Director: John Luessenhop
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Trez Songz, Scott Eastwood, Tania Raymonde
Written by: Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, Kirsty Elms, (story) Stephen Susco, (based on the characters created by) Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel.
Running Time: 92 mins
Release date: 4th January 2013
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is, in my books, one of the most chilling and effective horror films around. Dripping with atmosphere and uneasiness, it doesn’t have to rely on a single drop of blood to be seen in order to scare the hell out of you. This direct sequel to the original 1974 shocker, is the complete opposite, leaving nothing to the imagination, has no atmosphere whatsoever and is dripping with pure tripe. Awful doesn’t even come close to how bad this film is.
1974 and the house where the original murders took place is burnt to the ground by the locals, enraged at the killing spree that Leatherface and his family have incurred. A child is taken from one of the family members and bought up by the Millers. Years later and the child has grown into Heather, a young girl who doesn’t know her past until she inherits a house in Texas. Once there she soon discovers that the place is not empty and that another member survived that night and is still living in the basement, where his killing spree is about to begin again.
And so after 30 minutes of build-up we enter the bloody world of Leatherface, a monster with human skin as a mask along with his weapon of choice, the good old fashioned chain saw. And yes, it is used so we the audience can enjoy him cutting someone in half or removing limbs and yes we see everything and I mean, everything.
What I don’t understand is how this could come close to being entertaining. Sure, the original had its critics, none more so that the censors and it caused all kinds of problems, not because it was gory but because the horror came from the uneasy tension that sat throughout. You felt genuine peril watching it and so, like a rollercoaster ride, it made your heart beat faster and your palms sweat but it was never unpleasant. This version is and it suffers badly for it.
Director John Luessenhop seems to have no concept of tension and tone and so just throws every grisly image at the screen while playing the “quiet, quiet, quiet, LOUD!” card to try and make his audience react. It would help if he had gathered a decent collection of people who could act but it is left to Alexandra Daddario to outshine everyone else, including rapper Treyz Songz.
The rest of the young cast seem perfunctory, they only exist to be murdered or, in the case of Tania Raymonde, having shots of her very tight hot pants as she exits a car or is walking to a house, yet their acting skills are none and void.
It also have the bare-faced cheek to think its audience is the dumbest creatures out there (although I am sure people who pay for this rubbish must have a screw loose somewhere). The film starts where the original ends in 1974, yet Heather can only be in her twenties but for some reason unexplained, the whole feel is modern with it’s hip hop soundtrack and modern clothing. No signs of it being set in the 90s. If this is the case, Heather would be close to 40 and Leatherface would be pulling in his pension!
It is vile, disgusting and just plain awful and I wouldn’t even recommend it to my worse enemy. The year of horror has started off on a very bad note and I don’t think it will ever get any better. Do yourself a favour, avoid this and get the original and become genuinely scared.