Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" Remake Just a Remake

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 66 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Running time: 98 minutes (1 hour, 38 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong horror violence/gore, language and drug content
DIRECTOR: Marcus Nispel
WRITER: Scott Kosar (based upon the original screenplay by Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper)
PRODUCERS: Michael Bay and Mike Fleiss
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Daniel C. Pearl (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Glen Scantlebury
COMPOSER: Steve Jablonsky
Razzie Awards nominee


Starring: Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen, Mike Vogel, Eric Balfour, Andrew Bryniarski, David Dorfman, Lauren German, Terrence Evans, Marietta Marich, Heather Kafka, Kathy Lamkin, Brad Leland, Mamie Meek, and John Larroquette (voice)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the 2003 remake of the 1974 horror film classic, is a by-the-books horror film with a few pages missing. It’s scary, and has all the requisite bumps. All jokes aside, there are some really intense moments. It seems that the idea of a chainsaw-wielding maniac chasing people, even fictional ones, is really unsettling. The characters here, however, seem a bit too dumb, and the film also has too many throwaway characters that could have been left out of the film.

The story is basically the same. Five teenagers or young people take the back roads of rural Texas to trouble where they encounter a monstrous killer who murders his victims with a chainsaw. In the original film, the kids took a detour to visit an old family estate of one of the youths. This time around, the gang gets sidetracked when they encounter a young woman wandering in a semi-daze along the road. After she kills herself, the kids look for help from the local law, and that’s how they set themselves up for gruesome deaths.

If the original TCM can be seen as a work of art in the horror genre, the remake is simply product – a professionally done movie meant to separate teens and other horror fans from their cash. There are no artistic pretensions here. It’s not half bad, and actually quite intense, creepy, and skin crawling during most of the movie. Having the cinematographer of the original film, Daniel Pearl, return to photograph this movie was an excellent choice by the producers. Pearl creates some spine-chilling and hair-raising shots in this movie that help to sell the film’s horrific atmosphere.

I have mixed feelings about the cast, but Jessica Biel is a champ and does a star turn in this film. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003 is an easy recommendation for any and all who like scary movies.

5 of 10

2004 Razzie Awards: 1 nomination: “Worst Remake or Sequel”

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