Texas Chainsaw

Evil wears many faces.

Year of Release: 2013
Also Known As: Texas Chainsaw 3D
Genre: Horror
Rated: R
Running Time: 92 minutes (1:32)
Director: John Luessenhop


Alexandra Daddario ... Heather Miller
Dan Yeager ... Leatherface
Trey Songz ... Ryan
Tania Raymonde ... Nikki
Keram Malicki-Sanchez ... Kenny
Shaun Sipos ... Darryl
Paul Rae ... Burt Hartman
Scott Eastwood ... Carl
Thom Barry ... Sheriff Hooper
Richard Riehle ... Farnsworth
Marilyn Burns ... Verna / Sally Hardesty
Bill Moseley ... Drayton Sawyer
Gunnar Hansen ... Boss Sawyer / Leatherface (archive footage)
John Dugan ... Grandpa Sawyer / Grandfather


Texas Chainsaw continues the legendary story of the homicidal Sawyer family, picking up where Tobe Hooper's 1974 horror classic left off in Newt, Texas, where for decades people went missing without a trace.

Decades later and hundreds of miles away from the original massacre, a young woman named Heather learns that she has inherited a Texas estate from a grandmother she never knew she had. After embarking on a road trip with friends to uncover her roots, she finds she is the sole owner of a lavish, isolated Victorian mansion. But her newfound wealth comes at a price as she stumbles upon a horror that awaits her in the mansion's cellars...


Texas Chainsaw, remindin' us that you're never too old to chase your dreams - but luggin' around a chainsaw's bound to take a toll on your stamina.

And speakin' of havin' your legs cut out from under ya, I've always considered myself a patriotic kinda guy. After all, in my 52 years livin' in this great nation of ours I've witnessed the Nazification of the MPAA under Reagan, the introduction of the V-chip under Clinton, and most disgustin' of all - the election of a reality TV personality to the office of the presidency, and not once did my loyalty towards this country falter. Last year, when Clovis Skidman refused to accept my money for a set of practice targets citing the need to move to a munitions-based system of currency because bullets'd be the most valuable commodity available when the feds finally moved in and started forcibly installin' methane emission control devices on our livestock (cattlytic converters, I think he called 'em), I looked him right square in the eye and told 'im that if he's gonna keep manufacturin' tear gas in his basement that he oughta think about crackin' a window 'cause that kinda crap don't fly in America.

That was before. Before my own government sold me out like a limited edition Hustler in the prison commissary. That's right, it finally happened - as of last Thursday my residence was declared a "nuisance property," and two and a half tons of my belongins were confiscated and carted off to the landfill. I haven't felt this violated since I was sentenced to 100 hours community service at the Soggy Valley Women's Correctional Institution. The cowards on the City Council sent Mark Skidman over to the house with a Caterpillar while I was workin' my shift at the Videodome and cleaned me out like a common methhouse. It was damned humiliatin'.

'Course that wasn't even the worst of it, 'cause after an extensive search of the grounds I couldn't find hide nor hair of Shankles until finally I remembered seein' 'im asleep inside half an old muffler that I was plannin' to install on the Coronet next week and realized what'd happened.

Now, I wanna be clear on this - I am not advocatin' for vigilantism. I believe everyone deserves a shot at due process, and that's why Sadie Bonebreak and I didn't just pound the tar outta Mark once we'd tracked 'im down at the Gutter Bowl. We're not barbarians, and believe me, it woulda been easy to give in to the urge to just beat 'im to death with a toilet lid while he was blubberin' face down on the floor of the women's restroom, but we're reasonable people, and reasonable people don't let their emotions take over their logic centers.

"Tell me where our matted little ray of sunshine is right now and I may let you crawl outta here with one testicle intact, Skidman," Sadie growled as she mashed a permanent tile grid into the side of Mark's face.

"I told you, I never saw your rodent! I swear!" Mark screamed, kickin' his legs like a hotwired bullfrog.

