I hope the cast and crew of Texas Chainsaw have their pocketbooks ready, because I intend to sue. I’m coming after them for damages, as well as pain and suffering. And if I can reach out to anyone else affected by this movie, I’m happy to start a class-action suit. Texas Chainsaw is absolutely one of the very worst horror films I’ve ever seen — and I’m including all the Texas Chainsaw iterations that came before this one. It’s an excruciating piece of crap from beginning to end, unceasingly stupid, and led by a screenplay so bad, it should have been ripped from the printer, crumpled up, and tossed into a backyard fire pit. What executive thought this movie was a good idea on paper? And who, during the filmmaking process, thought it was a good idea to continue? Wasn’t someone watching the dailies?
Screw the class-action suit, I want criminal charges filed!
Not that things start out so horribly. We get a nice recap of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre from 1974, before quickly jumping to a moment shortly after Sally Hardesty escapes the wrath of the Sawyer clan, as the local sheriff tries to fend off a posse of rednecks intent on burning down the cursed farmhouse. After some horribly choppy dialogue, a shootout ensues, and it’s all downhill from there. Fast-forward some number of years later, as Heather Miller (Alexandra Daddario) is informed by her hillbilly parents that she’s adopted, and one of her biological grandmothers has left her a sprawling farm house in Texas. Heather takes a trip to the house with her boyfriend (Trey Songz) and a few archetypal friends in tow (but of course she does, because one couple makes for boring slaughter) and they all discover that Leatherface — aka “Jed,” Heather’s cousin — survived the redneck shootout and has been living in a shored-up bunker beneath his dead mother’s house ever since. One of the morons accidentally lets Leatherface loose and…
Sigh. I can’t go on. The thought of describing any more of this stupid plot is painful beyond description. I’m not being dramatic. People get chainsawed, that much I can tell you, including one guy who gets separated from his lower half whilst hanging from a meathook. Another girl gets whacked and stuck in a meat locker. The gang picks up a hitchhiker with ulterior motives. All of this is homage, in case you haven’t seen the original source film, and sloppy homage, at that. There’s an incomprehensible moment where Leatherface chases Heather through a packed county fair without garnering much attention, and she actually grabs on to a ferris wheel to escape, like Jackie Chan fleeing the Hong Kong mafia. The sheriff from the prologue is back, still in control, and seemingly eunuch enough to let the madness continue unabated. The mayor of the town, a dickish yokel, also figures into the plot; he has his own reasons for wanting to wipe Leatherface and his remaining kin off the face of the planet, but there isn’t room enough in this ridiculous movie for us to care why. Everything leads to a capricious attempt to turn poor Leatherface into a modern-day anti-hero, thereby ensuring that we will have to sit through countless more Texas Chainsaw movies where our used-to-be villain elicits cheers from teenage boys in the audience. Leatherface was scary once, but that was oh so many decades ago.
I’m tired of this junk. The horror genre has always been a disreputable one, but movies like Texas Chainsaw only work to solidify that argument. There’s no originality left, and the remakes and sequels are abominations. There’ve been a few slivers of light on the horizon lately, like Sinister and The Last Exorcism, and we did get the perfectly satisfactory reboots of The Hills Have Eyes and My Bloody Valentine a few years back; but the successes are too few and far between. This genre is dying, if not already dead. Where is the revolution? Where is the new Psycho or Halloween or Scream ?
Who on earth is going to pick up the torch and save us from travesties like Texas Chainsaw?