Saw 4: Have the games really ended?

saw IV teaser photo

If there is one thing the creators of Saw make abundantly clear in the first few minutes of their fourth movie it is that Jigsaw is unmistakably dead. He is lying on the cold metal of an examination table within the lifeless walls of an autopsy room, being dissected.

So how, pray tell, could this movie possibly work? Without revealing much more, let’s just say the story really begins when a tape is found inside Jigsaw’s stomach. Obviously, the detective in the autopsy room plays the tape, only to hear Jigsaw’s final message: the games have only begun. The backdrop is set for the gut-wrenching terror you will soon witness.

I went into the movie theater reluctantly. I am a big fan of the Saw movies, but even I had begun to lose faith when I heard a fourth movie was coming out. I haven’t seen so many sequels since Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street and I honestly hope this series doesn’t go that route.

The story shows Jigsaw’s past through revealing flashbacks, showing exactly what events unfolded to make him snap, why he has a penchant for kidnapping victims while wearing the pig mask, his wife (shown briefly in Saw 3 during a flashback), and even the origin of the doll. While not as informative or insightful as one would hope, they do provide a realistic glimpse into Jigsaw’s history.

The gore hasn’t really changed much—this movie doesn’t up the ante. Perhaps this could be in part due to viewer familiarity with the gruesome nature of deaths in these movies. Some will make your stomach churn, others will seem very clever, but most will not phase you as much as they could if they were part of different horror film.

To say much more would mean adding spoilers here, so I will simply say this: if you are a Saw fan, you will most likely enjoy this movie. It doesn’t stray too far from what made the other Saw movies work, and it is consistent in that it ties in with some of the events from the second and third movies. The gore should satisfy, and the trademark twist is still present. The more intuitive may figure it out sooner than later, but some (like myself) might actually give an “Oh shit…” towards the end.

Just when you think Saw had about lost its teeth, you are assured that they are as sharp as ever. Now, let’s just see how many more games we will play.

For more info, check out Saw IV on IMDB

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