Oh horror films… How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You thrill me, chill me, mystify and delight me. You are the monsters under my bed, the phantom whispers in my ear; the goosebumps on my skin as I walk the shadows of my midnight hall. I have a deep and abiding love for the things that go bump in the night. The masters of this genre paint us pictures running red with blood, compose us symphonies of screams and chill our hearts with the awful truths of humanity. If you walk into Texas Chainsaw 3D expecting any of that after reading this review, then you’ll have a hard time watching the movie with what must be your head up your ass. This film is about as terrifying as an adorable kitten getting eskimo kisses while burping sunshine.
Texas Chainsaw 3D follows Heather Miller who, after discovering she was adopted, road trips to Texas with some friends so she can collect her inheritance. Nothing huge; just a manor house in Hicksville, some family assets… And a psychotic hillbilly serial killer cousin named Leatherface.
This movie made me laugh. There were a few moments of genuine mirth buried in an hour and a half of boredom, frustration and disappointment. Though I’m sure it was the exact opposite of the movie’s intent, I couldn’t give less of a fuck. Texas Chainsaw 3D was so terrible it circled back around to funny. That’s the kindest thing I can say about this herpes-infested crack den of a horror film.
Raise a beer and toss it down the hatch for the death of Leatherface. I’m not talking about the monster in the film (who may or may not die). I’m pouring some out for my fellow horror homies in honor of what Leatherface should’ve been (and once was). Along with other slasher staples such as Jason and Michael, Leatherface was a silent psychopath. He was an unstoppable force of fucking badassery who would kill you for shits and giggles alone. This Leatherface is a sad puppet that never achieves anything other than tolerance followed by pity. Nothing kills a lady-boner faster than pity. I don’t want to relate to villains of this archetype; I don’t want to feel sorry for them or understand where they’re coming from. Just kill some bitches and ride off into the sunset on a bicycle built from lower intestines, goddamit! I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being punk’d the whole movie. I kept thinking: “Are you fucking kidding? You’re kidding; where’s Ashton? This is not fucking happening…” By the end of Texas Chainsaw 3D, this pathetic motherfucker wasn’t evil incarnate; he was a helpless toddler getting curb-stomped by the mean townies.
There’s a fine line that the best horror movies walk in giving us characters that we connect with, and relate to, enough that we root for them to live and care when they die. Sure, the stereotypes are about as common as finding a model/actress/barista in Los Angeles… But it can be done. Texas Chainsaw 3D could have strung up cardboard cutouts that had more acting chops that these mind-numbingly dull, predictable, insultingly obvious twats. We had Hipster Grunge Barbie (Heroine), TitsN’Ass McGee (Slutty Girl), Dickwad Boyfriend (Asshole Jock), Hapless Nice Guy (Filler Male Role) and Sketchy Hitchhiker (Cannon Fodder). I literally cannot remember anyone’s name other than Heather aka Hipster Grunge Barbie (and that one barely squeaked in). Chinese water torture would have been a fucking dream compared to the eye-rollingly appalling display of negative space these kids occupied onscreen.
The special effects in Texas Chainsaw 3D were about as masterful as a kindergartner let loose with a bottle of ketchup. I’ve seen more terrifying acts of dismemberment on Top Chef. Let me clarify; I’m a squeamish movie bitch. The last film I walked out of was… Surprise! The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (circa 2003) because it was so gruesome. This movie was to be my sweet redemption; proof that I could sit through the worst with the best of them. I was cock-blocked by Texas Chainsaw 3D as it paled in comparison to its predecessor. There was a blip on the screen that could have been a passing nod to the iconic butchery/meat hook background of the Sawyers… But it came and went so fast it might as well have been Jason Biggs in American Pie. The special effects in this movie were ridiculous at their best and insulting at their worst. It’s a sad goddamn day in the house of horror if you can’t even make a candy-ass like me quiver in my seat.
Texas Chainsaw 3D gets a beer for its shitty use of the third dimension alone. There were absolutely no redeeming qualities to the movie’s use of 3D. It might have actually made the film worse. It was a one trick pony, periodically shoving a chainsaw at your face. My best guess is they were trying to wake our bored asses up. I’m not kidding. I’m pretty sure the guy two seats down from me was napping. If I wanted something awkwardly shoved in my face all the time, I’d be in a relationship.
The plot, the plot, my kingdom for a plot! This shit is not quantum physics. If you’re going to make a direct sequel to an original franchise film (effectively telling 5 other movies to fuck off) you’d better blow every one of those other films so far out of the water no one even remembers they were made. Texas Chainsaw 3D neuters itself three minutes in when it kills off the entire Sawyer clan (save Leatherface and baby Heather). Don’t forget to take note of the conspicuous “timeline” the film practically begs you NOT to notice. Seriously, I can do basic math. I may have to use both my fingers and toes, but I’ll eventually arrive at the conclusion that to preserve continuity Heather and Co. would have to be roughly 39 years old. Texas Chainsaw 3D, however, tells that little detail to suck it (let’s get real- no one’s lining up at the box office to watch saggy tits die). Then an isolated Leatherface is “humanized” through systematic plot beats intended to add a fresh take on the legendary character (which goes about as well as one of Britney Spears’ stints in rehab). Add all of that together and you end up with a horror Hiroshima. No one’s getting out of this bitch alive.
Texas Chainsaw 3D is an hour and a half of my life I’ll never get back. Things I’d rather watch before re-visiting this shitshow include: Jersey Shore, the Republican National Convention, a live water birth… And anything else from this list.
Take a Drink: anytime you see tits, ass or junk close up.
Take a Drink: every time there’s ominous foreshadowing.
Take a Shot: every time Boo Radley aka Leatherface pops up out of nowhere.
Take a Drink: every time someone finds/goes through the hidden door in the kitchen.
Take a Drink: whenever anyone calls out a name or shouts into an empty room.
Take a Shot: for each severed hand or foot you see.
Take a Drink: anytime someone trips and/or falls running away.
Shotgun a Beer: to get through the longest chainsaw chase scene ever (trust me, you’ll know which one).