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.
The next scene takes place in a mausoleum, where Trevor and Art are chained to a large device. Trevor's eyelids have been sewn together, and Art's mouth has been sewn shut, making communication between them impossible. When the device begins pulling them together, they panic, and Art murders Trevor to retrieve a key from his collar.
It has been six months since Eric's disappearance, as noted by Detective Hoffman. The police discover the corpse of Detective Kerry, still hanging in the harness of the inescapable trap that killed her in Saw III. After cautioning Lieutenant Rigg for barging through an unsecured door, Hoffman is introduced to FBI Agents Strahm and Perez, who deduce that Amanda Young, Jigsaw's apprentice, would need assistance with Kerry's death, indicating that there is another accomplice to the murder.
That evening, Rigg is attacked in his home and Hoffman disappears. When Rigg comes to, a videotape informs him that Detective 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 that Rigg is there to arrest her and the only way to stop it is to kill him. He throws her into a mirror and leaves; sometime later, Strahm, Perez, and the police enter the apartment and find that Brenda has died.
Rigg's next test is 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, 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 limbs savagely ripped off or eyes gouged out. 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 attacked a man acquitted of abusing his family, though Rigg's career was saved by Hoffman. 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 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 Art, who is also the lawyer of Jill Tuck, John Kramer's ex-wife. A trap meant for the woman, (had Rigg interfered with the trap) fires a spear through a photographer and kills her on the scene. Perez finds Billy, Jigsaw's puppet, in the office. She 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 due to shards sticking out of her face. Furious, Strahm interrogates Jill, who recounts Jigsaw's backstory. She was once pregnant with a boy to be named Gideon (after John's first store), but the baby was lost when Cecil Adams robbed the clinic at which she was employed and he slammed a door into her stomach, causing a mis-carriage. She and her husband grew apart and divorced. After learning that he had cancer and only a short while to live, John kidnaps Cecil and places him in a trap, the first trap he ever built. Cecil must push his face against several knives in order to release his wrists, which have been slit due to razor blades in the arms of the chair He begins to do so, but the chair collapses before he can reach the release switch. Noticing John standing in front of him watching, Cecil, in his anger, lunges at John to kill him, but falls into a mesh of barbed wire as John moves 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 Reinhart - making the viewers believe Jeff is looking for his daughter. In reality, however, the events of this film and Saw III are now unfolding at the same time. 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.
All three men find out that if the door is opened before the ninety-minute period for Rigg's tests runs out, Matthews' head will be crushed between two ice blocks and Hoffman will die with him. Rigg appears on the other side of the door, Matthews attempts to shout Rigg away, however when Rigg persists in trying to enter, Matthews in desperation shoots at Rigg through the door, using a gun given to him by Art. Following the shot, which hit him in the stomach, Rigg lunges through the door with 1 second to spare. This causes the mechanism holding the two ice blocks above Matthews to start, the blocks swing down obliterating Matthews' head in the process. Rigg shoots and kills Art, mistaking the tape recorder in his hand for a gun, and plays the tape only to discover that he has failed his final test. Rigg's test was to learn that he cannot save everyone, a test he would have passed if he had allowed the time limit to expire. Also Hoffman had warned him earlier in the film not to barge into unsecured doors. Elsewhere, Strahm faces off with Jeff in the makeshift sickroom from Saw III. Jeff waves a gun at Strahm, believing him to be involved in the abduction of his daughter; Strahm kills Jeff in self-defense. Hoffman releases himself from his chair unharmed, revealing himself to be Jigsaw's apprentice, and seals an injured Rigg and a bewildered Strahm in the factory.
We then see the autopsy again, revealing it to have occurred after the other events depicted.
|Tobin Bell||John Kramer / Jigsaw|
|Lyriq Bent||Lieutenant Rigg|
|Costas Mandylor||Detective D. Hoffman|
|Scott Patterson||Agent Peter Strahm|
|Betsy Russell||Jill Tuck|
|Athena Karkanis||Agent Lindsey Perez|
|Justin Louis||Art Blank|
|Donnie Wahlberg||Detective Eric Matthews|
|Billy Otis||Cecil Adams|
|Marty Adams||Ivan Landsness|
|Kim Roberts||Nurse Deborah|
|Angus Macfadyen||Jeff Reinhart|
|Shawnee Smith||Amanda Young|
|Dina Meyer||Detective Allison Kerry|
|Bahar Soomekh||Lynn Denlon|
|James Van Patten||Dr. Hefner|
|Mike Realba||Detective Fisk|
|Kelly Jones||SWAT Pete|
|Joanne Boland||Crime Scene Photographer|
|Mike Butters||Paul Stallberg|
|Oren Koules||Unnamed man|
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, 2007 and continued for 6 weeks. The filming location for the horror film was Toronto, Ontario, the same place both Saw II and Saw III were filmed. Post-production period began on May 19.
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.
Lionsgate has teamed with the American Red Cross for the annual 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.
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.
In this version, several changes have been made from the theatrical version:
The DVD extras include:
The Blu-ray is notable for being the first release to use MoLog, allowing viewers to contribute to online discussions about the film.