Friday, November 09, 2007


I don't know why, but I thought I'd mix it up a bit on the blog with a film review. I'm no Barry Norman, but let's give this a shot.

Saw Saw 4 last week after seeing Saw 2 and Saw 3 before I saw Saw 4... on the sea shore. The bottom line is that, well, it's more of the same really and doesn't really add anything to its predecessors. Whilst the first one had originality, tension, character development and a little mystery, this one continues the theme of the other sequels that 'more is more', when I really think 'less is more' in these situations.

In the right hands, rather than Beavis and Butthead, these films should have been one of the best collection of horror films ever made, but instead, we're arrived at a 4th installment which is almost a parody of the Saw film itself, and sometimes even manages to verge on comedy. A case example is the opening scene and the Braindead-esque (such an apt word) use of gore. Whilst you'll probably want to vomit into your popcorn on first showing, you'll be laughing about the ludicrousy of it all on the way home rather than having any unwanted nightmares.

It's clear to me that the writers have just been told by some big wig somewhere, "make lots of traps", and whilst this is entertaining for a while (I personally like the one where one is blind, the other unable to speak), it soon becomes rather tedious as the traps aren't particularly innovative anymore and there seems to be one around every corner. At least the victims of these devices are worthy this time though. Last time it was a depressed nurse and a poor fella unable to get over the death of his son (yes, great choice Jigsaw - punish them!), but now we're back to drug dealers, rapists, and so on, so at least there's a return of logic somewhere in the film.

What is probably the saving grace, and I'm not usually a great advocater of over-exposing the villain, are the Jigsaw flashbacks, which prove to be the most successful scenes, (1) because Tobin is the only good actor in the film and still manages to make the character interesting with that slight sense of 'he can flip at any given moment' and (2) it's the only time the film slows down, tries to add some depth to the narrative and actually avoid the nonsensical. The most intriguing thing about these scenes, is that it actually enables you to sympathise with the Jigsaw character, making him more likable than the other characters. That in itself is bizarre seeing that he is the antagonist and likes to send people to hell and back, but at least it's intriguing.

Whilst there are numerous other flaws with the film - the stupid camera effects that make the film hard to follow, too many protaganists, the failure to successfully intertwine the other films into the story, two new coppers that look the same, the illogical decisions of characters, the dreary, unoriginal settings - this showing is still an improvement on the third and possibly hovering around the standard of the second, mainly because, amid all its faults, it still has enough appeal, shock value and morality (making the guy try to see what he sees is the most fascinating part) to entertain for 90 minutes. However, I think this might be the end. The well set-up, but 'we don't care' revealing of the accomplice is clearly hinting at a Saw 5 to follow next Halloween, but by that time, I'm almost certain that viewers will finally turn away if the writers just churn out the same old tosh once again. If they kept the story simple, held back on the gore a little and focused on just a couple of key characters, then they'd be in with a shot, but somehow, I just can't see this happening.

I give it 3 stars. 1 for Tobin, 1 for at least making the effort to push this further than the usual dumb teen slasher, 0.5 for traps and 0.5 for baps. Hold on, there weren't any baps. Okay, gonna have to give it 2.5. What I expected, can't complain.


At 8:19 AM, Blogger skolsuper said...

A film review? Guess you're skint then.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger steeveg said...

havent saw saw4. i was thinking Jigsaw the nutter who keeps trapping people in saw would be a great online screen name wouldnt it,as you trap and knock out players you could type in,you dont deserve to be in competion,lol,

At 8:18 AM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

You're scaring me now Steve!

Oh, and skolsuper, I'm not skint just yet, but am always working hard to achieve that goal. :-)


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