"Shankles is a marsupial, and a good friend of ours, so if what you say is true it would behoove you greatly to tell us exactly where you dumped that container," I managed through gritted teeth.

"It's probably dead!" Mark blubbered as B.J. Wilder stepped into the can.

"You guys gonna be long?" B.J. asked, gesturin' toward the nearest stall.

"I don't know, ARE we, Mark?" Sadie snarled, grabbin' a hand fulla hair and twistin' his head up towards a danglin' pest strip.

"They're crazy! Help me!" he shrieked.

"What'd he do?" B.J. inquired, curious but not especially concerned.

"He kidnapped Shankles, dumped 'im in the landfill, and left 'im for dead," I explained.

"You sick son of a--!" B.J. roared as she built up a running start and planted 'er size 10 directly into Mark's exposed crotch.

The noise that followed was one with which I was not previously acquainted, but it sounded a lot like a harbor seal bein' clipped by the propeller of a tuna charter and I hafta admit that even I felt a little bad for the guy as he lay there gaspin' for air, but before we could resume the interrogation Bambi Mastrude walked in and sat down in the center stall without botherin' to shut the door.

"Looks like somebody shit the bed," Bambi surmised just before uncorkin' a fart that reverberated off every wall in the room.

"Douchebag may've killed Shankles," I said, unmoved by the sound of Bambi's one-man jug band with which I had long been acquainted.

"Crabby?!" Bambi asked, snappin' to attention and reflexively crushin' the toilet paper roll.

Bambi always called Shankles "Crabby" 'cause she's the only woman he never really cared for, but she's never been one to accept rejection and always thought a great deal of 'im.

"Mhmm," Sadie confirmed.

"Give 'im here!" Bambi demanded, her pants only semi-fastened as she dragged Mark over to the dumper.

"Piss off!" Mark spat, still clutching his boys and seemingly in too much pain to realize what was comin'.

"No, piss ON!" Bambi hissed, forcin' Mark's head to the bottom of the bowl, waiting gleefully for the air bubbles to rise.

It probably goes without sayin', but in her haste Bambi had yet to flush, but what wasn't so obvious up to that point was that said pootage was not entirely of a gaseous state, and not for the last time, I felt a slight twinge of sympathy. I really had no idea how much Shankles'd touched these gals' lives, and having long since lost control of the situation, I figured it best to just hang back until the issue had been resolved.

"Are you gonna tell us where he is?" B.J. snapped.

"Spill it, peckerwad!" Bambi barked.

"Mark, I'm a reasonable woman, but not an especially patient one, and for all we know Shankles could be hurt or trapped under a pile of rubble in triple-digit temperatures, so here's what's gonna happen - you're gonna tell me where you dumped that container, or I'm gonna turn over that trash can and feed you its contents one piece at a time - and do bear in mind that it's ladies league night," Sadie whispered ominously into Mark's ear.

"Okay..." Mark whimpered. "Go left... past the appliances... then down around Diaper Ravine... you'll see a flock of seagulls fightin' over a skunk carcass... you can't miss it... just please... let me go!" he whined.

"There, now. That wasn't so hard. Just one last thing, Mark - if we *don't* find him, nobody's gonna find you either, understand?" Sadie warned, finally lettin' 'im loose and allowing 'im to crawl outta there.

"B.J., grab Otis and meet us out there," Sadie instructed.

"Can do," B.J. acknowledged.

"I'll get the kids and be there ASAP," Bambi promised.

"Hey! You're with me, get it together!" Sadie commanded, rousing me from my horrified stupor.

"Did... you mean all that?" I stammered en route to the Topaz.

"Ask me again in an hour," she winked.

