review for Saw IV on AllMovie

Saw IV (2007)
by Jeremy Wheeler review

Like 'em or not, one has to give the Saw films credit for coming up with new extreme ways to keep the franchise alive. The fourth entry in the series is no different -- in fact, by the time the end credits roll, it's inherently evident just how far this radically complicated mythos has come. Sure, there are still a half dozen gruesome bits of torturous terror awaiting audiences, but the real gonzo stuff comes at the end, when the series climbs inside itself and essentially changes so much of what has come before that it's impossible not to give the filmmakers credit for simply attempting to go there. Is this new sucker punch of a twist deftly handled? Not really, no -- but the fact that Twisted Pictures even dares to thoroughly complicate their franchise with their fourth film is enough to take note. Otherwise, just about the best things one could say about the film are that the makeup effects are incredible, as well as the snazzy transitions that Darren Lynn Bousman cooked up to keep this labyrinthine plot moving. Also on the plus side is that this is one sequel that didn't fall into the heavy dramatics of its predecessor, making it a far more breezy (if still highly confusing) entry in the sadistic horror genre.