Before being sent to serve in Vietnam, two brothers and their girlfriends take one last road trip, but when they get into an accident, a terrifying experience will take them to a secluded house of horrors, with a chainsaw-wielding killer.
Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.
Callum Keith Rennie
A violent teen and three others kidnap a young nurse while escaping from a Texas mental institution. Pursued by a vengeful sheriff, the disturbed young man embarks on a murderous rampage that shapes him into a legendary killer known as Leather face.
As a child, Jed Sawyer is taken from his murderous hillbilly family and put in the Gorman House Youth Reformatory, where he spends the next ten years with a new identity. When the prisoners revolt, a small group make a bid for freedom with pretty nurse Lizzy (Vanessa Grasse) and fellow inmate Jackson as their hostages.
Tobe Hooper's original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre ranks as one of the scariest films ever made, its iconic killer Leatherface its most frightening creation. With this latest film in the series, they've gone and done what Rob Zombie did with his godawful Halloween remake: give the killer a back story. In humanising the character, they have lessened his effectiveness as an object of fear. Once an emotionless, uncontrollable monster, impossible to reason with, he is now someone we can identify with and feel a level of pity for. It didn't work for Michael Myers and it doesn't work here.
The origins story-line also makes much of the film seem frustratingly unlike a Texas Chainsaw movie, at times even reminding me of a Tarantino flick (the escape from Gorman House made me think of Natural Born Killers while the BBQ stop massacre was redolent of both NBK and Pulp Fiction). Only in the film's closing moments do things actually feel like they belong to the franchise, with Lizzy trying to escape the Sawyer's charnel house, a chainsaw wielding Jed (soon to become Leatherface) hot on her heels. Directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury don't hold back on the brutality and blood, but even so, I can imagine many fans of the series being disappointed with the level of splatter (too much for some, not enough for others).
5.5 out of 10, rounded down to 5 for that really dumb scene in which three people (including one really fat guy) hide from the law by climbing inside the festering carcass of a steer. A really big steer. Also, minus half a point for the unbelievable necro sex scene. And another half point subtracted for Jed's sudden (and also completely unbelievable) transformation from rational human being to hulking homicidal maniac.
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