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Director: Jonathan Liebesman
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I left my screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning exactly as I’d entered it. I’d sat through 84 minutes of screaming and blood and ugliness and I thought how pointless this film was. The original remake from 2003 was bad enough, but at least it had a few scares and some creepy moments. The Beginning feels emptier than the remake, simply an excuse to make another Texas Chainsaw movie sandwiched into the facts of the 2003 version.
In a situation like this, even 30 years later, this film will be compared to the original, even to the three sequels to the original. The family and murders in The Beginning feel smaller than those in all the others. Even in the 2003 remake, the scope wasn’t so horribly limited. The idea of a family of murderers that have been killing for years, even decades, is a much more frightening idea than what’s portrayed here, a small family taking one step too far into psychosis. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the depiction of Leatherface in this film is also much less complex than seen previously. Here, he’s more pure evil as opposed to damaged psychotic.
There are some wasted actors in The Beginning, as well. Lee Tergesen is usually very strong but he’s lost here in a bit part as a biker and R. Lee Ermey seems to resort to wild-eyed bellowing in lieu of an actual performance.
The Texas Chainsaw Masscare: The Beginning had the potential to do something interesting or groundbreaking but the film ended up recycling old concepts and taking the easy route of gore without substance. Sure, the 1974 Texas Chain Saw Massacre was ugly and brutal and nihilistic, but this prequel of a remake is so far removed from the original that it’s barely recognisable. This is a copy of a copy of a copy, an empty shell of a movie, contrived and mercenary and pointless.Colin Le Sueur