Monday, October 29, 2007

Review: "Saw IV" (B-)

So. Yet another movie in the Saw franchise.

I suppose I should go back and re-watch each movie and review them each in order, but the only one I really would want to go back and watch is the first (which is still my favorite). That being said, I don't think each sequel has been bad, but I do think, however, that this franchise has to die out eventually. I had virtually no serious desire to see this movie and only ended up seeing it because there were rumors Donnie Wahlberg was going to be back in it and well, I like him. And I admit - I was curious to see what they were going to do with Jigsaw since he died in the third installment.

I'm still confused after watching this, I'm not going to lie. I feel like in order to give a proper review, I have to go and re-watch Saw III, which you'll understand if you ever see this movie. The ending of this one really threw me for a loop. While I had somewhat figured half of the ending out, I did not get the larger part of the equation prior to it's arrival and if there is a soul in this world that actually did, I want to meet him/her right the fuck now. I'm going to have to go re-watch both Saw III and IV in order to figure this out.

The thing about the Saw franchise that inevitably draws me in each time is the sheer cleverness of each movie. That's a serious compliment considering these movies are made super-fast. They've been able to come out with one each Halloween. And that's fucking quick for a movie. Also, the movies never one-up themselves because they simply don't try to. The kills don't get better or worse, they're just different. But the way everything is tied together and how each movie comes out feeling somewhat fresh and original is a damn good thing.

I do feel like this movie is flawed. For one, some of the acting just wasn't that great to me. Some of it felt stale and other parts felt like some actors were trying a bit too hard. The script seems stale to me at times, and I feel like the movie rests a little bit too much on the shock value audiences get from the torture sequences. Which, by the way, I don't think are as bad as some of the ones in the third installment (the bone breaking one at the end was, for me, hard to watch since I can't stand that sound). Additionally, the movies just aren't scary anymore. The first one had some scenes that gave me nightmares and preyed on some of my worst fears. The second was alright in terms of fright. These last two have not made me jump or scared me at all, which is a bit disappointing.

Overall, the movie is entertaining for any fan of the franchise. The films always succeed in pulling me into the movie and making me think. Oftentimes, I find myself asking myself what I would do if placed in such a horrifying situation and that affect - forcing your viewers to question themselves - makes a movie that much better because it personalizes something you think won't happen to you or simply can't be real.

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