There have been so many prequels, sequels and remakes of 1974′s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre it’s hard to tell them apart. John Luessenhop‘s Texas Chainsaw 3D serves as a follow-up to the original. The film picks up where the first left off, when the citizens of Newt decide to burn a homicidal family’s house to the ground. This version’s more narrative-driven, focusing on a young woman’s attempt to find herself — while her friends are brutally killed.

The Players:

  • Director: John Luessenhop
  • Screenwriters: Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, Kirsten Elms
  • Cast: Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Scott Eastwood, Trey Songz and Dan Yeagar
  • Cinematography: Anastas N. Michos
  • Music: John Frizzell

The Plot:

After the first massacre in 1974, the townspeople of Newt, Texas held the Sawyer family responsible. A vigilante mob of enraged locals burned their home killing every member of the family… or so they thought. Decades later a young woman named Heather (Alexandra Daddario) learns that she’s inherited a Texas estate from her grandmother. She decides to claim it and brings her friends along for the ride. Little does she know, a chainsaw-wielding killer is part of the reward.

The Good:

  • Twisted Ending (NO SPOILERS!): This film makes an effort to tell a unique story. It’s not just about outrunning and defeating Leatherface. There’s a twisted ending that humanizes the monster. The filmmakers switch up the roles between him and the victims. In the end, you’ll be surprised to see who you’re rooting for.
  • 3D: There’s one scene where Leatherface is attacking someone hiding in a coffin. We get a great view of the chainsaw coming in and out of the box. At that very moment, the 3D looks amazing. The effect doesn’t happen a lot in the film, but that single shot was impressive.

The Bad:

  • Cliches: The movie does a hell of a job executing every horror cliche. There are so many dumb decisions made by the characters. It’s infuriating at first, but you just have to laugh it off. You can’t get mad at a movie like this for capitalizing on tired material. What else do you expect? It’s Texas Chainsaw 3D.
  • Performances: Daddario does her best with what she’s given. She looks scared and delivers what she has to keep the energy up. But aside from her efforts, there’s nothing special about any of the performances. It’s sad to say because the cast seems talented. However, the focus here isn’t on the acting. It’s on the guy terrifying everyone with a chainsaw.
  • Unnecessary: This entry is totally unnecessary. Why don’t studios put some effort into developing new, original stories? Why doesn’t anyone come up with a new monster? The last Texas Chainsaw movie was less than a decade ago. Maybe we ought to let a whole 10 years pass before making another one of these – if at all.

Overall:

There’s a horror film hitting theaters that’s fresh, unique and completely terrifying. Unfortunately, it’s not Texas Chainsaw 3D. It’s Guillermo Del Toro‘s Mama. Despite Luessenhop’s effort to make this sequel somewhat original, it ends up being an unwanted cliche-fest of bland performances and obvious scares.

The Rating: 4/10

Texas Chainsaw 3D opens in theaters Friday, January 4th. 

Photo Gallery:

Trailer:

Will you be seeing Texas Chainsaw 3D this weekend?