Texas Chainsaw 3D

I’m ashamed to have wasted this week’s Orange on Texas Chainsaw 3D, but I’m weak and pathetic. Needless to say, I’ve learnt my lesson and now so should you. At one point during the film, someone made a loud chainsaw noise for a good 30 seconds during a silence. Behind me, a woman held a conversation on her mobile. In any other film, I’d have turned into the Hulk by now, but all of these things were a welcoming distraction from the appalling catastrophe sawing into my eyes. Literally sawing. Other than this, there were no interesting characters, the plot was unsatisfying and everyone in the audience appeared to be doing a lot of sighing. Sigh, can this be over now?

For those of you lucky enough to be unaquainted with the entire franchise, there are now seven Texas Chainsaw films in total; the original 1974 hit, and its 4 sequels, as well as a prequel and a remake. YAWN. This new 3D film picks up straight after the events of the original film, in the 70s, where 4 teenagers are brutally tortured, boiled alive, hacked to death etcetera. Consequently, the film begins when a mob from a small Texas town gather together to burn down the Sawyer household, home to Leatherface and his family of cannibals. Having presumed the entire family to be dead, the collective heroes celebrate, but a baby (Leatherface’s cousin and our protagonist, Heather (Daddario), as we soon find out) is found in the rubble by a redneck couple and taken as their own.

Decades later (in actual fact, there is no clear timeline whatsoever, or any distinction between the 70s and the present day), crop-top-wearing-cleavage-tastic Heather discovers that she was adopted by her parents after receiving a letter of inheritance from her recently deceased grandmother, a Sawyer. Suitably raging and upset, she goes on a road trip with her three friends to Texas to try and find the mansion that she now owns. PARTY TIME. But Leatherface (Yeager) is still very much alive and living down in the basement, so cue teenagers running rampant, angry townspeople and everyone chasing everyone whilst running away from someone else.  Confusing and pointless, to say the least.

The best part of this entire film is a country song playing over the drive to Texas. Lyrics: “Yes, God will fuck you up/If you dare to disobey his stern command/He’ll fuck you up (he’ll fuck you up)”. In fact, the one -star rating has gone to that song incredibly well placed and timed. Otherwise all the stereotypes are there; boobs, road trips, secret doors, boobs, rowdy hillbillies, naive teenagers, more boobs. It gets tiresome and boring pretty quickly, and the beginning of the film is just mind-boggling. What at first looks like a montage of Leatherface killing off random teenagers, a flash of a pair of 70s flares was enough to presume that it was the chainsaw massacre in 1974, from the original film. Then it took a while to work out that we were back in the present (the clothes still looked the same). Oh, and while we’re on the subject, if we’re in the present, then Heather should have been 30-something (which she certainly didn’t look) and if she was a teenager, it would have to mean that we were somewhere in the 90s. So why were there iPhones?

What was bewildering was that it was hard to tell whether the film was taking the piss out of itself or actually trying to be at least half decent. Some of the scenes were so ridiculous it’d be hard not to imagine the director saying, “ok guys, what else can we get a laugh from?” Take, for example, the teenagers having their van tyres slashed by Leatherface as they attempt to drive away from him, and after a hundred metres, crashing and falling into a ditch. Trey Songz (rapper) also stars as Heather’s boyfriend, cheating on her with Heather’s slutty best friend (Tania Raymonde); an awful sub-plot that no-one cares about. And I wasn’t certain, but I’m sure one of his songs plays for at least a minute whilst we watch the rapper play pool on his own.

There is nothing redeeming about this film. The acting is awful, none of the characters are likeable, and even when I was supposed to be feeling sorry for Leatherface, I realised – hang on, why am I meant to be feeling sorry for a mass-murdering sociopathic human-face-wearing psycho? Even the 3D was unnecessary; on the (two) occasions a saw did came out at me it looked more like a bit of fuzz on the screen than anything remotely threatening. The only other time the 3D was any good was in the opening title, which lasted for about 2 seconds. Even worse, it leaves room for another sequel. Perhaps a new director, a whole new cast of quality actors and an original plot might re-jig the franchise, and only then might a sequel be excused. But like I said, I’m weak and pathetic.

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