Before “Halloween”, “Friday the 13th” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” there was “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” from filmmaker Tobe Hooper. It is considered one of the most highly regarded horror movies of the modern era and is loved by fans and respected by critics. Since its release in 1974 it has spawned sequels, remakes and even a prequel to the remake, but none of those movies could even hold a candle to the original until now with “Texas Chainsaw 3D”.
While there have been sequels to the franchise (I was a Production Assistant on “Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III”), none of them really had a direct tie to the original movie. Usually in the sequels Leatherface is teamed up with a psycho family who terrorize new victims. “Texas Chainsaw 3D” picks up right where the original left off when Sally (Marilyn Burns) gets away in passerby pickup truck.
After the consequences of the original are resolved “Texas Chainsaw 3D” takes place in the present. A young woman named Heather (Alexandra Daddario) discovers she has inherited a house by a grandmother she never knew existed. She and her friends travel to Texas to see her new digs, but someone else is already residing in the house (guess who).
The standard plot for a horror movie is that a group of young adults gets picked off by a psycho killer one by one, until there is only a single person left, usually a female. Also, no one knows the killer is around until the group is down to two or three people. The Chainsaw movies have worked that plot a little differently as the final victim is captured by the Sawyer family, tortured and teased by them until that person makes a daring escape. “Texas Chainsaw 3D” does not follow any of those plot lines. It does looked like it will; but, it delightfully deviates from the usual formula to the point where certain lines become blurred.
For those horror fans hoping for a good gore factor you are in luck, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” has more than its share of bloodletting. KNB did the makeup effects on it and the effects they provide will not disappoint the core audience paying to see this movie. The movie was shot using 3D cameras and those effects are pretty successful too. Get ready to know what it feels like to have a bloody chainsaw coming at ya!
Director John Luessenhop, whose last movie was the crime drama “Takers”, does a good job delivering scares and tension. Credit should also go to John Frizzell for his underlying musical score. Luessenhop keeps the movie swiftly paced, while paying respects to the original movie with certain nods to it that fans of the original are sure to recognize (i.e. Heather and her friends are driving a Volkswagen). Fans should also keep their eyes open for cameos by the original Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen and Marilyn Burns also makes an appearance.
The one glaring flaw in the movie is the timeline. The movie takes place today as we see modern cell phones and gas prices over $3.00. The original movie took place in 1974, but when we see a newspaper article reporting on the incident we see the month and date, but not the year. This is important because if the original indeed took place in the early 1970s, then the ages of the characters do not add up. The movie is still a fun ride for moviegoers and this little error will just have to be overlooked.
There has been a lack of good horror movies that fall in the slasher genre of late. Leave it to the film franchise that helped invent it, to bring back to form again. It’s fun to see the “rules” broken every now and then (if you run to a place in public with a lot of people you supposed to be safe, right?) “Texas Chainsaw 3D” is rated R for strong grisly violence, some sexuality, partial nudity and language throughout. Oh, sit through all the end credits. One little extra surprise awaits you!