Wednesday, 15 May 2013

DVD Review - Texas Chainsaw

Texas Chainsaw
Director: John Luessenhop
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Trey Songz, Scott Eastwood, Tania Raymonde, Shaun Sipos, Keram Malicki-Sánchez
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Running Time: 92 minutes
Rating: R

 Its been thirty-nine years since Leatherface first revved up his chainsaw in Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre followed by two sequels and two remakes with the latter getting a prequel. The franchise seemed to be dead until this year's 3D release of Texas Chainsaw. It completely ignores the sequels and remakes, but it is a direct sequel to the 1974 original.

Honestly, I don't know what all the hype is about the original movie. I saw it once on Showtime when I was a teenager and I thought it was pretty tame compared to other slasher films. The first sequel is tolerable, while the third movie tried to be both a sequel and a remake, which was a complete disaster. The Next Generation starring Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey was a modern day remake (though some consider it to be a loose sequel) that was shelved for three years until it was released direct-to-video. I prefer to watch the gritty 2003 remake starring Jessica Biel or even the pointless prequel.

The 3D sequel/reboot takes place directly after the original movie with the police and mob surrounding the Sawyer farmhouse, demanding them to give up Leatherface. The Sawyers attempted to give Leatherface up, but the mob of Newt, Texas burn down the farmhouse with the Sawyers in it. The only two surviving member was a baby, Edith, which was taken in by a couple and Verna Carson.

Heather (Edith) Miller's life is forever changed when she receives a letter stating she had inherited her late grandma's estate, which leads her to discover that she was adopted. Heather, along with her boyfriend, Ryan, their friends, Nikki and Kenny, travels to Newt, Texas. They pick up a hitchhiker, Darryl, before meeting the family lawyer at the estate. He gives Heather some strange keys, a letter from her grandmother, and the security code to the gate.

Heather and her friends are excited about the big house, but lurking in the basement is Leatherface, who begins killing her friends one by one. After being picked up by the police, Heather learns the startling truth that she is a Sawyer and Leatherface is her cousin.

There are several continuity errors within this film. The first movie takes place in 1973, so Heather would have probably been born in 1973, but the actress looks like she is in her middle twenties, which would place this movie around 1998! But the problem is that cop uses a smart phone in the movie, one scene shows the gas prices in the three dollar range, and the death date on Verna's tombstone is in 2012. They could have avoided these mistakes by casting an older actress.

I actually thought Texas Chainsaw was another remake when I popped into the DVD player tonight. I was surprised and kind of excited to see parts of the original film in the opening. The acting throughout is your typical horror acting, meaning it is below average, which of course the horrible dialogue didn't help much either. Take note of the deputy as it is played Clint Eastwood's son, Scott Eastwood. The movie went a little too fast in killing off Heather's friends and the death scenes could have been better executed, or least the camera angles could have been better. There are a few twists and turns in the second half starting with Leatherface's little stunt at the carnival and the revelation of Heather's family. It was odd seeing Leatherface become more of an anti-hero, but it somewhat works. Texas Chainsaw isn't the best out of the series, but it is the best "real" sequel the series has ever gotten. 

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