Texas Chainsaw 3D
January 4, 2012
Adam Marcus (screenplay, story), Debra Sullivan (screenplay, story), Kristen Elms (screenplay), Stephen Susco (story), Kim Henkel, Tobe Hooper (characters)
Alexandra Daddario as Heather Miller
Dan Yeager as Leatherface
Tremaine 'Trey Songz' Neverson as Ryan
Scott Eastwood as Carl
Tania Raymonde as Nikki
Shaun Sipos as Darryl
Keram Malicki-Sanchez as Kenny
James MacDonald as Officer Marvin
Thom Barry as Sherrif Hooper
Texas Chainsaw 3D distributor Lionsgate kind of showed it’s hand with the heavy and early promotion of the film, casting of a teen idol-type singer, and no early critic reviews: They knew this was a stinker that had it’s best chance of making a buck before the truth got out.
One can only imagine the casting call published in Variety for Texas Chainsaw 3D:
Open Casting Call, Horror
Join on as a cast member of one of the most iconic horror franchises in history at open casting calls held at the Boogie Woogie Strip Club, Los Angeles. Two general types sought, including unrealistic rednecks that have never actually been to Texas or the South, and young hardbodies with perfect skin, hair, smiles, and curves. Maximum 2% body fat to be considered for the hardbody roles.
Females: No actual reading skills or character development required, as you won’t do much other than dress scantily and scream. Males, please ensure chiseled features and six-pack abs to be appropriate.
Also wanted, one big guy. Must have sufficient strength to wield a chainsaw.
What’s particularly frustrating is that the actual story around this Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel is interesting, and the first 10 minutes as well as the last 5 minutes are pretty good. Everything in between is a series of preening and smiling between a bunch of characters that don’t even look right together, let alone have any chemistry or meaningful dialogue. It doesn’t really matter ultimately, because we learn absolutely nothing about any of them that gives a reason in the world to care whether or not they are cut up with a chainsaw.
The scene picks up about 5 minutes before the ending of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, preceded by some highlights of the kills that took place in that classic Tobe Hooper horror gem. What we failed to see in the first film was that after the lone girl escapes in the back of a pickup truck the sheriff of the small Texas town where the massacre took place (Thom Barry) arrived at the house to demand that the family turn over Leatherface so he can face his justice. Just as the Sawyer family is about to obey the command and relinquish their fresh-faced boy to the authorities, however, a band of hillbillies brandishing guns of all types (along with Molotov cocktails) shows up in a variety of pickup trucks and shoots the entire family dead before burning down the farmhouse; The entire family, except for an infant who is whisked away by one of the hillbillies and taken as his own daughter.
Life is fine for young Heather Miller (Alexandra Daddario), growing up with her two “adopted” parents until she learns that she has inherited a large mansion in Texas from her grandmother, a grandmother that she did not know she had. Now, she must return to claim her property, and find out about her life.
As mentioned previously, none of the characters really go together, clearly cast for their physical beauty rather than actually being right for their parts or having any real acting talent. This is very obvious in the beginning when Heather confronts her “parents” about being misled… here we have a beer-gut guy in a wife beater with a dirty face and crazy hair sitting in an old recliner, and his wife who looks like a meth addict with a huge case of the head frizz, living in some huge house in suburban somewhere (California presumably), with a young hottie daughter with a $400 haircut and fake boobs. Just wrong. It remains just as bad when we meet her boyfriend Ryan (Singer Trey Songz) who seems friendly enough, but must have met his leading lady minutes before the shoot because they don’t even seem like friends, let alone lovers. But enough about the characters…
Texas Chainsaw 3D is completely devoid of any suspense or build-up at all. It’s just “hey, you inherited a house, let’s go there, hey there’s a guy killing everyone.” Just stupid.
Finally, why the hell was this film 3D anyway? There was absolutely no point in it, no cool factor, nothing. Well, unless you count a chainsaw jutting out of the screen toward the audience ala Jason’s spear in Friday 3D. Yes, that stupid.
Texas Chainsaw 3D is just really stupid, but interestingly not in a way that raises anger… it is so dumb, so silly, that it’s kind of funny. If the filmmakers seemed to be trying to make a parody of a horror film, that might have been all right, but I strongly suspect they weren’t… it just ended up that way.