In the most recent addition to the Texas Chainsaw franchise, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” completely flips it on its head by removing key characters and including a seemingly misunderstood, pitiful Leatherface. It was a bold move by the filmmakers – a move that was not received with praise by a lot of hardcore fans of the franchise, but you know what? I actually think it works.
Picking up directly after the events of the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre from 1974, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” follows the story of a long lost relative of Leatherface, who was just a baby when her family was shot and burned alive by an angry mob of townspeople. She was rescued and adopted by one of the couples that was responsible for the death of her family. Now in her twenties, Heather receives a letter that her grandmother has passed and she has inherited the family mansion. Chaos and bloodshed are unleashed when she and her friends discover that Heather’s grandmother had a secret locked up in the basement – a secret with a face… and a shitload of chainsaws.
I was astonished when I got thirty minutes into the film and realized I was enjoying myself. It is so rare to watch a horror movie nowadays with quality entertainment value. Among a sea of found footage and possession movies, I found this to be quite a refreshing film. Full of the screaming, bloodshed, and abundance of motorized lumber tools we have all come to expect from the franchise, this one takes a very different turn than the past movies. Before, we would get other members of Leatherface’s deranged family in all of their psychotic, disgusting glory, but in this film we only get the chainsaw-toting murderer himself. That’s something I am perfectly fine with. While the sick family members have provided their own contributions to past films, having Leatherface in a stand-alone film (without being reliant on his family) builds more of a foundation for the character, nearly to the same level as Jason from the “Friday the 13th” franchise.