The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Michael Bay wanted to make a reboot of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, and so he went to work.  People frown upon remakes, I am one of them, but this is truly an exception to the rule.  This was not the same story as the original, and for that I am grateful.  The original was great as it was.  This is similar, but different enough.  I am going to give you a synopsis full of spoilers followed by my final thoughts and a rating.  

 

SPOILERS

We meet our main group of friends.  We have Erin (Jessica Biel), her boyfriend Kemper, Morgan (Jonathan Tucker), Andy, and his hitchhiking love interest, Pepper  They are on their way to a Lynard Skynard concert.  They had gone to Mexico and got a pinata full of weed, so wet blanket, I mean Erin, is pissed at Kemper.  They pick up a hitchhiking female, and she is just in rough shape.  She just wants to go home and looks like she has been through hell.  She doesn’t want to go back and pulls out a loaded gun from her crotchal region and puts a bullet in her dome and we get a great shot through the exit wound.  This was so different from the original and set the stage.  In the original, the guy was just lonely and nutty.  This was the epitome of hopelessness, and it was incredibly sad.

They go to call the sheriff and he wants them to meet by this house, so they explore the barn.  Anyway, they end up at the Hewitt house and Erin goes to call again and Kemper grows impatient.  Anyway, this is all an elaborate set up.  The sheriff gives Morgan, Andy, and Pepper a hard time and asks them to do some ridiculous shit.  The sheriff is played by the great R. Lee Ermey.  They eventually figure out that he is involved with everything.  Kemper gets got first.  Everybody gets got and we meet more relatives, including a little boy, Jebidiah.  He is played by David Dorfman, who also played the role of Aidan in The Ring.  Anyway, Jebidiah, a name that comes up later on in the franchise, he helps Erin escape from Leatherface.  The family is not as over the top in this one and set a really nice ambiance.  In the end, after having a face off with Leatherface in the meat packing facility, she ends up hotwiring a car and runs over the Sheriff a few times.

End Film

 

Final Thoughts – While the original is very gritty, this is very polished, but in a good way.  They made plenty of changes that didn’t hurt the story in any way and made up it’s own backstory which comes into play in the follow up film.  I loved the family in this even more than the original.  They upped the gore level.  It was never scary, but it was dark. Leatherface wasn’t goofy anymore, he was a bad ass killer not to be trifled with.  Jessica Biel probably should have had more skin showing through given what she was wearing.  Morgan was also an interesting character put in situations that you try to put yourself into, and he was fucked the whole time quintessentially.  

Rating: 7.6 it’s the same rating I gave the original.  I love both and I am not going to tell you one is better that the other.  Some will disagree, and that’s fine.  Both have a charm, and both are the best of their respective franchises.

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