Saw IV

I usually preface my Saw reviews by saying, “I’ve never liked a Saw movie!” That remains the case after watching Saw IV. What surprised me most about the continuing saga of Jigsaw, the impossible serial killer, is that I didn’t hate it as much as the last two. As Saw enthusiasts might recall, Jigsaw met his demise at the end of the third chapter. This movie starts off with a technically impressive autopsy sequence during which they remove Jigsaw’s skullcap, stomach, etc. It’s a gruesome scene which culminates in the discovery of, yes, a new taped message from Jigsaw. It appears his work is not done, for there is a lot more box-office money to be made. While the acting is far from spectacular, nobody stinks up the place as bad as Danny Glover and Cary Elwes did in the first chapter. In fact, Donnie Wahlberg does a damn fine job of standing on a block of ice and looking completely uncomfortable. Tobin Bell seems to embrace the chance to show us the human side of his calculated killer in flashbacks. Too bad that human side is as monotonous and uninteresting as the psycho version.

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