Immediately following the events that took place in the original 1974 film, the people of Newt, Texas, led by Mayor Burt Hartman (Paul Rae), burn down the Sawyer family’s farmhouse for their role in helping Jedidiah Sawyer (Dan Yeager), aka Leatherface, commit several murders. The entire family is assumed dead, following the incident; however, an infant’s found by one of the townsmen.
Several years later, Heather Miller (Alexandra Daddario) receives a letter notifying her that her biological grandmother, Verna Carson (Marilyn Burns) has passed away and left her with everything, including the family house.
As well as the newfound information that she was adopted. Thanks, mom and dad. Must’ve slipped your mind to tell me.
Now with a brand new house – containing a 6’5″, human skin mask donning behemoth that she’d know about if she just read the damn letter her grandma and even the estate attorney specifically told her to read first before entering the home – Heather, along with her boyfriend Ryan (Tremaine “Trey Songz” Neverson) and two other friends – travels down to Texas to essentially die.
Hell, yeah! Road trip!!!! This would be where Edgar Winter’s “Free Ride” starts playing.
1974′s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is considered by many, critics and viewers alike, to be one of the great cornerstones in the horror film genre, contributing to the start of what would become known as “slasher films”. While the first one is deservedly viewed as a horror classic (Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen and John Dugan from the original have cameos in this film), the six unnecessary entries (two sequels, a reboot, remake, prequel and whatever this is) that followed couldn’t be further from that classification. At the very bottom of that trash heap is Texas Chainsaw 3D, a film that sets records for how many horror cliches it can fit into 90 minutes worth of screen time.
Let’s count them down!
1) These characters are dumb. I mean, they redefine the word dumb. So dumb, the victims in every Friday the 13th film seem like Mensa members.
2) Heather gets a letter out of the blue from the grandma she never knew she had in the family she never knew she was a part of claiming as the new, sole proprietor of the family home. That’s called a red flag, honey.
3) Heather’s adoptive parents are cliche obnoxious, jackass, beer-sipping yokels. They share no more than three minutes together and you already hate them within thirty seconds of meeting them. They’re so obnoxious I bet at the very end during the closing credits they’ll show up at the new house looking to mooch off their adopted daughter’s new inheritance, only to end up getting killed.
4) Hey, imagine that. I was right.
5) Why exactly do Heather’s friends tag along when they really have nothing to do with this? ‘Cause that’s what friends are for, and also ’cause someone has to die or else this movie was all for naught.
6) They pick up a hitchhiker (refer back to point #1) that seems like a pretty nice country boy. I bet he ends up being a dick and tries to screw ‘em all over.
7) Hey, imagine that. I was right.
8) Heather, even the lawyer doesn’t wanna go anywhere near the house. That’s another red flag.
9) Heather, the lawyer wants you to read the letter your grandma wrote for you. It’s very important. So important, he insists you read it right away.
10) While out shopping, the hitchhiker stays behind and robs the place. Was that $60 in gas money he gave you worth it, guys?
11) Hitchhiker finds a secret doorway that leads to a dark creepy looking basement, which means…
- Could be perfectly legit. Don’t be a pussy.
- Or it could be another one of those red flags. You might die from checking it out.
12) Yep, he dies.
13) The police and mayor in town seem really nice, almost too nice. It’d be hard to believe if they turn out to be assholes toward the film’s climax.
14) Heather, you read that letter yet?
15) Victim #2 dies later on that night repeating the same mistakes that Victim #1 did (once again, refer back to point #1).
16) Why, when people see blood splattered on the ground, do they insist on calling out to whomever they’re looking for? They’re clearly dead.
17) Chased by Leatherface, Nikki locks herself in a barn and then shoots at him saying with cheesy one-liner confidence, “Welcome to Texas, motherfucker!”, which…
- Makes absolutely no sense (refer back to point #1). Leatherface has lived there his whole life.
- The dude survived seven films. What makes you think you’re what the franchise needs to finally stop this guy?
18) Nikki should’ve known that locking a barn door is utterly pointless since Leatherface’s weapon of choice is perfect for slicing through items such as wood (as usual, refer back to point #1). Man, these people deserve to die.
19) The black guy dies, but he survived past two white guys. Can you say barrier breaker?
20) Seriously, Heather, all you have to do is open the envelope and read a page. It’ll only take you like a couple minutes max.
21) One of the cops goes to the house by himself. “Chainsaw don’t make ya bulletproof.”, he proudly declares.
22) Okay, that character proved me wrong. He makes a very valid point; however, a chainsaw doesn’t have to worry about being bulletproof when it’s busy slicing into your back before you can even get a shot off.
23) Of course he dies (yep, refer back to point #1).
24) Heather, would you like me to read it for you?
25) The mayor ends up being the real bad guy. You know how socially unacceptable of a dick you have to be to out-villainize a man wearing human flesh on his face and when not slicing people up with his chainsaw, he’s slamming a meat hook into them?
26) Heather, just saying, you probably could’ve prevented so much bloodshed if you just read that letter. Hooked on Phonics, kids. Don’t let it go to waste.
I could go on and on. I’ve barely scratched the surface, but none of the above match the screenwriters’ biggest sin in attempting to make Leatherface out to be some sorta victim/antihero. No. Hell, no. What’s next? Freddy Krueger was actually wrongfully accused? Pinhead’s an alcoholic simply acting out ’cause he’s suffering from the disease of addiction? Michael Myers just snapped from a traumatic childhood experience?
Okay, that last one’s actually true.
We’re talking ’bout Leatherface here, though. He’s no antihero or victim, but no the filmmakers somehow felt like turning him into someone we should root for against the evil mayor as Heather grabs his chainsaw, tosses it to him and says, “Do your thang, cuz!”
Yes, nothing can ever sever the blood ties between family. Not even a bulletproof chainsaw. Captain and Tennille were right. Love will truly keep Heather and her psychotic, possibly inbred, hulking monster of a cousin together.
Oh, yes, she says that. I had to rewind and play it back a couple times to make sure that’s what she actually says. That’s like “this line’s in here ’cause I lost a bet” bad dialogue.
Why this was made in 3D, I have no idea. Woohoo! Blood, guts, entrails and chainsaws popping out of the screen! Why not up the ante and have theater workers stand by the aisles and douse the audience with buckets of blood? Or, perhaps add a D-Box feature where viewers can feel the sensation of a chainsaw ripping through their torso?
You know you’re dealing with the worst of the worst within a franchise when it makes the one with Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger seem not that bad. There’s plenty of gore, but Texas Chainsaw 3D is still about as scary as a Care Bears episode. Making one of the most iconic slasher villains from a cult ’70s classic an antihero is a bold move, but, nevertheless, one that surely left a lot of fans of the original feeling “????????”. This isn’t a so bad you have to see it type of film, but there’s enough horror film cliches to turn this film into a drinking game. You’ll need AA halfway through.