I managed to get some money for this last weekend, so I went out to the theater to watch Texas Chainsaw 3D. Well sort of, I didn’t go to the 3D part of it. This didn’t bother me at all since it saved me a little bit of money. Plus I had enough on my rewards card to get a large drink and popcorn for only $2.25, can’t beat that! I will have enough rewards to do that again after then next movie I go see, which should be this coming weekend. I know I’m a week late getting around to this movie, and there are already plenty of review out there, but that has never stopped me before. Texas Chainsaw is the first film out for the new year for the theater, so of course I wanted to go see it.
Texas Chainsaw 3D picks up where the original 1974 film left off. After Sally (Marilyn Burns from footage of the original film) gets away, Sheriff Hooper (Thom Barry) shows up at the house where Sally was kept. He wants the Sawyer family to give up Leatherface, to which the family eventually agrees to do. Before they can do that though, a large group of townsfolk, led by Burt (Paul Rae), show up with all kinds of guns. They say they are there to backup the Sheriff, but they end up taking the law into their own hands when they open fire on the house. One woman survives with her little baby, which Gavin (David Born) takes and leaves the woman for dead. Leatherface isn’t found and Gavin and his wife (Sue Rock) raise the baby as their own. Now in present day, we meet Heather (Alexandra Daddario). Heather gets a letter in the mail saying that her grandmother who lives in Texas has passed away and left everything to her. Not sure what is going on, she confronts her parents and finds out that they aren’t her real parents. She decides to head to Texas along with her boyfriend Ryan (Trey Songz) and friends Carl (Scott Eastwood) and Nikki (Tania Raymonde). Along the way they pick up Darryl (Shaun Sipos), who cons his way into a ride with them. They discover that some people in the town, like Burt who is now Mayor, don’t want them around. And of course there is the matter of Leatherface still being around as well.
Texas Chainsaw goes out of its way to make sure you know it is tying into the original movie. During the credits there is footage from the original film, more or less giving us a recap of what happened. It also completely ignores all other movies that has come out since then. Since it tries so hard, there is just one little problem. Heather is in her mid 20’s, at least we are to assume she is I think since Daddario is 26, but since the original film took place in 1974, or around there, then Heather should be in her late 30’s. We know this movie is set in present day, since we see 2012 on a gravestone. Most of the time the original story’s date is not seen. One gravestone, that of Heather’s mother, we can see the month and day, but weeds are covering the year. There is one newspaper where we see the date of 1974 on it though, but you have to look carefully to see it. That would also make Leatherface pretty old as well.
I knew about the age thing going in, since many other reviews point it out. Yes it a big mistake, and one someone on the film could have corrected easy enough...like setting the story 12 or so years earlier. Knowing of the problem sort of helped my get passed it though. If you over look the whole age thing, Texas Chainsaw isn’t a bad movie. I still had some problems with it outside the whole age thing, but nothing that made me dislike this one a lot. This mostly had to do with the Sheriff towards the end of the film, but I can’t really get into that. The things I did like was that it had a good pace. I never felt bored during any of it. While it slows down a little bit while Heather learns the truth about herself and her family, director John Luessenhop, and everyone else involved, does a good job of keeping things moving. I also liked the characters a lot. You don’t have your normal jock and nerd type characters. They all seem like just normal people. Of course I have to like Heather, we have the same first name after all.
As another review pointed out, it is funny that Massacre was dropped from the title of the film when it was one of the more gory films in the franchise. From cuts to getting shot in the head, which was actually a pretty funny moment, things can get pretty gory at times. Of course the best is watching someone get chainsawed in half. That scene, while gory, could have have been better. I still liked it though. The acting was also pretty good. Alexandra Daddario is a very pretty woman and did very well with the lead role I thought. Some of the actors who played her friends could have been a little better, but they weren’t bad at all. While I thought that Paul Rae does a good job, I didn’t really care for him as a bad guy. Dan Yeager plays the part of Leatherface this time out. I thought he had the right look for Leatherface. He does look older, and seems a little slower, but still someone to deal with.
There is a small subplot that deals with Ryan and Nikki that never really goes anywhere. It seems that the two have their own little thing going on, unknown to Heather and Carl. I say it never goes anywhere because neither of them find out about it, so it is a bit pointless for it to be there. I take that back, Heather more than likely does suspect something at one point, but doesn’t have the time to question it. I was actually glad that was the case. Would you really question something like that when you are being chased by someone who is trying to kill you? I know I wouldn’t. Anyway, while Texas Chainsaw won’t blow away long time fans of the franchise, it is still a solid movie. Problems with the whole age thing aside, if Texas Chainsaw is still playing near you. It is worth checking out. At the very least you should look for it on DVD when it comes out soonish. They do come out quickly anymore.
3 out of 5 Wonder if anyone will ever leave me a Leatherface in their will