Texas Chainsaw 3D (but not in 3D) – Film Review
Otherwise known as “The Movie Where You Almost See The Girl From Percy Jackson‘s Tits.”
I’m both happy about and let down by this.
TL;DR As flashy and polished as it is (and you know that’s how I like my slashers), Texas Chainsaw is a depressingly dull affair. The on-form first half is ruined by a stupid, absurd ending. So stupid that one of the characters simply disappears. But, still. 3 out of 5 stars.
I think my goodwill towards the excellent 2003 remake is still alive. Somewhere in my crusted heart.
This one picks up after the events of the original (which I have not seen. Strip me of my hipster points now). The Sawyer family is killed by a lynch mob, but a baby survives. She is abducted and raised as Heather (Percy Jackson’s Alexandra Daddario). When a Sawyer relative who wasn’t involved in the lynching dies, a now adult Heather inherits the luxurious estate. Turns out ol’ Leatherface survived that lynching, too, and he lets rip on Heather’s bunch of sexy, young friends. Then things get weird as Heather forms some kind of familial bond with Leatherface and they have to fight off the remnants of the lynch mob who want to finish the job.
Leatherface made a compelling tragic villain, but I’m not sure if I buy him as an anti-hero.
In fact, I don’t. The fatal flaw with this movie is the absolutely bullshit notion that Heather would not only team up with Leatherface, but choose to stay with him as his family at the ending. Bitch, he just fucking slaughtered your friends. With a chainsaw. You saw him goddamn bisect one of them.
Yeah, maybe Heather has a touch of the Sawyer madness, but then I have to believe a normal, 20-something woman would suddenly turn into Leatherface’s accomplice over the course of a few hours.
Stupid stupid stupid.
Why I hate this movie:
Texas Chainsaw suffers from the exact same problem as No One Lives: I don’t care about any of the victims. Hell, they don’t even qualify as the most basic of archetypes. The slutty girl doesn’t get naked or have sex on screen. The boyfriend doesn’t do much of anything. And the other friend (the one with piercings. Mr Bisection) doesn’t do anything at all. Of the 5 travellers, the most developed is the fucking klepto hitchhiker, only because he actually shows more than one dimension.
The disappearing character I mentioned earlier is the cute deputy (Scott “I’m Clint’s son. Cast me” Eastwood). He turns out to be evil and drops Heather off at the abattoir for daddy to murder. He stays outside, but isn’t seen again. The sheriff should have at least run into him when he rocked up.
The sheriff’s character is stupid, too. He feels bad about the lynching happening when he couldn’t control the mob. He atones for this by allowing Leatherface to murder the mayor (the mob leader) in front of him, then letting this evidently lethal monster just go on his merry way. No, baby.
After deciding to stay the night at the house, the gang leaves the hitchhiker to stay there alone while they go buy food. Fucking really? No surprise when he immediately tries to rob the joint. I think these guys just set a new stupidity benchmark for horror movie victims.
Heather really is the worst character ever. She’s just witnessed her friends get torn apart by a chainsaw wielding maniac, but then she calmly goes about learning her family heritage. I could have supported her Leatherface team-up if it was merely pragmatism, but then she stays.
She also grabs worst line (a coveted rarity here on I Just Hate Everything) when she tosses Leatherface’s chainsaw to him so he can dispatch the mayor: “Do your thing, cuz.” Gag.
Oh, and Heather doesn’t get her tits all the way out. What a tease.
Reasons to watch:
We do get some killer side boob, though.
The violence is pretty delicious. And CGI-free for the most part. Piercings Guy’s bisection is almost all practical effects. I was very impressed.
Alexandra Daddario is gorgeous. She has the makings of a scream queen (it’s on, Adelaide), but she’s gonna have to do better than shit like this and Bereavement if she wants to make it.
There’s footage from the original, for all you continuity nerds out there.
David from Melrose Place (my immortal. My love) is the hitchhiker. He gets a pretty neat wet shirt scene as his introduction.
I lol’d when Heather’s boyfriend and best friend totally fucked behind her back.
The best death definitely goes to the mayor. Leatherface cuts his Achilles tendons, then pushes him into almost falling into a mincer. The mayor hangs on, but Leatherface chainsaws off his hands, and the mayor slides to his mushy death. Glorious.
The gore all around is pretty satisfying. But you kinda expect that in a movie about chainsaws.
I liked that the town had a strong hatred of the Sawyers, as opposed to the compliance and conspiracy situation of the 2003 remake. It’s nice to have someone on our gang’s side. Of course, Heather has to go and spoil it all by siding with the psychopath, but I’ll take what victories I can get.
A jumpy cop accidentally executes Slutty Girl. I lol’d.
Oh, and Heather, her boyfriend, and Slutty Girl actually give a pretty good effort in their escape attempt. Kudos, guys.
I think I’m giving this a sympathy star because I want to believe this franchise could come roaring and sawing back. But really, it’s an average slasher film with good branding. 3 out of 5 stars.