Christchurch Press [James Croot]
The series seems headed down the path of the Nightmare on Elm St movies, with an increasingly bizarre backstory trying to piece together a patchwork of gruesome set pieces... Full review.
For devotees of the series, the gore is still there and the traps are just as weird as they were in the other entries but for the rest of us, your mind will forget it the second the end credits roll... Full review.
1/2 Though the series seemed like a great concept three years ago, it's now just a repeated assault on the senses, designed strictly for the gross-out crowd, and disturbs rather than scares... Full review.
One more small thing: Every other scene in Saw IV starts and ends with a potential victim pressing "play" on a tape recorder, to the point where it's almost funny... Full review.
Director Darren Lynn Bousman, who also helmed the past two installments, doesn't deviate from the stylistic formula, which includes grinding industrial music, frenzied editing and a blue-gray color palette... Full review.
Even by the standards of the recent "Saws," which have enjoyed considerably larger budgets than the first pic, the new edition is more frenetically cut (by editors Kevin Greutert and Brett Sullivan), more dimly lit (by lenser David A. Armstrong), sweatier in terms of perfs by the grimly serious cast, more madly packed with micro-incidents and action, and more brazen in requiring suspension of disbelief... Full review.