Written by / 1/06/2013 / No comments / , , ,

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3D

year: 2013 cast: Alexandra Daddario, Scott Eastwood rating: ***1/2
It’s almost inevitable in any horror franchise that the antagonist – or in this particular basket case, antagonists – become sympathetic characters.

We begin with the backwoods Sawyer family holding firm outside their Texas home, protecting that chainsaw-wielding sibling from a mob of fierce hick locals, who wind up taking an “eye for an eye,” burning down the place and killing everyone except a woman with a baby.

Two of the locals take the child and we cut twenty years later: Grown-up hottie Heather Miller finds out the truth about her origin thanks to a letter from her departed grandmother, having left her property in Texas.

A road trip begins with Heather’s friends, a freewheeling foursome (plus a deceptive hitchhiker) we all know will become victims later on, making them the kind of banally expendable characters only worth investing in for their inevitable demise. You know, like all slasher films. And they're the typical lot: a promiscuous girl, a womanizing guy, and a (semi) geek. 

They all wind up at a mansion where, past the plush exterior lurks the rip-roaring terror i.e. Leatherface. Here’s where the best scenes occur; the kids are picked off one by one and our heroine winds up “safely” back at town where the real villains reside: those house burning/Bible-quoting hicks still run the show. And soon enough Leatherface, who goes from cold-blooded wraith to Frankenstein's misunderstood monster, doesn’t seem so bad after all.

The death scenes are gruesome yet stylistic – bloody enough to appease fans of the original exploitation and so intentionally over-the-top they border on dark parody. The 3D looks nice, including some of that gimmicky old-school “things coming at the screen” like the good old days.

Alexandra Daddario makes a worthy sole survivor and, once realizing her place in the infamous family, she’s more than a screaming starlet. During the fast-paced conclusion she becomes someone we’re gonna get to know in sequels to come (a badass Marilyn Munster of the Massacre Family) – let’s just hope they learn from this movie that, while far from a classic, plays it safe (and quick) enough to satisfy.
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