DIRECTOR: John Luessenhop
A young woman receives notice that she has received an inheritance from a family she never knew existed. Her and three friends decide to come along as support so they can pick up the inheritance. When they arrive in Texas, they find that she has been left a giant, gated estate. Soon the group of friends will discover that this old estate comes with a chainsaw-wielding madman named Leatherface who resides in the bowels of the old mansion.
Back in 2012, I remember hearing all the talk of a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre film being released. The word on the street after the movie was released wasn't good. The movie took a beating from critics and audiences alike. I remember watching it on DVD and wasn't a fan at the time. Four years later and reviewing the entire series now that we have had another Leatherface movie come out. Not much has changed on where I stand on the movie after watching it for the second time. This film really hasn't aged or improved over time, sadly.
Going into this latest entry. I had completely forgotten that this movie opens right after the events of the first film. So as the opening credits rolled and we see clips of the groundbreaking original, I was immediately hooked. Once the credits had finished rolling. We see a siege of the old Sawyer house where the local townspeople end up having a shootout with the infamous family and end up killing them all and burning down the house. This opening scene had me as giddy as a schoolgirl. I was onboard for where this was going to take me.
That is until we meet the new group of victims in the following scene. Here we have the final girl, the b-grade rapper boyfriend who has only been cast so he can bring in all five of his fans, the slutty best friend and her boyfriend who is the weird emotional emo hippy guy. As quick as we are introduced to these four people, we see that they are mostly terrible human beings. The slutty best friend and the final girl's boyfriend are sleeping together which renders them immediately unlikable and makes you not care for a single person here.
The movie also throws in a hitchhiker for good measure so it can stick to that Texas Chainsaw formula. He also turns out to be a terrible person because he is a thief. So as soon as this group of five get to Texas, we are happy to see three of the five die. The other two are only just bearable because they come across as unknowing as to what their partners are up to behind their backs. It's also weird because the emo guy and the slutty girl together seems like one of the oddest pairings in a horror movie in recent memory. There is utterly no chemistry between anyone in this movie.
The movie is riddled with problems. Once we realise that the boyfriend and the best friend are cheating on the final girl and her boyfriend. There is no resolution to it all. They are killed off, and while that is what they deserve, everyone else doesn't know about there indiscretions. So while they die horribly, their partners survive or go to the grave believing that they were innocent. It felt really odd to pass that little detail over. I think story and plot points are passed over just to keep this movie moving at breakneck speed. One thing that Texas Chainsaw 3D isn't is boring. I at least have to hand it that compliment.
The movie also introduces us to a new Leatherface who is probably the least scary of any of the incarnations, and that includes the cross-dressing Leatherface in The Next Generation. The whole movie builds to them trying to turn Leatherface into the anti-hero, and it doesn't work. It kills any possible tension or suspense. It also lends the film some terribly cheesy moments when our final girl teams up with Leatherface to kill off the evil townspeople who killed their relatives thirty years prior. It becomes tonally uneven towards the third act and doesn't really recover.
I need to talk about the carnival scene. There is this odd scene towards the third act of the film where Leatherface who is brandishing a chainsaw chases our final girl into a populated carnival. The entire scene where we have our final girl hanging from the Ferris Wheel and Leatherface is throwing chainsaws at people. This entire sequence feels out of place. I believe this may be added to show the 3D in full force but for me, most of the 3D here is used minimally. Slapped with the 3D title, I'd have expected a lot more from this movie when it came to 3D but it's barely noticeable. Take that as however, you see fit.
When it comes to the gore and carnage. Texas Chainsaw 3D delivers. This is actually pretty gruesome. Gorehounds will enjoy themselves and get a real kick out of all the death on display here. We have a man minced up in a giant factory grinder. A man is sawn in half with a chainsaw. The entire moment is on camera and it's bloody. I really can't fault the gore here. The movie is over the top. With all that gore and bloodshed, the movie sadly tacks tension and suspense. Most seasoned horror fans won't find any of this frightening at all.
Lastly, we have the performances. Alexandra Daddario as our final girl is alright. I dug her in True Detective more than this film. Towards the end of the film, I couldn't take her seriously. The dialogue was laughable. I was actually cringing. With a name like Trey Songz, enough said. Scott Eastwood as the local police officer, I think he was the standout for me. He is far beyond the rest of the cast. It was nice to see cameos from original cast members Marilyn Burns and Gunnar Hansen. We also get a nice cameo from Chop Top himself, Bill Moseley.
DEATH TOLL: 15
BLOOD AND GORE:
- Seven people are shot and burnt alive in a siege.
- A woman is killed, and her baby is taken away from her.
- A man falls into a giant grinder.
- A man is stabbed in the chest with a pitchfork.
- We see a man with his head sawn off.
- A man is hung on a hook and sawn in half with a chainsaw.
- An old ladies corpse is found rotting in a chair.
- Leatherface is seen cutting off a severed hands fingers.
- A woman is hit in the leg and chest with a chainsaw.
- A woman is shot in the head.
- A police officer is repeatedly hit in the shoulder and back with a tomahawk.
- A man's hands are sliced off with a chainsaw.
- A man has his Achilles heel slashed with a chainsaw.
- Leatherface is seen sewing a skin mask to his face.
- A man's face is cut and peeled off.
- A man is hit in the back with a metal hook.
- A hitchhiker has his head bashed in with a hammer.
- We see glimpses of a man's skinned face.
With the seventh entry in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series. Here they have tried to offer us up a new Leatherface who teams up with our final girl. The blood is thicker than water and it seems this revenge tale and a Leatherface who plays the anti-hero doesn't sit that well with me. While the movie is gory and brutal and has an awesome opening scene that ties directly to the original. It sadly can't be saved with laughable dialogue, horribly unlikable characters and an uneven and cheesy tone.