“Texas Chainsaw 3D” is a film squarely aimed at die-hard fans of the horror franchise and of chainsaw-wielding maniacs. But even they may find themselves disappointed in this sequel, which is available on Netflix.
While "Chainsaw" begins with actual footage from the 1974 cult classic, it quickly flashes forward to the present day when a woman named Heather Miller learns she is adopted and has inherited her grandmother’s estate in Newt, Texas, the scene of the original massacre.
The run-of-the-mill plot features many of the typical, horror movie clichés: Heather and three of her friends agree to a road trip; they pick up a hitchhiker; and they decide to party once they reach their destination.
Heather’s friends are cardboard-cutout characters from past horror films, including the cocky, not-so-loyal boyfriend and the slutty, not-so-loyal girlfriend. And there are the corrupt mayor and the haunted-by-the-past sheriff who know the truth about the original massacre but keep it secret.
Alexandra Daddario, who plays Heather, is a capable scream queen and adds a measure of depth to her role as a woman struggling with the news of her adoption and the desire to connect with her birth family’s past.
However, “Chainsaw” is more interested in its villain than its victims. The story tries to paint Leatherface as a sympathetic simpleton and loyal, family protector – not the menacing killer. But when Leatherface is on screen, he’s usually wielding his chainsaw and acting every bit the part of the menacing killer.
Some horror movie clichés will never change.