Texas Chainsaw 3D (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner11/01/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 92 mins

Texas Chainsaw 3D has plenty of flaws but it does at least attempt to bring something different to the franchise as opposed to just upping the gore content and doing the same thing all over again.

What's it all about?
Directed by John Luessenhop, Texas Chainsaw 3D positions itself as a sequel to Tobe Hooper's 1974 original film, conveniently forgetting all the other sequels. Alexandra Daddario stars as Heather Miller, a perky 20-something who discovers she's adopted when she inherits a large mansion in Texas from a grandmother she never knew she had. Curious about her heritage, she takes a road trip to Texas with her boyfriend Ryan (Tremaine 'Trey Songz' Neverson), her best friend Nikki (Tania Raymonde from Lost), Nikki's recent hook-up Darryl (Shaun Sipos) and a hitchhiker (Keram Malicki-Sanchez) they pick up along the way.

However, it isn't long before Heather makes a grisly discovery about her family history and that a certain chainsaw-wielding survivor (Dan Yeager as Leatherface) is still locked up in the mansion basement. And when Leatherface gets loose and starts chopping up a whole new set of victims, Heather experiences the mother of all family loyalty conflicts.

The Good
Daddario makes an appealing lead and there's a tiny element of crazed intensity to her performance that works well. There's also strong support from Raymonde as Heather's less-than-loyal best friend as well as reliable character actor work from Thom Barry and Paul Rae as the Sheriff and Mayor who were present at the initial incident when Heather's family were killed.

The main thing that Texas Chainsaw (there's a good reason they've dropped the ‘Massacre’) has going for it is that it's trying to bring something different to the franchise rather than just upping the gore factor and going through the usual rounds of torturing teenagers. So, while there's an initial burst of slaughtering, the film actually has quite a lot more plot than is normal for this sort of thing and, happily, the script isn't afraid to take the film in some unexpected directions. Similarly, while the 3D effects are largely perfunctory, they do at least shove a whopping great 3D chainsaw in your face a few times, so they're justified on that basis.

The Bad
That's not to say that Texas Chainsaw doesn't have its fair share of problems. For one thing, the chronology of the film makes no sense at all (Heather, by rights, should be in her 40s), while characters and sub-plots get ignored left, right and centre. Similarly, the relative lack of gore means that the film is unlikely to appeal to genre fans, but while the film is definitely, even deliberately missing the terror and intensity of the original, it's also worth pointing out that that's kind of the point.

Worth seeing?
Despite some occasionally laughable flaws, Texas Chainsaw 3D is worth seeing and at least it succeeds in doing something interesting and different with the franchise.

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Content updated: 12/12/2017 08:27

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