Speaking of teens, it brings us onto our next plot point and our next issue. Heather takes her friends down to see the house and claim the inheritance, not realising that it includes her cousin Leatherface who has been leaving in the basement and being looked after by Heathers Grandma. Que massacre of teens. Now this section as I mentioned earlier plays out as your standard slasher but there’s lots of nice references to the original and despite the over use of cliché’s it is very entertaining. What I do want to say though is that it is kind of annoying how stereotypical the film and particularly this section is. We have the slut, the token black character (and yes he dies), the lone ventures into the basement. It’s done well don’t misunderstand me but it’s so cliché it’s like every other slasher around at the moment, were it not for the nice references to the first movie I wonder if it would feel like a Texas Chainsaw film at all! The gore in this section, despite being brutally over the top (something which annoys me as the original used very little blood but clever camera tricks to create the gory impressions) is admittedly well done and it’s nice to see not much use of CGI for a change. Leatherface himself comes across as creepy and indeed it’s probably one of the best portrayals of the character.
Now we get to the most problematic section of the film. Now bear in mind that Heather has just witnessed the murder of all of her friends, not to mention the mutilation of the bodies. Heather is taken to a police station where she discovers the truth about her family and how they were brutally murdered an angry mob. The head of this Mob is now the Mayor and him and some of the other survivors decide to band together to try and hunt both Heather and Leatherface down. The film suddenly switches and Leatherface is now presented a hero, sympathetic because he is ‘simple’ and the last surviving member of a family all but destroyed in a horrible act of injustice. No, I’m sorry but this is simply not enough to make this believable to me. All of the other characters seem to forget the crimes he and the family committed and view their slaughter as the main atrocity. To make matters even worse Heather then decides she is going to stay and help Leatherface, what?! He slaughtered her friends and tried several times to do the same to her?! But because he’s ‘Family’ she suddenly forgets all that and sides with him? It makes no sense! She wasn’t brought up by the Sawyers so there’s very little reason to believe why she would have this mentality, even less as to why the mob are viewed as the real villains. The Sawyers killed and eight people chopped them to pieces with a chainsaw! To an extremely small extent I can understand the sympathy with Leatherface as they repeat over and over that he is mentally challenged. They do not however explain why he has a desire to kill people in brutal and horrific ways, or why he wears their faces. Presumably it is because the Sawyer family corrupted his mind, so doesn’t make everyone even more prejudiced against their case?!
Now I do feel like I have been unnecessarily harsh, there is fun to be had here. Texas Chainsaw is not a must see for horror fans, but fans of the series should defiantly check it out for the fact that it ignores the remakes (and the original sequels if you’re going to be picky) and goes straight back to the original, following things on from there. Now it may not have done a great job and it may not have met everybody’s expectations. Indeed attempts to fit into the modern slasher genre cause problems (I mean really who cast Trey Songs?! Why must we have a rapper in every slasher!), that awful awful second act and moments of lazy storytelling stop this from becoming the great film I’m sure could have been made. None the less we’ve got what we were given and if I were to watch it again I would probably enjoy it a lot more the second time round. None the less on this first viewing I was bitterly disappointed.