It seems like only yesterday I watched Saw III and felt thoroughly underwhelmed. The faster tempo and lack of character development from the original to the first sequel was palpable—and completely understandable given a change in writer and director. But from two to three, most of the "fun" went away. Part four is significantly better than its immediate predecessor, but still not nearly as thrilling as part two, and nowhere near as disturbing or groundbreaking as the original.
Watch the special features and you know director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV) loves that he gets to make gory horror movies, and it shows, but his production value is still a little lacking, and by pushing a horror franchise to a fourth installment, the originality has long since vanished. Perhaps this explains why part five, now in pre-production, is being helmed by someone else.
In this one, Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) has just been discovered dead, which was how part three ended, but part four goes back in time to run concurrent with part two, acting once again as Jigsaw's last hurrah. Except that at the end of this one, he foreshadows that he'll just keep on killing, somehow, posthumously.
If you've seen all the others, you might as well check out Saw IV because at least it's better than the last one. If you haven't seen the first three installments though, don't bother. Spoiler alert: In part four, nearly everyone gets chopped up in gruesome ways that could've been avoided if those people were a little bit nicer and a little less stupid.
This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.