Saturday, 5 January 2013

Texas Chainsaw 3D | Cinema Review

Director John Luessenhop courageously opens the latest spawn of Leatherface, Texas Chainsaw 3D, with an admirable re-hash of Tobe Hooper's 1974 classic, cutting an exciting prologue which feels warmly nostalgic, renewed and revamped in post-converted 3D -- fitting with the remaining extra dimension the rest of the film is shown in. We then cut to moments after our heroine Sally escapes and a local Sheriff revs up to the Sawyer home, followed shortly by angered, vigilante townsmen. Guns are a-blazing and the Sawyer household, along with members we've met previously and a handful who appear to have vacated the premises during the original, burns to the ground. It's around this point that hope dwindles, with momentary bursts of a wince-inducing script merely teasing the joys to come.

Heather Mills and co head to Texas, on route to a Halloween bash, to explore a newly-uncovered inheritance in the form of a house left by a mysterious grandmother. Upon entering the cavernous, beautifully-rendered mansion, they're quickly picked off one by one as basement-dweller Leatherface revs up his favourite tool once again, unbeknownst that his cousin, the last remaining Sawyer, is the one he's desperate to kill.

Alexandra Daddario vs. Chainsaw
Putting aside the remake and countless sequels, this direct sequel hits a nail that's fresh and original, and oddly enough hasn't been done before now. What ensues is something refreshing, ably retreading that of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and spouts into an entirely different direction. But while we can thank Luessenhop for taking a daring route, it can only go so far. The direction maps limited, lazy and frankly brutishly annoying and overtly clichéd characters through shoddy plodding and an inert general plot that's instantly wasted.

Executed sluggishly, Luessenhop's intentions are for that of the fans, but sorely misses the mark as he appears to intentionally inject a comical tone wherever a laugh may be had instead of a scream, unfortunately vastly reducing any remnants of true horror Leatherface once grasped out of this poor man's version of Hooper's uncomfortable, relentlessly horrific fare. Typical jump scares are sporadically dotted throughout a squandered carnival chase, multiple uninspired killings, a FaceTime'd investigation and a midrift which appears to be glued to the screen -- Daddario's workout DVD will undoubtedly hit shelves sometime soon.

What sadly aids the superfluous, aimless bunch of teens are the supposed villains of the piece. Not Leatherface, but the Mayor and his minions, all of which sport some incredulous, utterly disastrous trait or two that creates more of a cheap caricature, including that of Clint Eastwood's son who also stars. I can't quite see the legendary actor looking over the script for Texas Chainsaw 3D with glee.

Nothing here really screams justice, not for the money you'll be paying or the promise of a decent follow-up to the original, but those who're knowledgable of these backhanded sequels will take pleasure in how bad it truly is. Therefore, if you allow it, there is fun to be had, even if it is to catch a cheeky glimpse at Gunnar Hansen's brief cameo.

It's not completely worthless, but Texas Chainsaw 3D is definitively uninspired, lazy and incredibly wasteful, throwing to the wind an original plot and a possible reinvention of one of cinema's greatest horror icons. Instead, it opts in for cheap comedy, gratuitous gore and a Leatherface with too much humanity, and it by no means is aided by the 3D -- all it particularly does it cross your eyes until headaches are induced through the grating buzz of a blood-soaked chainsaw.

Verdict: Texas Chainsaw 3D is clunky, generic, tension-free and upsettingly uninspired; this is an exploitive, gory effort that has far too much gristle than prime beef.

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