While I do not remember the first time I watched the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I can easily say that it is one of my favorite horror movie franchises. In fact, I would be so bold to say that it is hands down, my favorite horror franchise, squeaking by the Evil Dead trilogy and SAW.
I don’t know whether it is because it was one of the founding fathers of the “slasher” and “Insane family” genres, or because it had such a fascinating family of villains, or because the lead monster was a mere mortal who wore human faces as masks. Whatever the case may be, I love Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I have the toys, most of the comic-books, and almost all of the movies.
I say almost all the movies because there are two in particular that I am not a huge fan of. Those two would be the abysmal “Next Generation” film which portrayed Leatherface as a crossdressing weakling and his family as paranoid, alien conspiracy lunatics. The second movie I do not own is “The Beginning”. Not because it’s a terrible movie but because it didn’t really do it for me. It felt rather meh in comparison to the other films and while it did help strengthen the mythology of the franchise, it just didn’t warrant a purchase in my opinion.
Texas Chainsaw 2 is easily one of my favorites in the franchise for its over-the-top humor and gore. It also co-stars one of my favorite actors – Bill Mosely – as Chop Top. So when I heard that Bill will be returning to the Chainsaw films, this time portraying the Cook from the original film, I was excited. However, that excitement was quickly killed off when I saw the title.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: 3D
Any time I see a horror movie that adds “3D” as part of the title, I cringe. A majority of 3D horror films are atrocious, thanks to the use of CGI to make the gore seem 3D. I partially blame the use of 3D for the downfall of SAW 7, and I know that the inclusion of it does not a good horror movie make (although there are some minor exceptions) .
So, knowing this, how did Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D hold up? Let’s find out.
The story takes place a couple of hours after the original 1974 film. That’s right. This movie is a sequel to the original Tobe Hooper film. It negates the existence of Texas Chainsaw II in favor of providing its own “What If” scenario. This What-if scenario is “What if Sawyers never escaped the cops after the first film ended?”.
Once “justice” has been served, we fast forward to 2013. The movie follows Heather Miller, a young woman who receives a letter in the mail explaining that her grandmother has passed away and is leaving her the family home. What Heather doesn’t know, however, is that this is the same Sawyer estate from the original Texas Chainsaw. When she and her friends (and a hitchhiker) arrive at the home, they accidently catch the attention of LeatherFace who has survived all these years hidden in the house’s basement.
Blood and slaughter ensues resulting in a showdown between Heather and Leatherface along with the town’s local police department.
Now since this a spoiler-free review, I cannot divulge one of the bigger twists of this movie. It isn’t a ending twist by any means, but it is an interesting character development point. Let us just say that, like in the original movies, there is a very strong emphasis on Family in this film and that is one of the things they did very right in this movie.
Texas Chainsaw has always been about two things: Slaughter and Family. This movie touched on both aspects just right. The problem comes in the fact that the movie is rife with slasher movie clichés and some cringing computer effects.
Every cliché (except for the random animal jumping out of nowhere) is used in this film. Girl slips and falls while running away? Check. Car cannot start? Check. Slutty best friend? Check. Black guy? Check. Handsome two-faced asshole? Check. Corrupt police? Check.
What made the originals stand out was their avoidance of the usual clichés. While the victims were primarily just there for meat, the movies focused primarily on the entire serial killer clan. Seeing who sick and twisted each of the family members were really added to the tension. Without these moments, a majority of the film falls into a Teen slasher flick. This is not a bad thing as these movies are still entertaining, but it is just dripping with clichés.
The other thing that made me cringe was the use of computer effects for two key scenes. The first comes when a house is on fire. The fire is SO fake that you can actually that nothing is actually burning up. Even the curtains are just staying limp instead of physically burning.
The second comes to one of the death scenes. The entire scene was done with bad computer effects, from the guts to the blood, and it really killed what could have been a fantastically grisly death. That disappointed me a great deal.
Also, one of the death scenes was rather weak in terms of believability only because it is very obvious that Leatherface is cutting through a prop dummy instead of a person (mostly because the prop dummy doesn’t react at all when it’s being cut into).
Finally, there is a chase scene through a carnival that was mind-boggling mostly because those around Leatherface either were not reacting to a masked psycho killer and the girl covered in blood and screaming for her life, or that they just ran away as opposed to anyone, anywhere, trying to help.
It may seem like I am really putting the movie down, but in all honesty, I was surprised about how much I actually enjoyed it. It is a horror movie meant for entertainment and I did find myself rather entertained. Heather was a fascinating character to watch develop and you find yourself mixed between cheering on Leather Face and hoping someone stops him.
One thing I really enjoyed was the recreation of the original movie for the opening. Using original movie footage followed by recreating actual scenes and environments (the Sawyer’s house even had the exact same chainsaw holes in the front door as it did in the 1974 version) was really cool. A lot of detail was followed here.
Acting was typical Horror flair and the gore we did get that was not CGI, was rather lovely and while some fans may consider this movie an insult as it dictates itself as the official sequel as opposed to the original sequel, I find this to be a very curious “What-If” scenario and in that aspect, I think it did well.
This is by far not the worst Texas Chainsaw movie (that goes to Next Generation), but it isn’t the best. I would say that it entertained me more than The Beginning, but still doesn’t hold a candle to the other films.
I would recommend that people give this one a rental.
Have you seen Texas 3D yet? Did you like it? What is your opinion on the film? Let me know in the comments and have a fantastic day