Texas Chainsaw (2013)

Posted: May 18, 2014 in Movie Review
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Texas Chainsaw

Directed By: John Luessenhop


Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Tremaine Neverson, Scott Eastwood, Tania Raymonde, Shaun Sipos, Thom Barry, Paul Rae

Synopsis: Decades after the first Chainsaw movie, Edith, thought to be the lone surviving Sawyer, inherits her Grandmother’s estate, and all that goes with it.

Thoughts: It’s always dangerous revisiting a classic, and this wasn’t the first time in recent years that the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre was given the sequel/remake treatment. Prior to seeing this, I heard absolutely terrible things about it, so I went in expecting something epically bad. However, what I found was a decent slasher with some major continuity issues.

The cast is essentially the same that we’ve seen since the 80s. Young victims surrounded by some (sometimes) interesting supporting characters. The main character, Alexandra Daddario, is a very attractive young actress, but I have to admit to being a bit creeped out when I discovered she played Annabeth in the Percy Jackson movies (favorites of my son). Her acting here was a bit uneven, but I thought she did a decent job. Dan Yeager, who plays Leatherface, manages to portray a fair amount of emotion behind the mask.

Director John Luessenhop doesn’t have much of a resume, in fact, Chainsaw is his third feature. I did think his vision was solid, and he also had some pretty well constructed chase scenes. I’m not convinced we’ll see Luessenhop back in the horror genre, as is style seems to fit better in action movies (Takers is another of his films).

I do have to credit Luessenhop with attempting something different with Leatherface as they attempt to make him more sympathetic and almost something of an anti-hero, but it falls flat here. The story even attempts to portray the entire family (from the original) as victims of the nearby town. For me, I didn’t want to see the villains of this franchise humanized and made out to be victims. I kind of liked them as the killer cannibal rednecks from Texas.

The timeline is also poorly portrayed. Heather, the descendant of the original family was an infant in 1974, but appears to be in her early 20s in current day (note the use of iPhones and other cultural references). Normally, this sort of thing doesn’t bother me, but the movie made it a point to make the connection and show original newspaper clippings, so it grated on me.

The culmination of all this is an average slasher flick that suffers from its family name. When you apply the name Texas Chainsaw to a movie, certain expectations are sure to exist. This movie misses those expectations, but I felt it wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be. I found it worth watching, but temper your expectations.

  1. Fringe Void says:

    The half-assed continuity was a major issue for me as well, but like you said, the movie wasn’t completely horrible.

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