Fortunately it didn't take anywhere close to an hour, 'cause soon as we rounded the bend to Diaper Ravine there he was - standin' triumphantly atop the skunk carcass Mark'd described, snappin' at seagulls and gettin' his fill of gangrenous vittles. I found the muffler he'd been sleepin' in a few feet away, its open section face down on the ground, so apparently it musta shielded 'im from the falling debris, and by the time we found 'im his biggest concern was establishin' dominion over his new kingdom.

Sadie, B.J., and Bambi took 'im back to the house to check 'im over and give 'im a bath while I started loadin' my property into the back of the Topaz; I figure it'll only take 80 - 90 more trips before everything's accounted for and back in its proper place. I'm keepin' a runnin' tally on my gas money though, and as soon as things get back to normal I'm gonna sue the city from here to Oz for theft, slander, and the pain and suffering of poor Shankles. Buncha fascists.

By the time I made it home Shankles reeked of lavender body wash and he was so outta breath from screamin' about his treatment at the hands of the women folk that he curled up in Apollo's dish and went to sleep, unable to defend 'imself against the onslaught of scritches and tummy rubs. It was only after Sadie, B.J., and Bambi'd all gone that he clawed his way up onto the hide-a-bed, looked me in the eye, and hosed down my best pair of cutoffs. I think he's gonna be alright.

After I discovered the women'd used up all my hot water bathin' a possum, I nuked some Totino's Pizza Rolls and Shankles, Apollo, and I settled in for some of that "elevated horror" everyone's talkin' about these days. I assume they call it that 'cause the people churnin' these things out are usually high enough to hunt ducks with a rake when they decide to greenlight 'em. Lotta folks're pretty P.O.'d about this one and the way it tries to take ya back to where it all started and alls I can think is, NOW they're upset? You mean, THIS was the line all that time they were fallin' over each other gushin' about a soulless remake of the greatest horror flick ever made? Better late than never, I guess. I'ma be honest with ya though - I don't think it's that bad a movie by 21st Century standards, and just to show that there're no hard feelins now that we've cleared the remake timeline, I'd like to take a moment to highlight a few lessons this flick has to offer in case you're thinkin' about skippin' it 'cause it doesn't star somebody who got famous appearin' on Seventh Heaven. First, if you voluntarily adopt the orphaned offspring of redneck cannibals without an ulterior motive like writin' a Pulitzer Prize-winning treatise on the subject of "Nature vs. Nurture" for instance - you deserve a free pass into Heaven. I don't care how many cars're parked on your front lawn. Second, when fleeing a maniac in a skin mask, never lead him in the direction of the carnival - that's just askin' to be jumped by 44 members of his immediate family. And third, you'd think there couldn't possibly be a worse place than a hay loft to hear the words "Do your thing, cuz!" but astonishingly, you'd be wrong.

The movie begins in 1973 about half an hour after Sally pitched into the back of a pickup and left a P.O.'d Leatherface doin' the jitterbuzz out in front of the Sawyer House, and once the sheriff (Hooper) is able to talk Sally down off the station house ceilin' she tells 'im what happened and he drives over to the Manburger Helper packagin' facility and orders the family to turn over Leatherface for makin' B-B-Q outta Sally's BFFs. 'Course the learned council of old coot cannibals know that once the paper gets wind of their free enterprise operation it's gonna be blown so far outta proportion that they'll be permanently banned from participatin' in the annual chili cookoff, and so they're seriously considerin' rollin' over on Leatherface until the court of public opinion shows up armed to the gums with buckshot and body odor and proceeds to execute everyone they can get a bead on before convertin' the place into a single serving cremation center. Fortunately for the Sawyer bloodline, a baby turns up and gets taken in by an infertile vigilante couple who've been unable to pass an adoption screening on account of all the police reports involvin' the illegal coyote fightin' ring in their backyard, and the incident is written off as just a buncha rowdy tourists that got a little too patriotic for their own good. Next thing, a few decades've passed and some teenagers (Heather, Ryan, Nikki, and Kenny) are plannin' a road trip to New Orleans, only Heather gets a registered letter sayin' 'er gramma died and left her the family estate even though she ain't got any grammas. She seeks clarification from 'er hygienically challenged folks who eventually admit that they aren't her real parents while still insisting that she oughta be grateful for bein' rescued from a fate even worse than bein' part of the only family on the block with a claw foot bathtub on the front porch. Strictly speaking they're not wrong, but we're basically talkin' the difference between bein' raised by Duggars instead of Dahmers - meanin' she's still completely fucked up, but at least she's probably not gonna eat anybody. Heather's friends decide they'd rather dodge armored, ambulatory speed bumps crossin' the highway than go to boring old Bourbon Street, so they pile into their van and head for Texas where they wind up rear-endin' this guy who looks like the reason bouncers were invented (Darryl) and decide to give 'im a ride on the basis that they may've just cut his professional mumblety-peg career short.

