Saw IV Reviews
Lets go into the main players in this instalment and the performances behind their characters. After spending Saw II and III relatively on the sidelines we see Lt. Rigg finally take the spotlight and be the one we follow through a series of brutal and gruesome tests. This works very well for the film as it gives you a character to care about that it doesn't need to spend time setting up beforehand. This is also the first film where Detective Hoffman is a prominent figure and here he is just such a great intriguing and fascinating character to watch. He has a key part in the story within the Saw franchise and his setup here is done so in a very well executed manner. Costas Mandylor plays the role incredibly with some creepy undertones that has the character stand out really well. Scott Patterson makes his debut as Agent Strahm and his character is a breath of intelligent (sort of) fresh air for the franchise.
After a very brief cameo in Saw III, Betsy Russell makes her debut as John Kramer's ex, Jill Tuck. Personally, I like the character, she serves her purpose in the story well and is believable enough to fit in with the rest of the movie. Some of her line delivery can be a little off but at this point that isn't what ur looking for in a Saw film. One thing you should be very used to by now are the presence of flashbacks and they are used extensively here once again. These scenes predominantly focus on John Kramer's past, where we get to see his relationship with Jill and get introduced to a character named Cecil (Billy Otis) and his importance to this story. I love the flashbacks, they can get confusing sometimes if you aren't paying full attention but the amount of insight into past and present events is well worth it. One of the very odd choices Bousman made in the editing of these flashbacks is to blend the flashback scene with the following modern day scene with 'smooth' scene transitions. It's jarring as fuck when Bousman blows his load, executing this transition like 30 times and it's the only real downside to this movie.
So in the end, at this point in the franchise you know what you want out of these films, whether it be story, blood, or gore it has it all. The way the story develops within this film and how it all ties up very nicely in the end I absolutely love and the payoff is fucking great. The traps are here, the blood is there, the gruesome and disturbing traps are present and this is the high point of the franchise (beyond the first film)..... and you know what that means: it's all downhill from here.