Saw IV is the 6th sequel in the series of Saw series. Sawriously. This time round The Saw Man has captured a collection of do-badders and placed them in an abandoned fairground, forcing them to take part in a series of fiendish traps based around fairground rides. This time though certain parts of Saw’s past life are tantalisingly revealed; how he was an orphan, sold into a travelling circus troupe where he learned to hone his abilities at tricks and stunts and traps. Growing up was tough as his only friends were freaks who could bend themselves into 10 inch squared boxes, dwarfs, acrobats, giants, and other unsavoury types. Eventually a bearded lady joined the group and they fell in love. Unfortunately just before they were to be wed, doctors informed Saw that he had Cancer (due to over exposure to clowns) and that he could not be cured. Devasted, his fiancée decided to leave him for the strong man. Saw began to get angry and hate the world. Over time the bearded lady realised she truly loved Saw and told him that she wanted to marry him. He was over-joyed, but that night there was an accident in the circus. Due to a contrived series of events, an audience member accidentally knocked into the cannon as it was firing a trapeze artist out. Instead of flying into a net, he flew into the bearded lady, in one side and out the other, leaving her with a giant man shaped hole in her middle. She died in Saw’s arms, choking on her blood and beard. Saw began to hate the world, watched people wasting their lives, and wanted to show them true pain whilst giving them a chance at redemption as that chance was beyond his own grasp. Naturally the people he has been selecting in this and the previous films have all been connected to his wife’s death in some way.
There is a group of about 10 characters here, mostly annoying, and ranging from drug addicted teen to corrupt big wig, from disgraced sportsman, to college dropout. They wake up together chained to dodgem cars. After a few moments of screaming and arguing and working out who each other is, Saw plays a tape with one of his usual riddles. ‘I want to play a jest’ he says. Each of the cars is rigged with dynamite, the dynamite covered with knives and stabbing weapons. The people must bump into each other as many times as possible within two minutes. Whoever did the least damage in the two minutes remains locked to their seats while the other nine are released. They move on while the loser explodes. The survivors move on to the next group. Over the next two hours we are treated to gore, frights, laughs, and some ingenious set pieces as the group are whittled down to bits. Coincidentally one of the traps involves whittling- the group enters a new room and each find someone hanging from a hook. They have to whittle, or skin their person until only flesh remains. Whoever is last gets chopped up by a giant scythe. We see a trap on board a ghost train, with acid dripping from the ceiling, and bullets flying from the walls; there is a hall of exploding mirrors; a deadly lava filled maze; a terrifying roller-coaster with loops and turns, but no harness; it all ends with the survivors climbing inside cannons to fire themselves out of a window to safety. If they miss they will smash into a brick wall and be trapped forever. If they escape they will be scarred for life with cuts and burns, but will at least be alive.
Unfortunately this was the last Saw film until Saw V. It has some of the best moments of the series, but is quite confusing. At times I didn’t know who was a baddie, or why anyone would set up such elaborate schemes and I began thinking I was watching Scooby Doo instead. The next film toned down the story and upped the blood content as it is simply 90 minutes of a man in a blender.
Best Scene: When they all had to climb up the big slippery slide while blood was poured down onto them. It was funny when one of them slipped down the slide into the grinder at the bottom.