Remakes are becoming tiresome, but when it comes to the horror genre, most movies are remakes of the ones that have come before them. So from that perspective, at least this movie is a remake of a classic.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is, of course, a remake of the low-budget 1974 film of the same name that awed audiences by its realistic "depiction" of what is supposedly a true story. The acting wasn't anything special, but its gritty look and disturbing story made it truly creepy. This new Massacre is not nearly as gritty, but is just as disturbing, just as gory and just as suspenseful as the original; best of all, its story veers far enough away from that of the original to keep you on the edge of your seat.
The thing most going for the movie is that it is supposedly based on a true story. The beginning and end of the movie make it seem as though it is fairly accurate, too. In actuality, most of this movie is pure fiction. The real murders happened in Wisconsin and were done by a man named Ed Gein, who kept his victims' bodies cut up in his house. There was no psychotic family and no chainsaw. Luckily, with this movie, it really doesn't matter, because it is one of the best horror movies to have come out in years.
Jessica Biel stars as Erin, the heroine who survives meat hooks, knives, guns and chainsaws... well, she may survive. Biel does a tremendous job as the scream queen, and probably is about as believable as any horror star to date. The rest of the cast is and is not worth mentioning; they all do a great job and are far above that of any kind of B-grade cast - of course, most of them end up on the cutting room floor, literally. One takes an axe to his spine, another dies slowly on a meat hook, and a few others lie victim to the chainsaw. There's some good gore, to say the least.
Best of all, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has a believable (well, as horror movies go) story that is also different from the original. There are a lot of things that are similar to the original, but the course of the story is quite different. The events surrounding the hitchhiker in the beginning of the movie are quite different from those that happened in the original, as are other plot turns. The differences really make this new Massacre its own film, and it deserves to be.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a scary, creepy and suspenseful horror movie that does not lose pace from beginning to end. The last half an hour keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time, and the person sitting next to you may use your arm as a scratching post. While the family is not quite as disturbing as the one in the original movie, they are just as violent. Leatherface is just as menacing, if not more, and this movie delves deeper into his identity (he gets three different looks in this movie, if you get my meaning).
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has very few flaws, if any. Perhaps the classic did not need to be remade, but a new classic has been born anyway; this is one of the scariest movies to hit theaters in a long time.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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