Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Texas Chainsaw 3D

Directed by John Luessenhop.
2012. Rated R, 92 minutes.
Alexandra Daddario
Dan Yeager
Trey Songz
Scott Eastwood
Tania Raymonde
Shaun Sipos
James MacDonald
Thom Barry
Bill Moseley
Paul Rae
Gunnar Hansen
David Born

In true reboot fashion, Texas Chainsaw decides to ignore all the sequels and remakes that came before it and link itself directly to the original. In this case, that means re-working the ending of the original, using actual footage to sync it with the story being told in this newer version. After the events of the classic, the twisted family’s baby was snuck away by a couple incapable of reproducing while the evil clan is being slaughtered by the townspeople. Wait…what? Okay, none of this is even remotely implied by the original, but whatever. Let’s just fast-forward to the present, to somewhere that’s not Texas, and we meet the roughly college-aged Heather (Daddario). It quickly becomes obvious that she was the baby in the opening scene. However, in case you have doubts she finds out she’s inherited a great big house from her grandmother in the Lone Star State even though she thought all of her grandparents died before she was even born. Never you mind the fact she should be closer to 40 than 20, given the fact of when that first movie was made and the dates this movie uses itself. The important thing to note is that after arriving at her new house with a few friends in tow, she finds out there is another surviving member of the family: Jed, AKA Leatherface (Yeager). He’s been locked in the basement for all these years. When he gets out, well, chainsawing ensues.

What I like most about this addition to the series is that it gets right to it and never lets up no matter how ridiculous it is. Much of the killing from the original is incorporated into the beginning, including the killing of the family. All that inheritance stuff is set up fairly quickly. The ladies in the viewing audience get to see R&B star Trey Songz without a  shirt. Fellas, we get Heather’s supposed friend aggressively trying to get into her boyfriend’s pants. That boyfriend is Trey Songz, of course. The dialogue is horrible. The acting is the standard “meh” fitting a relatively big budget horror flick starring no one you’d pay to see. But hey, chainsawing ensues and all is good.

In the midst of all the flesh cuttin’ another villain is presented. After all, we have to find a way to make Leatherface a cute and cuddly sympathetic figure, right? Okay, not so cute…or cuddly, but definitely sympathetic. They think. Well, really, it’s a setup for another sequel. What did you expect? I expected nothing less. As long as whatever cockamamie plot they come up with next is just as eye-rollingly bad and chainsawing ensues, I’m there.

What? You’d thought I’d be all upset about this movie pissing all over the seminal classic? I understand why you might think that. I mean, it does haphazardly re-write the conclusion of its source material adding random characters and situations. Am I supposed to be outraged that all of the slasher movie tropes are lazily employed? Yes, that guy goes to investigate the foreboding basement and walks right up to the metal door obviously meant to contain something dangerous. Yes, the girl that has sex gets hacked up. And yes, the other girl falls while running through the woods, away from the killer. Here’s the deal: going in, I didn't pretend that this was anything other than an attempt to cash in on the franchise name. I didn't expect any great tension to be created. I just wanted chainsawing to ensue. It did, and the movie is goofy. And bloody. And beyond dumb. And so, I am happy. In other words, it’s so bad it’s awesome!

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