Texas Chainsaw (or 3D for the lucky viewers) was the first Box Office hit in 2013, and although it bagged itself a decent amount of cash, critics absolutely slaughtered the flick and made a mockery of it; as did audiences. However, despite all the bad publicity the film received, I actually liked it, and all the hate was a little random for me. Here is a short list of all the things that made Texas Chainsaw, to me, a good slasher sequel; and why it wasn't as bad as critics painted it to be.
Bear in mind this is one of my guiltiest pleasures so justifying why only makes sense... I guess.
It Taps into Everything we Secretly Loved about 80's Slasher Films
We have all seen our fair share of 80's slashers, so we all know just how campy, funny and fun they are. Texas Chainsaw embodies some of the qualities of those glorious little gems we all loved, including those cheesy one-liners that make us slap our head and laugh with stupidity; "Do your thing cuz" is one line that cracks me up every time, but all in a light-hearted way. Those 80's films always took themselves a little more seriously than they should have, but it always added to the value of the film, and it made you appreciate it a little more. The same goes for Chainsaw. It knows it takes itself too seriously, it knows it's a little dumb but it goes ahead and does what it does anyways, without thinking of the repercussions of you know, the film not making any sense. Just think back at all those films that completely changed by its third act, April Fools Day comes to mind for screwing the audience over with the final reveal, and Texas Chainsaw does just that by making Leatherface an anti-hero, but if you are to sit down and let the experience pass you, then you are going to laugh and enjoy yourself. Why so serious critics? What, you can appreciate the complete idiotic moments of a typical 80's slasher, but you can't do so with today's horror? Does that mean the film will get better with age? Sorry, but if critics realised that they are watching a modern version of a typical 80's slasher, then maybe they would begin to enjoy themselves.
It Wasn't Afraid to Break the Boundaries of the Franchise
The one aspect that everyone remembers about Texas Chainsaw is how they made Leatherface an anti-hero by the end of the film. Sure, maybe that wasn't the best idea for the film, but it wasn't afraid to take that chance, to chance it's arm just to do something different, and I have to congratulate the writers for that, because that was one bold move. The first time I watched Heather take Leatherface in as her own, I was like "What?!", but then after another viewing it all made sense. Heather lost everything she cared about, her life, her family and her friends so she basically had nothing, so it (sort of) made sense that she took the only bit of true family she had left. In saying this, if someone killed my friends and cased me into an asthmatic coma i'm not sure if I would want to play happy family with them after. Oh well, that was a speed bump it failed to pass, and it did do some damage to the film, but I like that it did something different and stuck with it, despite how many fans it would have pissed off in the process.
It Was Actually Quite Fun
This may have not been intentional by any means, but I found this to be a fun little 90 minute romp. Perhaps it was all the bad one-liners and the bad acting from Trey Songs, but Texas Chainsaw to me was a fun film to pass a couple of hours on a cold winter's night. We get a few comedic characters here who add some comic relief to the piece, but nothing is really as fun as how the film is displayed, coming back to the whole "do you thing, cuz" again... it's worth bringing up twice if you ask me. The deaths, the acting, even the characters all add a fun element to the film that again, remind you not to take the film so serious. Look at Nikki's little ass grab; this proves that the bullet to the head was worth it.
Alexandra Daddario made a Strong Scream Queen
Alexandra Daddario didn't get the credit she even deserved here for her strong performance, and although some of the cast let the ensemble down, Daddario proved to be a powerhouse right to the very end. Sure, Heather was no Erin (You're Next) or Mia (Evil Dead), but she didn't need to be, therefore there was no reason for he character to go a little crazy, so Daddario didn't. Perhaps the character didn't display the depths of Daddario's acting, but Heather proved to be a strong female lead that new how to run from trouble and fight for what's right. The character along with the actress were both covered in beauty and interest, and to be honest, she kind of held the film together. Yeah, the rest of the cast were pretty good, but none were as good as the wonderful Alexandra Daddario.
It's an Improvement over its Predecessors in the Franchise
Aside from Tobe Hooper's original film, the franchise overall sucked, I mean a lot. One of the films turned Leatherface into a transvestite for comic relief, the other had them living like mountain men, and one just took the complete piss out of a pretty scary horror villain. The remake was the closest (aside from the original) to doing the character justice, but even they failed to capture the essence of Gunner Hansen's version. The films themselves were pretty bad, and even though the competition wasn't very hard, I think I can easily say that Chainsaw 3D is the best of the sequels. Tough competition eh? The rest of the sequels all went around things the completely wrong way, but Chainsaw 3D went right back to were it all started, beginning were the first ended. This was one of the strongest aspects of Chainsaw 3D, and it worked so well in its behalf, basically slapping all the other sequels in the face with its massive chainsaw blade. Bravo to Dan Yeager for re-capturing all that made the original Leatherface so terrifying.
We all Love to see Leatherface get a little Chainsaw-Happy
Ah Leatherface, one of the biggest and best horror icons has suffered a lot over the years, from being in terrible movies to being dressed up as a woman (I love the little Easter-egg of the officer finding his make-up, with his reply being "What a fruit-cake."). This psychotic killer has never really got the attention he deserved in the franchise, and was always accompanied by his pest of a family. This time around we see him go solo, and I don't know why, but I think this is a decision the franchise should have made a long time ago. Finally, he gets the attention he deserves, and boy, he really makes the most of it, sawing people in half like it's a sport. He picks his way through a sexy little group of youngsters, sawing them up, hammering them to mush and all the ugly stuff in between; he even fights his way through a screaming crowd in a carnival. I love what Dan Yeager does with the character in Chainsaw 3D, from the menacing presence to the attention to detail that see's him having a limp to this day after his leg injury in '74. All these things makes for one of the most promising villains of 2013, including his little rescue mission at the end. Ah, ain't nothin' thicker than blood.