After seeing how well the original turned out you would have thought that a remake might be an interesting idea. Turns out it was a bad decision because Platinum Dunes take on Tobe Hooper’s terrifying classic is not worthy of bearing the name The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It is stupidly dark and lacks even the most simple jump scare.
Even, though, it follows the same basic premise of the 1974 film, this film has a plastic script which hardly resembles the source material. Due to its propensity to have too much violence there are an awful lot of gory scenes which because of their reliance of blood fail to evoke the same sort of reaction that the original did whenever Leatherface appeared. The ending is substantially different which is a slap in the face. Rather than being anything like it was in the old film the remake goes for a simple slug out between the heroine and the antagonist. This naturally does not have as great an impact as before and you are unlikely to lose any sleep over it.
The effects are unimpressive at best and excessive at worst. It’s just mounds and mounds of gore which you could find in a Friday the 13th film or any other film that doesn’t understand the basic principles of how to scare the audience. The original film was actually able to get by without showing an abundance of the blood and guts that you see in some more recent films. All remakes suffer from this technique with the exception of Let Me In which actually used the effects in a constructive manner. Every one of the remade films that Platinum Dunes has pulled out its ass really doesn’t know how to deliver on the scares no matter how you look at them. Why can’t people learn that gallons of blood don’t equal loss of sleep?
The acting is clunky compared to that of the original. Jessica Biel portrays Erin Hardesty and is in many ways the best of the cast. However, that doesn’t change the fact that her character is practically nothing like Sally Hardesty who was way more believable because of Marilyn Burns performance. Erica Leerhsen portrays Pepper Harrington who is supposed to be the equivalent of Pam from the first film. It is just unfortunate that her character is not as strong because of her stale acting. R. Lee Ermey is one of the few good actors in the whole film. He portrays Sheriff Hoyt so convincingly he is very nearly on par with Jim Siedow who was Drayton Sawyer in the first film. Unlike before Leatherface is portrayed by Andrew Bryniarski and despite the fact that the character never talks Gunnar Hansen did a far better job. How is that even possible?
How does this fare up? Badly. The gore is excessive, the story is stupid and if that wasn’t enough it just fails to scare the viewer even as someone gets their leg hacked off. If you were expecting big things from this beast then you are bound to be disappointed. The best advice is to just watch the original which is guaranteed to frighten you.