Halloween Midnight Franchise – Saw IV (2007)

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Writer: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan (Screenplay) Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan, Thomas Fenton (Story)

Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Lyriq bent, Athene Karkanis, Louis Ferreira

 

Plot: Despite Jigsaw’s death, and in order to save the lives of two of his colleagues, Lieutenant Rigg is forced to take part in a new game, which promises to test him to the limit.


Tagline – It’s a Trap

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Improving Once Again

 

Story: Saw IV starts as watch John Kramer’s (Bell) autopsy, but it uncovers a new recording for Lt Mark Hoffman (Mandylor) promising to pass on his work. Hoffman is getting help from FBI agents Peter Strahm (Patterson) and Lindsey Perez (Karkanis) who have been working on the Jigsaw case believing the bigger picture is going on with more than just John and Amanda.

Lt Daniel Rigg (Bent) becoming stressed and distant from his wife with the case learns that Eric (Wahlberg) is still alive and placed into a trap with Hoffman. Rigg gets placed into his own game where he has 90 minutes to save Matthews and Hoffman but with the FBI investigating Rigg becomes the prime suspect in the Jigsaw puzzle along with John’s ex-wife Jill (Russell) who reveals the motivation for John to become Jigsaw.

 

Thoughts on Saw IV

 

Characters – In the present time John is dead, but in this chapter we learn what motivated him to start his games or tests if you like, this does bring us to want to sympathise with John. Hoffman is the new lead detective on the case, where he must deal with the FBI turning up but worse for him, he gets caught up in the latest test with Matthews. Agent Strahm is from the FBI, he is searching for Jigsaw team as he believes it can’t have been the two-person operation, he believes someone in the force is involved and that John’s ex-wife is involved. Jill Tuck is John’s ex-wife, she is one of the prime suspects due to her connection to him, now she must give us the story to what motivated John. Rigg is the detective that has seen his friends on the force taken by Jigsaw, it is costing him his marriage so now he must go through the game learning that he can’t save everyone.

PerformancesThe performance across the board are good with Bell taking a smaller role but showing us, the sympathy needed. Patterson brings us a character we needed, one that knows the game is bigger and will do everything to stop it. The rest bring us the importance to certain moments in the film without being the full stars of the show.

StoryThe story continues to build the world that Jigsaw was from, we show that we will be facing more apprentices because Amanda and John couldn’t pull off the traps alone, this keeps us guessing on who it could be as well as teases potential returns of previous characters. The main game about a cop that needs to learn he can’t save everyone does feel like we are learning how John could recruit someone while the FBI investigation is the most interesting side of the film.

Horror/Mystery The horror comes from the games being played, they are becoming more graphic as we go along. The mystery is a lot more interesting here as we are left wondering who could in fact be the newest member of the team Jigsaw.

SettingsThe settings show us how the game can be performed in the small scale location in warehouse which would have no witness to what is going on.

Special EffectsThe effects are great here, when it comes to the games you can’t fault the effects team, we also see great moments of cutting between scenes that look flawless.


Scene of the Movie –
The final act and reveal twist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain games do feel like gore for gores sake.

Final ThoughtsThis is a step back in the right direction, the bigger picture is a huge plus for the series as this film opened the doors to so many new directions for the film to go in. the only problem is there are sometimes one too many sub-stories to follow.

 

Overall: Good addition to the franchise.

Rating

 

 

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The Marsh (2006)

logoDirector: Jordan Barker

Writer: Michael Stokes (Screenplay)

Starring: Gabrielle Anwar, Louis Ferreira, Forest Whitaker, Peter MacNeill, Niamh Wilson, Joe Dinicol, Brooke Johnson

 

Plot: A young beautiful but stressed out children’s writer seeks out a holiday in the country but becomes the lead character in a supernatural mystery she must solve to save her life

 

Verdict: Follow the Clues

 

Story: We follow our heroine as she moves to the country in a house she has dreamt about to work on her next book, with the creepy scarecrow outside creeping her out from the moment she moves in. we get the awkward meeting with a local who is desperate to become an acclaimed author, while out heroine starts to have visions. We see that after she starts getting haunted more she hires a paranormal investigator to help. She discovers that these spirits are trying to tell her something from her past, but we have to see her figure out the truth before they take over.

What we end up with here is a solid ghost investigation story, where our lead character gets haunted by a ghostly figure and has to figure out what happened to the ghost. It has a mystery level throughout and keeps you wondering about what happened in the town. The drawback is you only meet a few people so the suspect list ends up being pretty short. So if you like a good ghost mystery film, this would be a solid contender out there. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Gabrielle Anwar: Claire our young author who upon having dreams searches for the home from the dreams, where she ends up being haunted by these ghostly figures and has to figure out why they are visiting her. Good performance from our leading lady showing fear and sorrow for everything that has happened. (7/10)

 claire

Louis Ferreira: Noah local man who offers support to our heroine, but really he just wants to see whether she will look at his book, does he have a secret that is much more personal to our young author. Solid performance, in a role that he creates enough mystery about himself. (6/10)

louis

Forest Whitaker: Geoffrey the paranormal investigator who helps Claire deals with the ghostly visits and explains what is happening. Solid performance from Forest. (6/10)

 forest

Support Cast: Filled with the other people from around the town who have been keeping a secret. The all help unfold the story and help us discover the truth.

 

Director Review: Jordan Barker – Good direction to create a solid mystery horror that will keep you asking questions throughout. (7/10)

 

Horror: Contains a few jumps, but most are to help create the idea of being haunted without being scared. (7/10)

Thriller: Keeps you guessing from start to finishes. (7/10)

Settings: Has some creepy settings that are used well. (7/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the horror fans to try, if you like the ghost investigation idea this will be a good watch for you. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Solving the mystery

Worst Part: Lack of suspects.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $9 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour32 Minutes

Tagline: You can bury the past… but sometimes the past won’t stay buried.

 

Overall: Solid Mystery Thriller

Rating 70