Cinematic Releases: Texas Chainsaw 3D

The murderous Sawyer clan finally returns in this latest Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel. Unlike previous entries in the franchise, this is a direct sequel to the original 1974 classic and builds a  foundation for a whole new series of Leatherface movies. And if they can maintain this just passable level of quality, I may return for more. This is a much better film than The Beginning but not nearly as good as the 2003 reboot starring Jessica Biel. The film kicks off from the finale of the original without taking too many liberties, then flashes forward to the present with a whole new cast of tasty teenagers.

I was questionable about seeing a Texas Chainsaw film in 3D. I knew going in that if any film were going to abuse the new digital 3D format to its advantage, it would be this one. And it does. There are way too many "look at the chainsaw coming out of the screen" moments and times that it just seems like they could have done without the 3D altogether. After all, this is a Texas Chainsaw movie and fans will see it no matter what. Personally, I was just happy to finally get a semi-worthy sequel to the original that didn't jump timelines or feature a starving Viggo Mortensen, Matthew McConaughey or Renee Zellweger. Yes, those ones exist. This is the best attempt at a sequel we're ever going to get and I accept it as a worthwhile one at that.

Where the film stumbles is in the casting department. Who ever thought it was a good idea to cast Trey Songz in a lead role has some serious issues with decision making. His acting talents definitely brought the film down a couple notches with terrible line delivery and altogether lack of skills. The other stars were passable while the absolutely stunning Alexandra Daddario does her best to show off her talented chest. Gunnar Hansen returns to the franchise in a bit role while Dan Yeager takes over as the main man in the leather mask.

My only real gripe is that the film lacks the blood and gore that have defined this franchise. It was far too short on terror and could have amped it up quite a bit. There are several over the top scenes but not nearly as many as the 2003 remake. That movie had some moments of absolute terror and tension. Texas Chainsaw 3D is scary at times but could have used some strong directorial tweaking to make it a bit more horrific.

While Texas Chainsaw 3D is a fair shot away from being horror perfection, it still offers a decent horror entry in this dead post-Christmas season. There are some definite flaws and moments of absolute cheese. Yet, I actually enjoyed getting the sequel that we should have seen years ago. I know we had Texas Chainsaw 2,  Leatherface:Texas Chainsaw 3 and many more, but this actually serves the purpose of furthering a franchise that's been raped time and time again by poor budgets and underdeveloped scripts. If you're a fan of the original, you'll probably enjoy seeing this and will get a kick out of the rough attempts at continuity.