Movie Review: Texas Chainsaw

texas

Stars: Alexandria Daddario, Dan Yeager, Trey Songz, Scott Eastwood, Tania Raymonde, Shaun Sipos

Rated R for strong grisly violence and language throughout, Running time 92 minutes, Horror

Compare to: Friday the 13th (2009), Shark Night (2011)

When people think of starting off the new year, it very often involves fireworks, tax season, and promises to yourself about weight loss. Not Lionsgate. They apparently thinking of dismemberment, a tired franchise, and awful storytelling.

Oh, and trying to make a hero out of the film’s lead antagonist. Sorry guys, it just doesn’t work this way.

After the tragic events of the first Massacre, a mob formed by the townspeople gather to serve bloody justice to the family of serial-murdering cannibals. None of the family survive, save for one infant, taken in by a member of the mob who isn’t able to have children of her own, and Leatherface; the one and only. Years later, the little girl is all grown up and completely unaware of her past. But a notice of her deceased grandma renders the family estate hers and she goes to claim it. Yet when the entire town knows what your family did and Leatherface is still alive, a simple road trip with your friends becomes a living nightmare.

Tough to write a synopsis for a movie that just doesn’t do itself justice, much less it’s genre. This movie is yet another regurgitation of Slasher Horror where teenagers that sneak in are hoping to see a boob and you’re hoping everybody dies because they’re terrible, shallow characters to begin with. It’s understandable why a studio would want to bring back a still terrifying Horror Hero; there may be a story or two left to tell and there’s always money to be made.

But this is just pathetic.

LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Red Man. All are musicians that have popped up in a Slasher film at one point or another and now Trey Songz can be added to the list. I’d never heard of him before I was told who he was and heard teenage girls yelling out in ecstasy that he was in this. That would be fine if it weren’t for the simple fact that his acting skills are on par with every other actor here who may has well have been reading their lines off the script on camera. I personally have no issue with musicians being in film provided they don’t come off as a robot programmed to speak on cue and nothing more. But I can’t say much more for anybody else either.

Little by little, it may become more and more obvious to certain viewers that  Chainsaw follows the same linear plot structure that Cabin in the Woods parodied nearly a year ago. Sort of like how 2009’s GI JOE was virtually the same film as Team America: World Police. The differences between the films is that while one knows what it is and is meant to be that way, the other is oblivious to it’s own cliches and strides along, thinking you’re impressed with it.

The worst part about this entire debacle is Leatherface is meant to be some sort of anti-hero. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen; the mentally impaired man-child that murders road trippers and wears their faces as masks is no longer a villain, but a more violent version of Sloth from the Goonies, with Daddario in the role of Chunk. How do they do this, you ask? Well when the townspeople are of average intelligence and they’re really mean, Leatherface has no choice but to get revenge for his family they killed…because the family was murdering passerbys. What a vicious circle that makes no sense from a storytelling perspective. And we really are supposed to hate the townspeople. They don’t care about human lives either, and even called Leatherface a retard (gasp!) and have no problem breaking their own laws.

But at the end of the day, you just can’t care about any of them.

Grade: D-

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