Last year horror fans rang in the New Year with “The Devil Inside.” I ended 2012 making it the worst horror movie of the year. Enter 2013 and the return of an old friend… Leatherface. Who better to bring a little buzz to the New Year? Will it be enough buzz to keep “Texas Chainsaw 3D” off my list of worst horror movies of 2013?
Heather (Alexandra Daddario) and her friends Nikki (Tania Raymonde), Ryan (Trey Songz), and Kenny (Keram Malicki-Sanchez) are planning a trip to New Orleans. However, those plans change after Heather learns that she has inherited a house in Texas from her grandmother. This peaks her curiosity, as she never knew she had a grandmother in Texas. So her friends, and herself get in a van with plans to stop in Texas before going to New Orleans. Unfortunately for them, Texas is about as far as they are going to get.
There is actually more to this story, as the movie opens with a flashback to the events of the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” The audience gets to see some of the best moments of that film in 3D fashion. The first few seconds took me off guard, but it ends up being a pretty cool tribute to original movie. It also serves as a set up to where this movie really begins, and lets the audience know that this movie isn’t a remake, but interestingly a sequel to the original movie.
Failing to kill Sally, Leatherface has returned to the basement of his home, and the protection of the Sawyer clan. More tribute to the original TCM, as some of the clan is made up of people from previous films most notable Gunnar Hansen (the original Leatherface.) There isn’t much time to reminisce because the police, and more importantly an angry mob arrive to put an end to the Sawyers. The mob burns down the house apparently killing everyone in it except for a baby, who is rescued (stolen) by one of the locals.
So far so good until the movie moves to the present, and the introduction of Heather. It’s clear the audience knows who she is, but the problem here is the timing. The original events took place in early 1970’s, and while the present time is never stated, it has to be 2012 because of certain technology they use later on. So that would make Heather close to 40 years old, and she isn’t even close to that. Just one GLARING problem with the story, but lets move on.
The audience gets to see what they expect from a typical horror, and TCM movie for a good portion of the movie from this point on. Heather and her friends pick up a hitchhiker on the way to the house, which still proves never to be a good idea. Just as the group of young people gets comfortable, they are stumbling and bumbling to stay alive. While trying to stay alive, the two leading ladies show as much skin as they can. Leatherface, with some different skin to display, eventually gets the chainsaw fired up for some kills.
The deaths overall are standard for a TCM movie. The audience gets to see some heads bashed in, and someone gets hung from a meat hook. Of course, the chainsaw deaths are the best, as a few people are left in more than one piece. Probably the biggest disappointment comes when Leatherface chases Heather into a carnival full of people. With chainsaw in hand, Leatherface kills… no one! All those people, and he can’t even take a swipe at one person. Come on! This is definitely a different Leatherface on display. On a side note, Lionsgate sneaks in a Saw reference in that scene if you are paying attention.
Now to the good and bad of the 3D. Seeing scenes from the original movie in 3D almost make it worth seeing in 3D alone. It’s just experiencing it all over again, but in a different way. There are some decent attempts to make it seem as if the chainsaw is coming at the audience. There is also a good use of the chainsaw at the end of the carnival scene. However, there are times when the 3D effects ruin a death, particularly the final death.
With a lot of standard things happening, there is an unexpected change late in the movie. I don’t want to give it away, but found it very interesting considering everything horror fans know about TCM. I’m sure there will be plenty of people not impressed, and probably will be quick to complain about it. While there is the glaring problem with the story followed by some other minor ones, I have to give them credit for trying to change the direction of things.
“Texas Chainsaw 3D” starts off on the right foot with a cool 3D tribute to the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Then there is a glaring problem with the storyline, which I still can’t believe they let pass. From there things are pretty standard with some all right deaths, young people being young people, and plenty of skin from the ladies and Leatherface. The 3D has its moments, but proves again it isn’t totally necessary. What makes the movie different is the unexpected change in the storyline. Being a fan of the two most recent versions of TCM, I can’t say this movie is on that level, but it certainly isn’t worse than some of the sequels to the original TCM. It’s still early, but I think this movie did enough not to be on my worst horror movies of 2013 list so I give it 2.5 pools of blood.
***There is a scene at the very end of the credits***