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New Release Review - Texas Chainsaw 3D

Directed by: John Luessenhop 
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Scott Eastwood, Dan Yeager, Trey Songz, Gunnar Hansen

The popular horror franchise gets the 3D treatment.

Immediately after the events of Tobe Hooper's 1974 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', the police arrive to arrest the family which carried out the title event. Also appearing on the scene are angry locals who torch the farmhouse, seemingly killing the entire family in the process. One female has escaped with her infant daughter however and when one of the vigilantes stumbles across her he knocks her unconscious, stealing the child from her. He and his wife raise the girl (Daddario) as their own, never mentioning the incident until the girl's birth mother dies, leaving her large Texas estate to Daddario, now in her early twenties. Setting off with a group of friends, Daddario arrives at her newly acquired Texan home, only to find that Leatherface, the killer from the original, has been secretly living in the basement.
In the last decade we've seen a remake of the '74 original, plus a prequel to the remake. This latest entry ignores both of those movies, instead acting as a straight sequel to the seventies classic. Of course, we've already had sequels, in '86, '90 and '94 but those films are discounted with this newest incarnation. Confused? Welcome to the world of the horror franchise, where "rebooted" continuity is the order of the day. This film opens by replaying all the kills from Hooper's film, then follows on straight away, ala 'Halloween 2'. This is troublesome for two reasons. Firstly, it ruins the original for anyone who hasn't seen it. (If that's you then you really should correct that oversight, it's a gem.) Secondly, if Daddario's character was born in 1974 it would make her at least 37. The actress is 26 and the character is obviously college aged. We know it's not set in the nineties thanks to the awful contemporary R&B the stereotypical black character (Songz) listens to. This is indicative of the lack of respect modern film-makers have for their audience, particularly those working in the field of quick buck reboots.
Luessenhop's film is admittedly better than the last few entries in the series, but there's little to challenge it. Hooper's original excluded, this is one awful franchise. The big problem here is how much time is wasted trying to develop a plot. There's a period of about twenty minutes in the middle where it actually feels like a slasher flick as Leatherface stalks his victims. Unfortunately it tries to be clever, taking a turn into 'Red Rock West' territory as Daddario finds herself trapped in a small town where everyone seems to be working against her. It's handled awkwardly, generating nothing in the way of tension. Leatherface disappears for most of the film and never feels like much of a threat. Despite having a lot more on-screen gore than the '74 film, this somehow manages to feel a lot more neutered.
I'm sure you could have guessed yourself but, yes, the 3D adds nothing.
5/10
Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) on IMDb 5.2/10



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