The next day they make it to gramma's Southern Gothic mansion and it basically makes Jerry Jones' house look like a portable toilet, with the one drawback bein' the lawn fulla Sawyer graves that share an expiration date and give the impression that maybe they're all behind a wrought iron security fence to keep people from doin' grave rubbins with their butt cheeks. They decide to celebrate their good fortune by gettin' bombed on Lone Star and searin' permanent grill lines onto their extremities, only when the friends head into town to grab some meat Darryl stays behind to loot all the Civil War antiques he can fit inside a gunny sack until he makes the mistake of wanderin' down into the basement where his skull gets mashed into the shape of an Oldsmobile hubcap by a hulking, geriatric cellar dweller. The kids shrug off the burglary and party like it's 1899, but Kenny notices the hidden passageway leadin' down to the basement and starts riflin' the wine rack in search of a vintage A1 bottle to complement their porterhouses and ends up gettin' meat hooked through his ham hocks and dragged down into the tannery by the ace of face. Now Leatherface has the run of the house and immediately drags Heather downstairs where he can keep an eye on 'er while he grinds Darryl up into hamburglar patties, only when he hangs Kenny up on a vacant meat hook he gets all squirrelly and Leatherface hasta saw 'im into dork chops so he'll quit kickin' 'im with his little hobbit legs. Heather bolts while Kenny splits and she ends up havin' to hide in an open grave and purt'near gets sawtopsied until Ryan and Nikki hear what's goin' on and put their game of skank in the barnyard on hold long enough to lure Buzz Sawldrin over to the stable. 'Course Leatherface and doors have a fraught relationship datin' back to the Nixon Administration, but just as he's about to break on through to the other side Nikki finds a scattergun in the cab of an old pickup and convinces 'im to give 'em some space until Heather comes barrelin' through the door with the van.

They try blitzin' the security gate on the way out and end up bouncin' off like a baby tryna breastfeed in a Beverly Hills maternity ward and take so long gettin' their acts together that Leatherface catches up, slices into their radial, and sends 'em careenin' into a drainage ditch where they destroy some of Texas' most pristine frog giggin' habitat. Ryan buys Old McCulloch's farm in the crash but Sawney Mean can't reach the girls until he shoves the van over onto its side and gains access to the slidin' door, at which time he gives Nikki a free tummy tuck and chases Heather over to the fairgrounds where the community has gathered to partake of artery-clogging junk food and contract social diseases in the rent-a-johns. Fortunately for 'Pa Saw he happens to be wearin' a caucasian face at the time, so instead of pumpin' 97 rounds of ammunition into his gutbucket Deputy Carl politely asks 'im to put his saw down and Leatherface obliges by huckin' it directly at his head and disappearin' back into the woods before anybody can check to see if he's got a wood cuttin' permit. Then Deputy Carl takes Heather downtown while the mayor (Burt, who once upon a time organized the justice league that burned down the Sawyer House) is tearin' Sheriff Hooper a new pooper and gettin' progressively more upset as Heather describes the perpetrator as bein' the size of a Kelvinator, wearin' somebody else's face, and wieldin' a chainsaw with a bar long enough to accommodate the supporting cast of Cheers. The sheriff dispatches a trooper (Marvin) to the crash site, but when he orders 'im to stay put Burt exercises his executive privilege and tells Marvin to open up a FaceTime session and follow the carcass-sized blood trail leadin' toward the house so he can see what's goin' on till Marvin ends up puttin' a bullet between Nikki's eyes when she pops up outta the freezer. Burt tells 'im not to panic as there's a longstanding legal precedent regarding the sudden spontaneous disappearance of police bodycam footage and to get his trigger-happy hinder back to the station, only the call drops at the same moment as a well-placed hatchet swing and thanks to Marvin, ain't nobody starvin' tonight.

