Directed by: John Luessenhopp
On one level it somehow seems right that shortly after the film Hitchcock has hit the theaters (depicting the hoops through the master of suspense had to jump to get his seminal film Psycho made). As both Norman Bates (the main character in Psycho and Leatherface the killer in the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) are based on Ed Gain the real-life killer about whom Robert Bloch wrote in his book Psycho. On the hand, however, given that Texas Chainsaw is such an abysmal train wreck, you kind of want to forget any connection be this travesty and either the original film, the 2003 half-baked remake, Psycho or any connection to either Hitchcock or Bloch. Yeah, it was that bad.
Ostensibly, the film is supposed to continue the story of the homicidal Sawyer family, picking up where Tobe Hooper‘s 1974 horror classic left off in Newt, Texas, where people went missing without a trace for without a trace. Decades later, and hundreds of miles distant from that initial massacre, a young woman named Heather Miller (Daddario) discovers that she has inherited a Texas estate from her grandmother whom she never met. Figuring that she’ll check this place out, she and some of her friends embark on a road trip to learn more about her roots, and discover a bit of her own past, as well as this place she now apparently owns. Once there, she learns that she is the sole owner of a lavish, isolated Victorian mansion. However, her newfound wealth comes at a price as she stumbles across a horror that awaits her in the mansion’s dank cellars.
Sounds spooky, doesn’t it? Not so much it is a mishmash of a myriad of imagery and half-formed (and half-baked) story possibilities none of which is really explored adequately, and those that are, are completely preposterous (cell phones that broadcast video images crisply from deep underground, cops who enter dangerous areas without calling for backup, cop supervisors who allow their deputies to do stupid stuff while they stand around watching, etc.).
Yeah, there is so much going on that doesn’t make sense that it is difficult to know where to start. Hence we’re suggesting that you flat-out skip this and go watch Hitchcock or the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre if you must, but perhaps if we stop going to see bad remakes of classic films they will simply stop making them.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.