Author’s Note: All articles on MK Horror contain spoilers.
Article written by Maggie K. Ward
Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and Amanda (Shawnee Smith) are dead. What happens next? How could they possibly continue the story without them? Saw IV answers this question. The film starts with Jigsaw’s autopsy, and to the coroner’s shock, they find something interesting in his stomach: a tape.
Like most of Jigsaw’s dialog, his words have multiple meanings. At the start of his tape recording to Detective Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), Jigsaw says, “Are you there detective? If so, you are probably the last man standing. Now, perhaps you will succeed where the others have failed.” The audience assumes this means the games are not over, and he’s next. What Jigsaw was referring to, was Amanda’s failure. As Jigsaw’s second accomplice, Hoffman will now be tested, as Amanda was, to play the games as they were meant to be played.
Both Detective Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) and Kerry (Dina Meyer) where targeted and tested by Jigsaw. Both failed – at least that’s what we are supposed to think at the moment. Hoffman seems to be the last detective standing, and a natural target for Jigsaw and his mysterious accomplice.
In Saw IV, Officer Rigg (Lyriq Bent) is pulled into the limelight. Six months after Detective Matthew’s disappearance, he is brought back into the game. In order to save his friends, Jigsaw forces him to see what he sees, and feel how he feels. He is attempted to force Rigg into his shoes as someone to carry on his legacy. Rigg must allow a woman to die so she does not kill him. In his second task, he is to kidnap and test a sexual predator. Jigsaw is trying to break Rigg on his obsession: the need to help everyone. Yet this need makes him the perfect Jigsaw replacement.
In the hunt for Jigsaw’s second accomplice, we have the luxury to learn more about his past. It seems the further you get into the Saw franchise, the more you learn about serial killer and his motives. His wife Jill (Betsy Russell) owns a clinic and attempts to help people. Waiting outside this clinic, we see a great cameo from Addison (Emmanuelle Vaugier), one of the victims from Saw II. It seems she’s a prostitute. Nice detail.
One thing that bothered me about Saw IV was the confusing timeline. One small comment in passing at the beginning of the film suggested that the events in the fourth film take place at the same time as the events in the third. However, Jigsaw’s dead body and examination at the beginning of the film suggest that Saw IV takes place after he is dead. This, in my opinion, is a very cheap twist. It is not near as amazing as the usual Saw ending twists. And Hoffman as the accomplice just doesn’t make sense. He’s such a random pick for Jigsaw’s replacement that no one expected it. What ever happened to Dr. Gordon or Daniel Matthews?
Despite the small grumble about the less than linear timeline, the Saw films are starting to grow on me. I hate to say this, but the more I watch the Saw films, the more I start to like them. I used to be the biggest fan of the first three films, but after this Saw movie marathon, I seemed to have grown to appreciate them more. We’ll see if I feel that way about the last three movies.
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