2012 / Director. John Lussenhop.
When it was announced to the horror world that the next Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie would be an immediate continuation of Tobe Hooper's original masterpiece there was reason for excitement and celebration. Of course we're a suspicious bunch and so there was also some hesitation. And then they released still images of Bill Moseley as Drayton Sawyer and the elation grew even stronger. I watched this new movie back to back with the original. The film opens up brilliantly with some amazing footage of the original film. The footage has been cleaned up, remastered and converted to 3D and it's never looked better. Having these original scenes introduce the film lulls the viewer into a sense of security. Where the original film ended, this one continues immediately with the police arriving to the Sawyer house followed by a lynch mob of locals. I was kind of confused at this point because inside the house was a whole bunch of other family members that we've never seen before... who are they? Assuming that their identity would be explained and that perhaps it was going to link up with TCM3 I put my faith in the filmmakers and went along with it. The aesthetic of these early scenes is matched nicely with the original and the promise of finally having a great Chainsaw Massacre movie since Hooper's 1985 TCM2 was delivered.... well.... for all but 10 minutes anyway after which point the movie leaps to 20(ish) years later. And now this is where I've become really confused. The original was made in 1974 and a twenty year time frame should place this in the mid 90s... and yet we find ourselves in a modern setting with new cars, swanky fashion and iPhones. Without revealing any spoilers I will say that the storyline relies on one character's connection with the Sawyer family and yet the time frame doesn't match up and its completely and utterly implausible. Plus the story is just plain stupid. Credibility lost. And so the rest of the movie falls into formula and its just another exercise in excess and gratuity. If these guys were serious about recapturing Hooper's original vision then they've done everything wrong in doing so. This should be a small budget, modest, gritty and suggestive experiment and not a glossy, graphically violent and generic torture porn. Where is the menace? Where is the restraint and where the hell is the grotesquely subtle humour? Hooper directed the two first Chainsaw movies and they're both excellent. They were relevant... but all of the sequels and remakes since have misunderstood what made them work. What really baffles me is how positively Tobe Hooper has responded to this new one. He offers commentary on the blu-ray and its perplexing. He loves it.... and he fails to acknowledge all of the inconsistencies. This movie completely ruins the timeline between his own first two movies. A follow up movie to this has been announced and I'm curious to know what they'll do. Will they try to make sense of this? Will they appease the fans? Or will they continue to trash the legacy? The latter is more than likely.