No film genre has as many online haters as horror. Even though horror’s popularity it at an all-time high, the horror buffs who all complained that horror was never taken seriously or that not enough horror films were being made are the same ones who are not bitching that everything is derivative, studios are ruining everything with their remakes, everything sucks. I for one am a huge fan of the new horror renaissance. And for the most part, I really dig remakes. Some miss the mark (A Nightmare on Elm Street), some are faithful and just as effective as the originals (Quarantine), some improve upon the originals (The Hills Have Eyes, The Ring) and some just all out fun retellings of classic horror stories (Friday the 13th, Fright Night, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Wolfman). When it was announced they were doing another Texas Chainsaw film, there was a communal sigh amongst the haters, but I am always up for more chainsaw action. Especially when you consider this one is a direct sequel to the original film, produced by the original producers, and liked by Tobe Hopper himself.
The film picks up minutes after the end of the first film, with locals in Newt, Texas storming the Sawyer house after Sally Hardesty escaped their clutches. The local mob burns down the house thinking all the family were killed, but someone escaped. Fast forward decades later and Heather Miller (Alexandra Daddario) is summoned to Texas to claim a property left to her by a grandmother she didn’t know she had. But there is a lot about Heather’s ancestral past that she doesn’t know and along with a group of her friends there for support, she is about to find out.
I left the synopsis pretty vague because one of the things I liked best about Texas Chainsaw were the new story elements that have stitched into the legendary fabric of the Texas Chainsaw legacy. The retro opening sequence is well put together including a complete reconstruction of the house from the original film and the look of the original Leatherface. But when the story really kicks in is when Texas Chainsaw really shines above the average remake/sequel. This film has the jumps, the scares, the gore and the fun that we associate with the franchise and throws in some pretty original storytelling into the mix as well. I am a little amazed that the recent Evil Dead remake seemed to gather a lot of praise from the horror community, even though I thought it was too direct of a remake and although fun, was nowhere near as good as I was hoping it was going to be. This film stands tall above Evil Dead for me, for it takes chances, tries new things and expands on the existing storylines. It did exactly what everyone always complained they don’t get, then when they get it…they don’t get it. I don’t get it. You know what I mean…
The Blu-ray from VVS is a stunner. Great crisp clear picture with excellent detail, nice immersive soundtrack with a booming chainsaw effect that roars through your speakers, and a nice color palette regardless of night or day scenes. This is a recent gem and a movie that I hope horror fans will give a chance to. There are a couple of really bad CG shots, but only a couple, almost like they couldn’t afford to finish them, but there is also tons of practical gore to be had as well. Fans of the saw do yourself a favor and check out Texas Chainsaw.
Available May 14, 2013 on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and DVD.