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Texas Chainsaw (2013 film)

A horror film directed by John Luessenhop

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Original Recipe Horror ... But This Time It's Personal!

  • May 3, 2013
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One of the things that we critics do from time to time is we check out what our competition is saying.  There’s nothing wrong with knowing what others thought of a particular motion picture.  Sometimes it gives us some peace of mind – a kind of cultural vindication – in knowing we’re not alone in what we thought about a certain performance or a specific script or even an action sequence or two.  Other times?  Well, it makes some of us feel a might old.  I’ve been around the block more than a few times.  You young folks today?  All you want is SAW this and SAW that.  Back in my day, we had real hack’n’slash killers.  There wasn’t any elaborate set-up to pictures that brought us to the edge of our seats.  Jason?  He’d hack you while you were having unprotected sex.  Freddy?  He’d get you while you were asleep.  All it took was one wicked family, a couple of lost teenagers, and some sicko with a skin condition and a chain saw, and we screamed real easy.
A man named Tobe Hooper set the bar real high back then.  He returns with a fitting theatrical follow-up to the original tale … but this time it’s personal!  And 3D!
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters.  If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment.  If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
Look, the Sawyers weren’t exactly Ward and June Cleaver.  And Jedidiah certainly wasn't anything like 'The Beaver.'  They were all homicidal.  In 1974’s original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE introduced audiences to them and the town of Newt, Texas, where folks simply just went missing.  It was the classic urban legend brought to life.  What happened next was the townsfolk rose up and destroyed the Sawyers … or so they thought.  As fate would have it, Jedidiah Sawyer – the infamous Leatherface – survived, but so did an infant who was found on the scene and secreted away to another family.  Years later, Heather (played by an absolutely fetching Alexandra Daddario, who spends most of the picture with a bared midriff) receives a startling letter informing her that her grandmother has passed away in Newt.  Realizing she was that babynapped infant, Heather goes home, now the owner of a beautiful Victorian mansion … but there’s a deep dark secret tucked away in the wine cellar that no one’s warned her about … a secret that takes the shape of Leatherface!
One of the things that frustrates me – as a critic – is that, for reasons I’ve never understood, some who share in the similar responsibility to review flicks operate under the assumption that horror films are a form of ‘high art’ needing the same level of analysis they’d apply to, say, SCHINDLER’S LIST.  That isn’t the case, nor should it be, because genuine horror films are made with a singular purpose: to make money by scaring people.  On that front, I thought much of CHAINSAW was quite effective.  Sure, there are some scenes that don’t play out as well as one might hope.  Okay, there might be a bit of a logic flub here and there.  Yes, the relationships of all these players does look a tad superficial … but isn’t that always the case?
Besides, horror films get dissected often enough by employing so many of the same silly conventions.  They almost always involve unusually attractive young people (check) behaving more than a bit silly about handling the stress of their situation (check) while running away from some nefariously evil guy with a gun, knife, ax, or the like (check).  CHAINSAW is no different.  Essentially, it’s a cast of underwear models (that about sums up their acting ability) caught up in the bloody affairs of a local legend.  Cue the creepy music.  Sprinkle in copious amounts of sweat and blood.  Boom!  You’ve got yourself a horror film!  Plus, who I am to argue with the logic of casting Daddario (with her wonderful midriff) and the lovely Tania Raymonde (whose derriere gives a fond poke back to the original film) as a potential victim-in-waiting?
Come down off of your high horses, critics, and enjoy CHAINSAW for what it was: a nod to a classic B-grade horror.  It doesn’t have to add anything new to the formula: it IS the original recipe.  It has all of the requisite staples, and, so far as I care, it ends up as a pleasant enough guilty pleasure.
TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D is produced by Lions Gate, Leatherface Productions, Mainline Pictures, Millennium Films, Nu Image Films, and Twisted Chainsaw Pictures.  DVD distribution is being handled by Lions Gate.  As for the technical specifications, the picture looks and sounds very solid, though I’ll admit I had to adjust the sound levels once in the opening because I couldn’t quite get the perfect mix in the opening sequences.  And what about the special features, you ask?  My Goodness, this disc is loaded.  Not only do you get a digital copy, but this package has multiple (three) audio commentaries, some historical featurette on the franchise, several ‘making of’ shorts, an alternate opening, and more.  Seriously, it’s a terrific assortment that no doubt will have fans revisiting it again and again … so long as this is your cup of tea.
RECOMMENDED.  Look, of course this isn’t high art.  And, no, it’s not going to win any awards.  But as old school slash’n’burn horror goes, much of TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D is still a pretty effective fun ride.  Like the kids being chased out of the House of Horrors, original recipe scares tend to pack a wallop when they’re done right.  Don’t look for all of this to make much sense, and just go with it.  Plus, when’s the last time a respectable horror effort promoted good family values, eh?  That’s nothing to shake a stick at.  And did I mention Alexandra Daddario’s midriff?  Tania Raymonde’s hindquarters?  Those were staples of these flicks back in my day, you young whippersnappers, so take it all in stride.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Lions Gate Entertainment provided me with an advance DVD copy of TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.

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May 06, 2013
I enjoyed this one, but I do have to admit that it could've used some additions to the script...such as more sex and nudity LOL! But hey, perhaps this would be better on bluray unrated version
More Texas Chainsaw (2013 film) reviews
review by . January 06, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
The Buzzkill of Leather Face
It has been many years since I saw Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. I have seen one sequel or spin off called “TCM: The Next Generation” and the more recent reboots of the franchise under Michael Bay’s banner, which was a mediocre update to 2000‘s horror. I thought maybe that it would take more than a few years before Hollywood takes on Leatherface again. Well, director John Luessenhop won’t let the franchise die just yet …
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Ed ()
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What? You don't know enough about me from the picture? Get a clue! I'm a graduate from the School of Hard Knocks! You can find me around the web as "Trekscribbler" or "Manchops".   … more
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