Meanwhile, Heather's been left alone with the Sawyer case file, and needless to say she's startin' to have doubts about the Texas justice system and makes it known by scrawlin' the word "murderers" on a newspaper photo of the triumphant mob before gettin' the heck outta there. Then Heather calls the executor of 'er gramma's estate with a few questions but she don't beat the tar out of 'im or anything 'cause the executor's Richard Riehle and that'd be like beatin' up the Pillsbury Doughboy, but Richard reiterates that she was supposed to read the note granny left for 'er and that if she had she'da known all about the geriatric mentally-stunted barbarian with a skin fetish livin' in the basement and everything woulda been fine. Elsewhere, Burt is P.O.'d, and he tracks the two of 'em down to the bar and chases Heather outta there and into the waiting cruiser of kindly Deputy Carl without stoppin' to consider that she's out in the taint of rural Texas where, as Einstein put it - everyone's relative. So Burt tells his boy to take Heather over to the old slaughterhouse so he can tell his side of the story and explain that it was a different time, only when Burt tries raisin' Marvin on the CB Teddy Buckskin overhears the transmission, peels a fresh disguise offa Marvin, and starts makin' his way over there to see if he can't get an audience with the mayor. Then Carl ties Heather up and goes outside to wait for Burt but Burt tells 'im to take off 'cause the law is family and they gotta make sure Carl's got plausible deniability, 'cept while they're jawin' in the parkin' lot Leatherface sneaks in through the employee entrance and he's about to carve the perky until he notices an unmistakable mark of kinship and cuts 'er loose just before Burt and his chromosomally compromised cronie show up and start preppin' Leatherface for concussion protocol. I'm gonna refrain from divulgin' any further details, but as you prolly already gathered Heather's got a pretty important decision to make here, and regardless of what she decides to do the end result is gonna be a net positive for humanity.

Alrighty, so this's prolly gonna raise a few hackles, but I am of the opinion that Texas Chainsaw does not carry with it the distinct odor of a sasquatch slowly dyin' of dysentery; alpaca with a yeast infection - maybe. The thing I like about so many of the negative reviews is folks talkin' about how the flick spits on the legacy of the original in the same paragraph where they heap praise on the remake as though it were some earnest attempt to recapture the look and feel of the '74 version - 'cause nothin' says filmmakin' in 1974 like rapid-fire cuts, breakneck pace, and camerawork so shaky that the flick oughta come with a package of Dramamine. I'm not sayin' you're not allowed to hate this flick - just don't turn around and try tellin' me what an affront to Tobe Hooper's memory it is if you're gonna swoon over the movie that actually had the gall to try recreatin' Tobe's finest moment. I'm not sayin' Texas Chainsaw did everything right, because like the remake, it tries appealin' to fans of the original film and a younger audience who may never have seen a single chainsaw flick and crash lands into a mountain of unprocessed headcheese as a result. Nonetheless, the way in which they go about courting fans of the original tells me that they were sincere in their efforts because who but us is gonna appreciate (or in some cases, even notice) the cameos of Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, John Dugan, and Bill Moseley? They sure's hell didn't go through that trouble to impress the teenagers in the front row - they did that for us. Furthermore, the constant barrage of homages throughout the movie (troublesome hitchhiker, victim lurching out of the freezer, the meathook scene, the moment we think the final girl has found help when the exact opposite is true, ect.) are pure fan service. You could argue that it's just pandering and that those things make the film predictable, and that'd be a completely valid criticism, but I find it impossible to look at the movie, imperfect though it might be, and say that the people who made it had no appreciation for the original or that an attempt was not made to please the hardcore fanbase. You may think that doesn't get them off the hook for the film's other problems and you'd be right, but in a world where movies aren't graded on a knee-jerk pass or fail scale, intent matters, and with the exception of the monumental jackass who insisted on keeping the "Do your thing, cuz!" line in the movie - these people had good intentions. Seriously though - fuck that guy/gal. Not even kidding.

I will now take a moment to allow all the primitive screwheads out there to finish shaking their heads and muttering the words "white knight" before getting down to the nitty. You guys good? Yes, I am aware that Alexandra Daddario isn't gonna sleep with me. Sounds like we're ready to proceed. The plot gets a lotta crap for being nonsensical, and I'll grant that any reasonable person who watches clear to the end is gonna look at what the filmmakers did and call bullshit, and for 99.9% of the population they'd be right. That said, if you're watching a movie, most people would agree that it's more interesting when that 0.1% scenario plays out, and if you're struggling with the plausibility of the decision Heather makes, I'd like to take a moment to remind you that Scientology is a thing, that Jim Jones had a hell of a following, and that the term Stockholm Syndrome was not coined because it doesn't happen. Seriously, how many women have gotten engaged to serial killers serving life sentences in prison? How many lunatics have defected from the first world in order to fight alongside the Taliban and Al Qaeda? People's desire for a sense of belonging or purpose sometimes takes them down a very dark path, and we see plenty of examples in real life - yet Heather's choice is somehow a bridge too far. One of these days I'm gonna come visit all you nice folks out there in Mayberry for a little R&R, 'cause it sounds like you're livin' the good life. There is one thing that kinda bugs me though, and it's the addition of all the new Sawyer family members to the opening sequence. Admittedly, by definition this isn't a retcon because the idea that they couldn't have existed just because we didn't see them previously is nonsense, but it kinda leaves a bad taste in your mouth when we're going back to the immediate aftermath of a known event and things aren't as we remember them. Technically speaking it isn't a flaw, I just feel it was a bad choice.

The acting is a little weak among the primary cast with the exception of Tania Raymonde as Nikki - she of the unquenchable libido, though the supporting cast is strong and manages to compensate. It could be argued that the primary cast is one-dimensional and that would be a fair assessment, but that same judgment could be just as easily passed against the cast of the original Chainsaw and what's more, with the exception of Alexandra Daddario, there's a valid argument to be made against taking the time to flesh those characters out when they're all going to be dead after half an hour. It's must also be said that Daddario was about 25 at the time of filming when, chronologically speaking, the character should have been pushing 40. This is bothersome not just because the casting director disregarded the story's canon, but equally so because you know they felt compelled to cast someone(s) younger to improve its commercial appeal. All the same, the always likable Thom Berry does a nice job as the impotent Sheriff Hooper, James MacDonald is sufficiently unlikeable as to make his demise satisfying, Dan Yeager is fair as the canonically-limping Leatherface, and Richard Riehle shines as the perpetually uncomfortable executor Farnsworth, but the guy who really saves this flick is Paul Rae with his portrayal of the loathsome, two-faced Mayor Burt Hartman. You may well not like the plotting decisions that lead up to the audience actually rooting for Leatherface, but it must be acknowledged that to reach that point, you've got to have another antagonist so slimy, morally bankrupt, and self-serving that Leatherface looks good by comparison, and Rae is all that and more. Bill Moseley does an alright job in his interpretation of the Jim Siedow role from the original Chainsaw, and although their cameos are brief and inconsequential, it's nice to see Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, and John Dugan back for one last hurrah in the franchise that defined their careers. So it's kind of a mixed bag, but the good slightly outweighs the bad.

