Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Trey Songz, Tania Raymonde
Director: John Luessenhop
Back in 1974, Tobe Hooper caused waves bigger than he ever thought possible with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a film famously dubbed so scary that it was banned by the BBFC for over two decades, despite only a few drops of blood being spilt on screen.
After many dire follow-ups, we now have its stereoscopic debut, a film now claiming to be the true sequel to paradigm shifting original. What a shame that’s such an absolute mess.
The film opens directly at the end of the 1974 original, where the Sawyer family that tormented our original group of teens are killed by a lynch mob, all apart from a baby.
We pick up the story of a now grown up Heather (Alexandra Daddario), as she suddenly inherits a Texas mansion from a grandmother she never knew she had and goes down with a group of her friends to investigate.
There she must confront her past and deal with the chainsaw wielding maniac who just happens to live in the basement.
While the original film re-defined the laws of horror back in the 1970s and practically invented the American slasher film, this feels like a poor mockery of the genre in its 1990s doldrums. Characters seem to have a complete inability to traverse stairs, communicate like human beings act in any way that isn’t the most tired of clichés.
As many people are killed by poor road safety as they are by the eponymous forestry tool. Sorry Leatherface, that’s just not good enough. The film’s treatment of the iconic psychopath is laughable too, making a once terrifying, demented killer into a mewling oaf.
It’s seemingly ageless heroine (who by the rules of time should be nearly 40 but is instead is in her early twenties) is not a character, but a mere list of terrible tropes that we all thought had died off in the horror genre as a whole. Able to fall over anything and constantly bumbling into trouble in an outfit that shrinks throughout the course of the film to laughable degrees, Alexandra Daddario can do nothing with a character so far beyond the point of parody.
Add in the world’s most useless sheriff, a lawyer who seems more like the incarnation of Colonel Sanders than a character and a group of ‘protagonists’ that are as likeable as a mouth ulcer and you have an utterly rancid cocktail.
This is a film obsessed with references. Dead armadillos, hitchhikers, meat hooks and red shorts are all brought in to hammer home its links to the past with nauseating regularity. For film claiming to be ‘the true sequel’ it does absolutely nothing to give itself its own identity.
When your credits sequence that is simply a montage of the classic original is the best part of your film, you know it’s in dire trouble. By all rights, this should kill a franchise that has somehow managed to survive four decades and five terrible instalments.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith