After reading Entertainment Weekly's list of the top 25 horror movies, I had to see this movie as it was posted at number 2. After searching through video store after video store, I found the movie. After all this, I saw the movie, and I must say, I wasn't too impressed with it.
Don't get me wrong, I give it props for being wholly original for its day. On the flip side, we were also forced to endure its bastard children including the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street movies.
The potential greatness of the movie was ruined by its script (or lack thereof). It's a movie in which nothing really happens. We're given a great set-up of grave robbers making sculptures out of rotting corpses in the cemetary. We're given the five kids driving through (a staple of many slasher movies to come), and a great set of locals straight out of Deliverance. You think: What could go wrong?
Well, here's what goes wrong. The "scary killer" is not scary. He looks and acts like a retarded, middle-aged woman with a chain saw. It's about as frightening as a 100 ft Stay Puft Marshmellow Man traversing through Manhattan.
The next problem is that there is no middle. Four out of the five kids get killed within fifteen minutes of each other. At first I thought, "well maybe this is good because all other slasher-fests drag out all of the killings." But at least, the kids demises have an entertainment value. Not here. It happens too quickly to invoke any fear. This coupled with the ridiculousness of Leatherface bolsters the stupidity.
Third. The grandfather who looks as if he should, by all rights, be long dead and apparently lives off of the blood of human victims. Frightening? No. Funny? No. Stupid? Ah, yes. This cheap, Troma-esque addition makes the film lose credibility. I could believe that a family of rednecks are killing people just to eat them, just as I could believe Mrs. Vorhees wants revenge on the camp where her son died. This old guy is the resurrection of the dead that kills many horror franchises.
Finally, there is no end to the movie (Potential SPOILER in case you really care). Yes, our heroine (I guess) finally escapes. But then what? The movie ends with Leatherface flipping out with his chainsaw. That's it! Does she call the police? What happens to the redneck family? Are they still out there? Does she go back with Morgan Freeman? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENS!!!??? I don't really care if a movie ends with some unanswered questions like Boogie Nights, The Blair Witch Project, or even Casablanca, but at least there is some closure to those movies. This had nothing.
Nevertheless, I still credit this movie for reinventing the horror genre, and for all the crap wrong with it, I would rather watch this any Jason or Freddy movie.
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