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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Pay the Ghost (2015)

payDirector: Uli Edel

Writer: Dan Kay (Screenplay) Tim Lebbon (Novel)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Veronica Ferres, Lyriq Bent, Lauren Beatty, Kalie Hunter, Jack Fulton, Stephen McHattie

 

Plot: A professor frantically searches for his son who was abducted during a Halloween parade.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Horror Thriller

 

Story: Pay the Ghost starts when Charlie (Fulton) believes something is outside his window before we meet his parents Kristen (Callies) and Mike (Cage). Mike is an English Professor at a university where he has studied all the great horror literature and its origins. When Halloween comes Mike takes Charlie to a local carnival only for Charlie to see something continue to follow him and disappear right under the nose of Mike.

One year later Mike is still desperately searching for his son while being haunted by what happened as he sees Charlie everywhere he turns. Detective Jordan (Bent) has been doing all he can but when Mike uncovers what has happened he will come up against the unexplained that even the novels he teaches from couldn’t have written.

Pay the Ghost is the type of horror thriller I really enjoy watching, it is the old school ghost haunting so all my thoughts are going to be favourable. We have the haunting moments before the child is taken, we have the desperate parents looking for missing child with them having to go into theories. When it comes to this style of film we find ourselves wondering how this will all end up. I will say the end feels slightly rushed but the fact that is doesn’t go for the lazy twist ending helps this. It really is a film that could be enjoyed if you are the fan of the genre as long as you go in not expecting too much.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicolas Cage: Mike Lawford is a successful university professor who is happily married with a young child. His life is turned upside down when in a crowded area his son goes missing. One year later Mike still investigating his missing child stumbles upon a supernatural link to other missing children and must figure out what it all means as he searches for his son. Nicolas gives us a good performance without over playing his character.mike

Sarah Wayne Callies: Kristen is the wife of Mike who leaves him with their son, after he disappears she tries to continue her own life but comes Halloween she has to work him to final get the answers. Sarah is good but falls into the standard supporting character that doesn’t get enough screen time.

Veronica Ferres: Hannah is one of the professors that is an expert in ancient culture, she is a close friend of Mike, she is important when it comes to offering information on what is happening. Veronica does a solid job but is basically only in this film to put the pieces together in the puzzle that Mike doesn’t quite have.

Lyriq Bent: Jordan is the detective trying to find Charlie and once Mike puts him on the line of investigation of missing children on Halloween he finds himself investigating something he simply can’t explain. Lyriq is good but when it comes to character we find him almost forgotten in the final act.

Support Cast: Pay the Ghost has a supporting cast that offers what is needed for the characters without being too memorable.

Director Review: Uli EdelUli gives us well created atmospheric horror thriller that does have a few issues but once you see past them you will enjoy this one.

 

Horror: Pay the Ghost gives us a well created horror that does have a few jump scares but it also has shock moments.

Thriller: Pay the Ghost keeps us wondering to where this is going throughout.

Settings: Pay the Ghost takes part in New York which puts the horror in a busy city which is fresh for the genre.
Special Effects
: Pay the Ghost has a mix of good and bad effects when it comes to the events in the film.

Suggestion: Pay the Ghost is one for the horror fans to try as they will be surprised. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Ghost visiting Mike.

Worst Part: Certain characters seem pointless.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: A few in the early credits.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline: Evil walks among us.

 

Overall: Surprisingly good horror thriller that keeps us on the edge of our seats throughout.

Ratingcard