||Bill Vibert|
|The Man||Oren Koules|
|Young Girl||Alison Luther|
|Nurse Deborah||Kim Roberts|
|Dr. Steve||David Webster|
|Nurse Patti||Sandra Manson|
There were rumors about who was writing the script for Saw IV, including Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan.Yet Another 'Saw IV' Writer Revealed!Bloody-disgusting retrieved 2006-11-12 On a news article on the same rumor site, an actual writer was revealed , Thomas Fenton.Actual writer for Saw IV revealed There was also a hunt for the director of Saw IV before it was officially stated that Darren Lynn Bousman should direct the fourth installment. Two of the rumored directors were David Moreau and Xavier Palud.Rumors about who to direct Saw IV It has been stated Who? that 90% of the crew from the last movie will be back.Saw 4 News. The Official SAW Website and Fan Club. Retrieved on 2007-06-13. On the official Saw fan page, director Bousman says: "Scott Patterson, the first day he shows up, he says, ‘I’m going to do something a little different here.’ And I’m like, ‘Alright.’ We yell ‘action’ and all of a sudden he started improvising and it was gold. It was like the best stuff I’d ever seen and he’s insane." Production offices opened on February 12, 2007 to begin the pre-production period. The filming of Saw IV began on April 16, 2007Date set for filming and continued for 6 weeks.Production offices open Feb, 12th and filming set to last just 3 months The filming location for the horror film was Toronto, Ontario,Location set for the filming of Saw IV the same place both Saw II and Saw II filming location MovieWeb retrieved 2005-27-10. Saw III and Saw III filming location MovieWeb retrieved 2006-04-17. were filmed. Post-production period began on May 19.IMDb post-production period Shooting for the film ended on May 30, 2007. In an interview with Darren Lynn Bousman, he stated that the last work on Saw IV will happen in August to be able to have prints made. At Comic Con 2007 it was revealed by director Darren Lynn 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.Saw IV Too Much for Comic-Con Retrieved on 2007-08-07 Lionsgate has teamed with the American Red Cross for the annual Saw IV Blood Drive.Saw IV Blood Drive Since the first Saw blood drive in 2004, Saw film-goers have donated nearly 38,000 pints of blood to help save as many as 112,500 lives. Collection totals have doubled year after year resulting in tens of thousands of lifesaving blood transfusions. On August 30, 2007, it was announced that the film was officially rated R for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture throughout, and for language. This was clarified by the new poster (which can be seen at the top of this page), www.ropeofsilicon.com, and numerous other websites. On August 31, 2007, the official trailer was placed on Yahoo Movies. Saw IV Trailer On the same date, the official website for Saw IV was launched.
Critical reception to Saw IV was mostly negative. The film holds a rating of 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 64 reviews.Saw IV, Rotten Tomatoes 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." Positive reviews 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." 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." Critic Richard Roeper who enjoyed and praised Saw,hated Saw IV.Stating that Though I did enjoy the ending to the film,Saw IV doesn't help the fact that the series is starting to run out of gas after only three sequels Roeper gave Saw IV one out of four stars.
The film opened October 26, 2007 in the United States and Canada and grossed $31,756,764 in 3,183 theaters its opening weekend, ranking #1 at the box office. As of March 29, 2008, Saw IV grossed $63,300,095 domestic and $139,352,633 worldwide. The film stayed in cinemas for 49 days (7 weeks).
Main article: Saw IV (soundtrack)
DVD and Blu-ray release
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 was released in the UK only, before the release of Saw V in October 2008.Coolest DVD Packing Ever For UK 'Saw IV' Release SAW IV DVD Extreme Limited Edition - WHAT DOES THE DVD DO? Features a 95-minute running time of the film.
Unrated Director's Cut
In these versions, several changes have been made from the theatrical version:
- In the Mausoleum trap, Trevor is hit with a hatchet four times instead of two.
- In his apartment, Rigg is shown waking up in bed after hearing a noise outside his room. A light is seen turning on then off, and then someone runs past his bedroom door.
- There is some extra dialogue exchanged between Rigg and Brenda.
- How Ivan gets captured is different. In the unrated version, Rigg lures Ivan's dog Chance up to his room. When Ivan comes looking for her, Rigg surprises him with his gun drawn.
- Ivan's death is extended and is more graphic.
- Rigg pulls the final rod out of Morgan at the "Save As I Save" test.
- There is an additional scene where Agent Strahm calls Perez's mother and informs her that Perez has been injured.
- Strahm calls for back-up before entering the Gideon building.
- The "Open the door and you will find me" key is further explained. It is the key needed to open the door to the "sick room" that Jigsaw was killed in and Jeff was sealed in at the end of the third film.
- Footage of Hoffman unstrapping himself during the climax and twist ending is removed. The DVD extras include:
- Two audio commentaries (One with director Darren Lynn Bousman and actor Lyriq Bent; the other featuring the producers.)
- "Darren's Video Diary"... A half-hour behind-the-scenes featurette
- Mini-Featurettes on the Traps
- A Props Featurette
- A single deleted scene
- "I.V." by (X-Japan) music video
- A trailer for the video game Condemned 2: Bloodshot
- A hidden game in the special features menu of the Blu-Ray version The Blu-ray is notable for being the first release to use MoLog, allowing viewers to contribute to online discussions about the film.
Extreme Limited Edition (UK only)
- 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
- The nurse that helped Jill Tuck during her miscarriage is Deborah, the same nurse that talked to Lynn Denlon before she was kidnapped in Saw III. Many other characters from previous films reappeared in flashbacks in Saw IV including Paul Leahy, Donnie Greco, Michael Marks, Addison Corday, Gus Colyard and Troy.
- This is the only Saw film in which the Bathroom does not appear (it was seen in archive footage from Saw in Saw VI, and the closed door to the bathroom was seen in Saw V).
- Early in the film Fisk notifies Hoffman that "another doctor went missing from the hospital." This is a reference to Lynn Denlon while the first doctor could have been Lawrence Gordon.
- It was said in an original script of Saw IV which would take place in the same time frame as the first Saw film instead of Saw III, that Peter Strahm would find and enter the bathroom moments after Adam was left to die. Adam would attempt to shoot Strahm out of fear but Strahm would shoot and kill Adam out of self-defense.
- During a scene in Jill's clinic a character named Derek is seen in the background watching a fight between Cecil Adams and Gus Colyard. Derek is played by Devon Bostick who later returned to the series as Brent Abbott in Saw VI.
- Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan original script for Saw IV was meant to be a direct sequel to Saw III with Jeff Denlon and Chris dying in the blender trap. Eric Matthews was set to be cast as the lead character passing his test's with the help of a poisoned Mark Hoffman who revealed himself to be jigsaws apprentice.