Here's who matters and why (less the Chainsaw originals - Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, John Dugan, and Bill Moseley): Alexandra Daddario (We Summon the Darkness, Annabeth in the Percy Jackson series, The Attic 2007) Dan Yeager (A Wakefield Project, Sharknado 4), Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad, Pacific Rim: Uprising), Tania Raymonde (Deep Blue Sea 3, Chillerama), Shaun Sipos (Final Destination 2, The Sandman 2017, Lost Boys: The Tribe, The Grudge 2, The Skulls 3), Karem Malicki-Sanchez (Cherry Falls, Summer of '84), James MacDonald (Roswell 1994, Two Evil Eyes), Thom Barry (Independence Day, Steel, Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy, Congo), Paul Rae (The Open House, Hydra), Richard Riehle (Digging to Death, 3 from Hell, West of Hell, Dementia 2015, Hellen Keller vs. Nightwolves, Halloween II 2009, Chillerama, The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu, Messengers 2: The Scarecrow, Necessary Evil, Audie & the Wolf, Aaah! Zombies!!, The Darkroom 2006, Hatchet, Mighty Joe Young 1998), David Born (Kill or Be Killed), Ritchie Montgomery (The Donner Party, Hallowed Ground, Wounds, Smothered, 13 Sins, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Green Lantern, Monsterwolf, Nine Dead, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, The Mist, Monster in the Closet), Dodie Brown (Incantation, The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014, Pulse 2 & 3, The Mist), Scott A. Martin (Super 8), Tori London (8 Days to Hell), Nikolette Noel (Dragon Wasps, Dracula: The Dark Prince), Tony McCullough (The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014), Carl Bailey (The Hoot Owl, Breaking the Lamp, Evil Under the Skin, Sacrament, Blood Reunion).

Additionally: Michael Beran (Death Count, Night of the Zomghouls, Bridge of the Doomed), Joseph Blackstone (The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014), Tavaris James Durell (The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014, Vampires Suck), Amanda Dyar (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I Frankenstein, Resident Evil: Retribution, The Possession 2012, Raggedy DemAnn, Stepford Wife: The Barbie Serial Killer), Dan Forest (Hallowed Ground), Joe Guarneri (101: Modern Los Angeles Vampires), Timothy Hoffman (The School in the Woods), Roni Hummel (The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014, Devil's Deal, Bad Kids Go to Hell), Kari J. Kramer (Devil's Deal), Juliet Reeves London (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer, Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!, The Lunar Pack), Brandon Noack (Phobia 2013, Devil's Deal), James Paul (The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014, Pulse 2, The Mist), Michael Patrick Rogers (Demonic, Dark Circles, Shadow People, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Blain Sanchez (Rugaru), Elena Sanchez (Demigod, Delirium 2018, Bright, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Alice Searcy (The Creeping, The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014), Chris Sprister (Jurassic World, Sharknado 2, Luther the Geek, Spawn of the Slithis), Mike Walker (Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies, The Last Witch Hunter, All Saints Eve, ReZistance, White Zombie 2014).

And all the dirty little secrets: Alexandra Daddario (Laurie Lewis on All My Children), Scott Eastwood (Luke Collins in The Longest Ride), Tania Raymonde (Brittany Gold on Goliath, Alex Rosseau on Lost), Shaun Sipos (Adam Strange on Krypton), Thom Barry (Will Jeffries on Cold Case), Paul Rae (Emmett Quincey in True Grit 2010), Richard Riehle (Tom Smykowski in Office Space), Valeka Gray (Laura Donelly Elliott on Love is a Many Splendored Thing).

