Texas Chainsaw 3D

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Picking up after the events of the original film, the people of Newt, Texas, led by Mayor Burt Hartman (Paul Rae), burn down the farmhouse of the Sawyer family for their role in aiding Jedidiah “Jed” Sawyer (Dan Yeager), also known as “Leatherface”, in several murders. The arsonists are celebrated as heroes in the town, and the entire family is presumed dead. However, an infant, Edith Sawyer, is found by one of the townsmen, Gavin Miller (David Born), who promptly murders her mother, Loretta Sawyer (Dodie Brown), and adopts Edith with his wife Arlene (Sue Rock). Decades later, Edith has been raised by Gavin and Arlene as Heather Miller (Alexandra Daddario). One day, Heather is notified that her grandmother, Verna Carson (Marilyn Burns), has passed away and left everything to her; discovering that she was adopted, Heather and her boyfriend Ryan (Tremaine Neverson), and two other friends, Nikki (Tania Raymonde) and Kenny (Keram Malicki-Sánchez), travel to Newt to collect her inheritance. Along the way, the group picks up hitchhiker Darryl (Shaun Sipos).

When they arrive, the Sawyer family lawyer, Farnsworth (Richard Riehle), gives her the keys to the family house along with a letter from Verna. Excited about the property she now owns, Heather and her friends look through the house, decide to stay the night, and immediately set off to buy supplies and food, trusting Darryl to stay and look over the house. Darryl begins looting it and believes he will find valuables in a locked room in the cellar of the house; however, upon entering the locked room he is bludgeoned by Leatherface. Heather and her friends return and discover the house has been ransacked, but choose to let it go. As Kenny prepares dinner he finds the butler’s cellar, where Darryl was killed, and Leatherface impales him on a hook. Heather finds a decomposing body upstairs and runs to find her friends, but she is knocked unconscious by Leatherface. Waking up in Leatherface’s room, she manages to escape to the graveyard. Hearing the screams and chainsaw, Ryan and Nikki draw the attention of Leatherface, while Heather gets their van and picks up her friends.

In the ensuing chase, Leatherface saws through one of the van’s tires, causing it to crash and subsequently kill Ryan. Heather escapes and makes her way into a carnival, but Leatherface escapes the police who are patrolling the grounds. Sheriff Hooper (Thom Barry) realizes that Leatherface survived the fire and is still alive; Mayor Hartman sends Officer Marvin (James MacDonald) to the Sawyer house to kill Leatherface, against Hooper’s orders. While looking for Leatherface, Marvin is startled and accidentally kills Nikki, before being killed by Leatherface himself. While at the station, Heather learns of what the townspeople did to her family and flees. She is soon caught by Hartman’s son, Deputy Carl Hartman (Scott Eastwood), who ties her up at the long-abandoned Sawyer slaughterhouse to lure Leatherface. Once there, Leatherface finds out that Heather is his cousin and cuts her ties, but is attacked by Mayor Hartman and another officer, Ollie (Ritchie Montgomery). As Heather hears her cousin being beaten she decides to help him, killing Ollie with a pitchfork and giving Leatherface his chainsaw, which he uses to force Mayor Hartman into a meat grinder. Afterward, Heather and Leatherface return home, where Heather reads the letter from Verna that tells her Leatherface will protect her in return for being taken care of. Realizing Leatherface is the only family she has left, Heather decides to stay with him.

In a post-credits scene, Gavin and Arlene show up at the mansion to visit Heather, intending on greedily splitting her assets. As they wait in front of the door, Leatherface answers with his chainsaw in hand.

REVIEW:

Well, this is a drastic change from the film I watched earlier today, Teen Beach Movie, wouldn’t you say? I’m no fan of modern horror or remakes/reboots, so don’t expect good marks for Texas Chainsaw 3D. Just letting you know in advance. That being said, rumor has it that this could possibly change my mind. We’ll see if that happens or not.

What is this about?

When a young woman travels to Texas to collect her inheritance, she discovers that a brutal, chainsaw-wielding madman is part of the bequest.

What did I like?

Clip art. I believe this was meant to be a reboot, rather than a remake, which works for me, because I detest and despise remakes as the lowest and laziest form of “entertainment” just a notch above reality TV (the exception being remaking foreign films). That being said, this seems to serve more as a sequel than anything else, due to the fact that the story is continued from the previous films, and they show clips from the original. At least I think that was a genuine clip. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

Leave Percy behind. I think I may be one of the few people to genuinely enjoy the Percy Jackson films. The get a bad rap, in my opinion, because they are so similar to the Harry Potter films and books, so people don’t give them the chance they deserve, but that’s a topic for another time. One of, if not THE best thing to come out of that franchise, though, is Alexandria Daddario. She was already a teen hottie in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, but she has grown into quite the female specimen. Someone tell me why she wasn’t considered for Wonder Woman? She has the look! I don’t want to say she should leave the franchise that made her career behind, but she is the only thing worth watching in this film and judging by a certain scene in HBO’s True Detective, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of her in the future.

Black guy doesn’t die….first. A popular trope in horror films is who dies first. Normally it is the slutty, huge chested blonde bimbo (usually wearing a cheerleading outfit or something that shows off her assets) or the black guy, occasionally you can throw in the token gay guy, but that hasn’t happened enough to become part of the pattern. Our token black guy in the film, played by R & B singer Trey Songz in his film debut, is not the first to go. Usually, when someone is making their debut that would mean they won’t be around very long, but Songz sticks around for much longer than expected. The first to die is actually someone not associated with the core group of characters, which I found to be quite interesting. Especially since, had he not been snooping around, this whole massacre could have been avoided.

What didn’t I like?

Bad CG. I was talking to someone the other day about why it is that everyone seems to hate X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I didn’t think it was such a bad film, but one of the things that we both agreed on was how Wolverine’s claws seem to be the same kind of CG that was used to bring cartoons to life in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Bad CG can kill a film, no matter how good it is. This film is far from being good and the CG just makes it worse. I can get over the blood spouting everywhere, but the killings resemble something from the early days of Mortal Kombat, rather than something we would get in a modern day horror flick.

Convenient car trouble. So, in the first encounter with Leatherface, as the group is trying to escape, the van seems to decide it needed to conveniently stop working just long enough for Leatherface to catch up with them, but then it will start and we repeat the sequence again, until he slashes their tires. My big problem with this is that they were able to drive from wherever they were to out in B.F.E. Texas without a problem. They even made a trip into town with the thing and yet, it stops working conveniently as a psycho killer with a chainsaw is coming after them.

Timeline. These people need to get their timeline straight. The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out in the 70s. Alexandria Daddario’s character, who was a baby at that time, so she would be about 40 at the time of this film, rather than 20 something she is portraying. I see no reason that this couldn’t have been set in the 90s, or Daddario couldn’t have been the daughter of the abducted baby, but I guess that would make too much sense, now wouldn’t it?

Apparently, Texas Chainsaw 3D was more concerned with making Leatherface into some kind of sympathetic character, rather letting him kill people. Yes, that’s right, the serial killer in this film kills maybe 3 or 4 in the whole film. I didn’t care for what they tried to do with his character. The guy needs to be a mindless killer. There’s no need to explore it any deeper than that, but because this film does, it loses sight of what it needs to be, not to mention the side story involving the gang of college kids led by Alexandria Daddario, which is actually the main plot, is pushed away and forgotten. Still, I think there are some redeeming qualities about this flick. Do I recommend it? No, but if you’re in the mood for some unhorror-like horror, this would be one that you need to check out.

3 out of 5 stars

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