<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by John Luessenhop. Starring Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Shaun Sipos, Dan Yeager, Richard Riehle, Scott Eastwood, Tremaine Neverson, Keram Malicki-Sánchez, Gunnar Hansen
I hadn’t watched the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre or any of the previous remakes/sequels of this 1974 film so I watched the original and it gave me the creeps. The new one cuts out the word Massacre from the original film title and decided to make Chain and Saw one word. They also remove anything scary or disturbing from the first replacing it with a bit of gore and some skin show.
What’s with horror films nowadays? They’re al so generic and formula (read our review of MAMA for more on that) that you can’t just about predict what’s gonna happen next. Don’t these filmmakers have any original ideas or do they think that following a set pattern (young virile teenagers being slashed off one after another) is the way to go?
Anyway, I watched the 3D ‘sequel’ to the 1974 film first: it has clips from the original that lead into this new film and it even adds a scene that was never in the original to it to establish a new storyline. Unimpressed I decided to watch Tobe Hooper’s original online last night. Inspite of a bit of hammy acting here and there, I actually looked over my shoulder and got up to check on random noises in the house while watching it. Now that’s what you call effective. This original film didn’t have much blood and gore, but it had some really psychotic characters doing some disturbing shit. The music by Wayne Bell and Tobe Hooper was hair-standing-on-end eerie.
A girl called Heather (Alexandra Daddario) inherits a house from a grandmother she never knew realising she is adopted. Off she goes with her three friends – boyfriend Ryan (singer Tremaine ‘Trey Songz’ Neverson), sexy Nikki (Tania Raymonde), her new bf Kenny (Keram Malicki-Sanchez) and a brawny hitchhiker (Scott Eastwood) – to claim her mysterious mansion. Needless to say, Leatherhead (Dan Yeager) is a chain saw wielding tenant who does not like to be disturbed. And basically what happens in every other slasher film happens here too. Only since they’ve decided to make the town people who massacred the Sawyer family (Leatherhead’s family in this film are made out to be protectors and not facilitators like in the original), the twist is… well I won’t give that away.
Things they’ve taken from the original 1974 Texas Chain Saw Massacre:
> The Hitchhiker but the original was creepy/scary and the new one is just hunky dorky.
> The dead armadillo on the road.
> Low angle shots of the girls’ butts.
> A VW Beetle car.
> The van the kids are travelling in but in a different colour.
> The icebox.
I’d say not to bother watching this in 3D because apart from one shot of a chain saw coming out at you, there’s nothing much else. In fact, just go watch the original film online to see how they did horror: disturbing, psychotic, acted with lots of fury and screaming and genuine terror in the eyes of the characters and the sound of the chain saw that sends a shudder down your spine.