The special effects, as with any flick made after the turn of the century, are a tale of two departments, with Greg Nicotero's KNB EFX fighting a losing battle against the computer-generated crapola made worse by the movie's 3D gimmick. On the practical side, the physical blood is as close to perfect as you're likely to get, the dead armadillo homage scene is excellent, the charred remains in the black and white crime scene photos look good, the brief shot of Darryl's bludgeoned face is fine, Trey Songz' severed head is middling but shown very briefly and at a distance, Burt's severed hands are pretty stiff, and the chainsaw splitting Kenny in half isn't terrible, though you'd think the saw would go through a lot faster and with minimal resistance aside from the spine. Not that my F.B.I. surveillance detail should get the idea that I speak from experience. On the other side of the aisle you've got the abysmal brain splatter from the freezer kill (and all the other CG blood spattering), the thrown, spinning 3D chainsaw effect is garbage, the CG pitchfork pulled from Ollie is pitiful, and the big meat grinder finale ensures the flick goes out with a whimper rather'n a bang. I do realize that there're filmmakers who do all their effects with computers so I know that it could be worse, but this kinda thing never stops being disheartening, particularly if you compare it to Tom Savini's effects from Chainsaw 2. So don't do that or it'll just make you sad.

The shooting locations are alright but anytime somebody tries to recreate a specific building in a specific place it's tough. The original Chainsaw house was moved to Kingsland, Texas, and has been converted into a restaurant, and while the recreation isn't bad, the original house was so iconic that fans of the '74 Chainsaw will quickly spot all the discrepancies between the floorplans, in particular - the addition of several windows for the shootout sequence. The surrounding area also has a lot more trees than the original plot of land, but they were able to secure an old pickup for the yard that is a suitable surrogate, the dirt driveway and bench swing return, and the netted area on the backside of the house was nicely recreated with a comparable Volkswagen Beetle on site. Filming took place in Shreveport, Louisiana so everything feels a little bit off, but it's certainly a much closer match than Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, which was filmed in California and makes no effort to hide the fact. The mansion is located in Mansfield, Louisiana, and looks great on the outside - though the interior has many features that you might not expect to see in the estate of an 80-year-old rural Texan. It does seem like an effort was made to recreate the feel of Leatherface's old stomping grounds, but without Bob Burns' art direction they were simply not able to recreate the authentically filthy, disgusting, thoroughly lived-in atmosphere that pervades the structures in the original movie.

The soundtrack, unfortunately, seems to serve no purpose other than fulfilling a requirement of modern cinema. It's not bad. There's no conflict between it and the events of the film, but it's incredibly samey and only manages to help sustain tension created by the visuals without generating much of its own. I actually had to go back and rewatch parts of the movie just to get a refresher because it's so quiet and unobtrusive that you rarely notice it. I suppose that's kinda in keeping with the scoring from the first Chainsaw, although that film has so little music in it that the word "soundtrack" is a misnomer. That scoring from the '74 version is actually reused during the opening flashback sequences in this follow-up, and there's a distinct possibility that it may be the only time you notice the film's musical accompaniment at all. The one exception is the track that plays as the survivors trudge back to the estate. The air of uncertainty as to what happens next for these two is effectively laid bare by the musical score precisely when the movie needed it because there's really nothing that dialogue can add by that point.

Overall, on a technical level, Texas Chainsaw is inferior to the remake and its prequel, but given the choice I'd rather sit through it three times than watch the remake again. It's far from perfect, and a close-call failure from a technical standpoint, but I'm a sucker for the nonstop homages and the returns of Burns, Hansen, and Dugan, so from an entertainment perspective, I feel it deserves to pass by the barest of margins. Obviously, you'd do much better to just rewatch any of the first three flicks in the series, but this isn't the big disgrace people would lead you to believe, so if you made it through the two Platinum Dunes entries and have yet to abandon hope, you can get through this too.

Rating: 60%