The seventh instalment of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, Texas Chainsaw 3D is a direct sequel to the 1974 original movie and nothing else. Yes, this film ignores all the events of any of the previous movies aside from the franchise starting point.
It is, unsurprisingly, a 3D made movie directed by John Luessenhop, with a screenplay by Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan and Kirsten Elms. The film stars Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Trey Songz, Tania Raymonde, Scott Eastwood, Thom Barry, Paul Rae and Bill Moseley, with Gunnar Hansen and Marilyn Burns, who had appeared in the original 1974 film.
The idea of a direct sequel to the original movie is an intriguing idea, something that Halloween 2018 would do to much success. Ignore the convoluted mess created by a raft of sequels and instead, pick up the story from the harrowing finale of the 1974 film.
An intriguing idea that is almost immediately thrown in the bin with a baffling opening. One that sees the town sheriff arriving at the Sawyer household to arrest Leatherface. Inside this house, which looks nothing like the original are more Sawyers than you’ve ever seen before. Who are these people? Who knows and more importantly, who cares? They’re all about to die.
Before the family can give up Leatherface, Mayor Burt Hartman (Paul Rae) arrives with a mob to dish out some vigilante justice. All the Sawyers are seemingly killed, all except a baby with a burn mark on her chest. The baby is found by a couple who, being childless and unable to conceive, decide to keep her and raise her as their own.
Many years later, Heather (Alexandra Daddario) discovers she has a grandmother she never knew about. She finds this out when the woman, Verna Carson, sends her letter leaving her an inheritance. Heather confronts her parents and learns she was adopted so decides to go to her late grandmother’s house. Along for the ride is her boyfriend Ryan (Trey Songz), her best friend Nikki (Tania Raymonde), and Nikki’s boyfriend Kenny (Keram Malicki-Sánchez). They also pick up the random hitchhiker Darryl (Shaun Sipos). All here so we can have a body count. Don’t worry about their characters, most are douchebags and here for one reason only.
At the house, Heather discovers that it has been left for her as she is a Carson (the family that married into the Sawyer family). However, rather then read the letter from her grandmother given to her by the late woman’s lawyer, Heather and her friends decide to go shopping and party all night.
She will really regret not reading the letter as it turns out a Sawyer did survive the slaughter of the family. He just so happens to be living in the basement and isn’t happy to find the house occupied.
What an absolute wasted opportunity this film is. The story is an absolute mess. It doesn’t link up to the original as it promises and creates plot holes so deep, you could break a leg in them. Before you know it, we’re in bog-standard Texas Chainsaw slasher territory that we’ve seen countless times before. The film offers nothing new or interesting to the lore and gets laughably bad come the end. Leatherface as a sympathetic anti-hero? What the hell is this movie doing?
It’s not that it’s a terrible film. It’s competently made and the cast do fine. If you’ve never seen a Texas Chainsaw movie before, you might even enjoy some of the brutality. However, that’s a stretch right there and even non-fans will be able to see that this is just a generic slasher horror.
Generic story, generic characters, generic blood and guts… this is the movie equivalent of a drawn-out sigh. Fear not, this story won’t be followed up on in the next movie. Why would it?
Texas Chainsaw 3D
The Final Score - 5/10