This, the 2003 version of, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is an example of a remake done well. The movie stays fairly close to the original film with some minor changes and a different focus in storytelling.
The movie opens with some "real" camera footage of police officers searching and investigating the Hewitt family house in Travis County Texas. A narrator introduces the story and a few minutes in one of the police officers hurls at the sights and smells being discovered. The narration ends on the words "the Texas Chainsaw Massacre".
The movie then pans into a van rolling down the highway with five young adult friends. The group has just left Mexico and are taking a detoured route home. They come across a girl walking aimlessly along the highway and trying to be good citizens they pick her up and offer to take her where she wants to go. Piecemeal conversation follows. The girl looks out the window and screams, "You're going the wrong way." She tells the group that "You're all going to die" and then pulls a gun from under her skirt and shoots herself in the head. Chaos ensues and the van pulls over. Then the girls in the van learn that the guys are smuggling pot back home. One thing leads to another and before they know it the group splits itself in two as one group waits for the sheriff and another leaves to see if they can phone the sheriff to come sooner. Soon the members of the group are picked off one by one until only one remains alive (Jessica Biel), trying to stay away from Leatherface and outsmarting the Sheriff.
This TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is much more bloody and gory than the original. Tobe Hooper's original film works so well because he showed so little. Hooper took a lesson from Hitchcock and knew that the most frightening and horrifying things are usually the things that we can't see; things that we are left to imagine in our own minds. This version doesn't do that. Though it doesn't show every graphic detail, the film is quite gory and filled with blood and guts, starting from the moment the wandering girl shoots herself in the head until the last act of the film when Erin (Biel) fights back agains Leatherface and saws off his arm.
The acting in the movie is fairly realistic. Biel does a wonderful job as the heroine of the piece who ends up saving someone else's life beside her own. The other noteworthy performance is that of R. Lee Ermey who portrays the viscious Sheriff Hoyt. The most frightening character in this movie is not Leatherface; it's Sheriff Hoyt. Hoyt is kind of the mastermind behind much of what goes on. Not only that, but Ermey's portrayal is just so believable. Ermey's performance makes you think of that good-ol'-boy farmer back home and makes one wonder if maybe that farmer might be a mastermind behind a bunch of serial killings, too.
The lighting and music play a significant role in setting the tone of the movie and are done well. They help provide the suspenseful and terrifying atmosphere. Combined together with the focused cinematography, good acting, and solid direction it makes this version of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE a film you really don't want to watch alone in the dark.
** out of **** Marcus Nispel's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" takes Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" to almost painfully excessive new highs and lows. As can be expected from a film with the said director attached, there's a great deal of hard work that went into the technical and visual departments; and all such work pays off in the end. However, as with all the Marcus Nispel films, that's about it; he's a good hand when it comes to grotesque but strangely stunning … more
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) is a terrible film. Unlike the recent remake of Dawn of the Dead (which was good), the new T.C.M. is it's polar opposite (it is bad). I don't know why they even bothered with remaking this classic. Everything that made the original great is missing. Sadistic does not equate frightening or scary it's just stomach churning. The film makers need to take note. The only thing worth while about this flick is Jessica Biel. If you're a huge Jessica Biel fan (and what straight … more
I watched the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" back when I was in college and again when this remake was released in the theaters. I enjoyed it very much, with its camp horror and constant terror throughout. It was a very good film, but it's young remake is also up to the task. Though most people who've watched the original will probably find more wrong with this film than folks who didn't(think old Star Wars vs. new Star Wars), this new version is actually pretty good. … more
HEADCHEESE! Did you know that Tobe Hooper's original 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre was titled "Headcheese", but at the last minute the title was changed to TCM?The original 1974 TCM was filled with a group of hippy teenagers who pick up a hitchhiker,wind up in a backwoods horror chamber where they're held captive, tortured, chopped up, and impaled on meat hooks by a demented cannibalistic family. All the while, the character known as Leatherface who does the maiming,torturing and killing while maniacally … more
Pros: .. Cons: .. The Bottom Line: Nuttin like a chainsaw to get your attention Movie synopsis: A van of young adults travels down a lonely Texas road, picks up a hitchhiker. The mumbling young woman is deranged and beaten, pulls a gun from her nether regions and kills herself. In an attempt to find authorities, the group of young people fall under the hands and become the prey of the antics of the Hewitt family … more
I have never seen the original, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one! Let me start saying, that I made a mistake of eatting dinner and watching this movie at the same time. Um, yeah, I could hardly chew, and it was only the beginning. The cast is quickly overwhelmed by the unfamiliar terriotry, and sneaky people who aren't as helpful as they seem. It's in the middle of a hot, gross and sticky summer day. Some of the scenes are brutal, but I did not see any cannibalism in it. … more
The 2003 version ofThe Texas Chainsaw Massacreadheres to the pure and simple slasher movie formula: Introduce a gaggle of sexy young people, make vague gestures to distinguish them--Jessica Biel (Summer Catch) wants to get married and doesn't like pot, so she's our moral compass--then start hacking them to pieces one by one. The visual palette includes grimy crucified dolls, fly-specked pig carcasses, body parts floating in murky jars, a tobacco-chewing redneck sheriff, and many slender beams of sunlight cutting through dank, dusty interiors. The camera lovingly photographs Biel's tank-topped bosom and sculpted abs as she's running in terror from a bloated, chainsaw-wielding, human-skin-wearing maniac. This remake lacks the macabre comedy of the original; it's all about the nauseating sensation of waiting for something to jump out of the dark. Also featuring Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under) and R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket,Mail Call).--Bret Fetzer