REEL REVIEWS: Dead in the forest

Alexandra Daddario tries to escape Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. - Lionsgate Studios
Alexandra Daddario tries to escape Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D.
— image credit: Lionsgate Studios

Everyone thought all the Sawyers were dead. They were wrong.

After cousin Leatherface massacred some hapless teenagers in 1973, the townspeople of Newt, Texas burned the Sawyer home to the ground, with everyone still in it. There were only two survivors, Leatherface himself, who remained in hiding, and an infant girl, who was taken away by some local yokels to be raised up a few states over.

Now, years later that girl, Heather (Alexandra Daddario), is grown and has inherited the Sawyer estate from her grandmother. The question is, what else did she inherit?

We say, “It’s a little choppy.”

TAYLOR: There are a few logistical problems with Texas Chainsaw 3D, all having to do with timelines. So let’s get those out of  the way first. To start with, Heather should be 40, not the nubile 20 year old she seems to be. (Sex sells, especially in horror films.) Secondly, the townsfolk who burned down the Sawyer home in 1973 should be elderly now. They’re not. Thirdly, just how old is Granny that she just died this year? However, forgetting all these concerns, the film is still pretty tepid, considering the legend that spawned it and the opportunity making such a film in 3D should have presented.

HOWE: You are so picky Mr. Taylor. Do you really think the target audience who are going to watch this are bothered about the finer details? All they want to see is a group of teenagers running about decorating their underwear, getting limbs and other bodily parts removed with a Stihl.

TAYLOR: If that is true, they’ll be disappointed. There aren’t any real scares and some of the moments that were meant to be scary became comedy. Leatherface doesn’t chop up too many people and the 3D opportunities are all but wasted. Measured solely as a film (based on a plot of compounding silliness,) the film fails miserably. Sadly, even when measured by the more forgiving scale I set aside for horror films, TC3D still fails.

HOWE: There are a few gory moments, and I for one can’t really stomach watching people getting hacked to pieces or lots of blood spraying on to the screen. Yet, saying that, I was able to watch all of Leatherface’s butchery, so to me it fails in that department.

TAYLOR: That’s the thing, people who are going to go to a movie like Texas Chainsaw are doing so for a reason, not finding that reason will lead to disappointment. The film isn’t all bad, there we’re a few moments I enjoyed: Leatherface’s pantry was pretty funny and I liked the twist created by the familiar relations between Heather and he.

HOWE: Normally movies like these are really bad, but Texas does have a few  things going for it. The acting is pretty good. The cast aren’t wooden and there’s no cheesy one liners.

— Taylor gives Texas Chainsaw 3D 2 giant plot holes out of 5.

Howe gives it 2.5 large set of keys out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are freelance movie critics based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.


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