Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Movie Review
originally posted many years ago
Disclaimer for male movie-goers: Although there are some crafty wet t-shirt scenes, the former "7th Heaven" starlet does nothing salacious apart from hiding in a giant piece of meat.
For the most part, this very au currant version stays faithful to the grainy and disturbing original version about a small town in Texas with a disturbing secret. Of course, in the 21st century, more psychoanalysis and explanation is needed about our favorite hero with the chainsaw-Leatherface.
It seems the loveable lout isn't just in desperate need of acutane and some botox, but he's a creation of years of torture because of his skin disease. The crazed killer with the motorized weapon has more of a character arch in this version. Even his entire family, which by the end of the movie, feels like comprises the entire population of Texas, is more fleshed out-no pun intended.
As the infamous story goes, a group of impossibly good-looking teenagers pass through Texas on their way back from a pot-run in Mexico and inadvertently run into the worst luck of their short lives. Erin (Biel) laments loudly over her naked ring finger to her longtime beau, Kemper (Eric Balfour), who seems to have more of an appetite for slacking off in his stoner-mobile than getting serious. Still, don't give up on his character too soon - in one scene when Leatherface gets ready to peel away the skin from Kemper's face, the cold-hearted killer finds an engagement ring tucked away in the boy's pocket. Perhaps it was something else he purchased in Mexico besides the two pounds of pot stuffed in the piñata.
The couple's other friends, Morgan (Jonathon Tucker), Pepper (Erica Leerhsen) and Andy (Mike Vogel) also partake in the green festivities.
The tone sudden takes a quick turn for the worst when they pick up a stunned hitchhiker off the road and she graciously thanks them by shooting herself in the head with a gun in the back of the van. Because of modern technology and the innovation of David Fincher and his digital shots, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre features one of the most cringe worthy point-of-views in recent memory. Think: Truly staring through the hole in a head.
The group's attempt to do the right thing - a refreshing twist in this usually morally ambiguous genre - land them in precariously situations usually involving meat cleavers and hooks.
This updated version is definitely sexier and much more stylized. The carnage is non-stop once it gets started, nothing like the slow burn of the original.
Biel doesn't suck in this role, but then again, not much acting is involved except the requisite bouncing and screaming. She does, however, have the screen presence and strength to not annoy us with her screeching five minutes into the movie.
Leatherface, is still delightfully grotesque. We see a lot more of him in this film than in the original and he even has sympathetic moments. Was it just me who felt bad for the misunderstood man who got limb cut off by a skinny teen icon?
This film has all the makings to spurn a few more sequels before dying a horrible death by itself. For the most part, this version is more fun than skillful.
- The Hangover Part III
- Fast & Furious 6
Thor: The Dark World
First Look Teaser