The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) Movie Review
Written By: LFG
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Marcus Nispel
Producers: Michael Bay, Mike Fleiss
Writers: Scott Kosar
Date Released: October 17, 2003
Jessica Biel as Erin Hardesty
Jonathan Tucker as Morgan
Erica Leerhsen as Pepper Harrington
Mike Vogel as Andy
Eric Balfour as Kemper
Andrew Bryniarski as Thomas Hewitt (Leatherface)
R. Lee Ermey as Sheriff Hoyt
David Dorfman as Jedidiah Hewitt
Lauren German as Teenage Girl
Terrence Evans as Monty Hewitt
Marietta Marich as Luda Mae Hewitt
Heather Kafka as Henrietta Hewitt
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
One hot summer day in August 1973, a group of five young adults named Erin (Jessica Biel), Kemper (Eric Balfour), Andy (Mike Vogel), Morgan (Jonathan Tucker), and Pepper (Erica Leerhsen) are passing through an old rural town in Texas on their way to a concert when they encounter a woman walking in the middle of the street, looking disheveled and obviously distraught. The group agreed to help the distraught woman after she says someone is after her. However, the young woman shoots herself in the head upon realizing that the group are going the wrong way. Everyone is shocked and terrified at what happened, so they decided to report the incident to the police. A woman named Luda Mae (Marietta Marich) instructs them to meet Sheriff Hoyt (R. Lee Ermey) at the old mill, but a young boy named Jedidiah (David Dorfman) directs them to the Hewitt house instead. The group complies and goes as instructed, hoping to find help for the dead hitchhiker so they can continue on their trip. However, they unknowingly submit themselves to the horror brought about by the murderous Leatherface upon arriving at the Hewitt house.
Gore was a dominant theme in this film but surprisingly I could say it was not overly done. The methods on how the killings were executed were more conventional, but it still works, considering this film is a remake. The scene that had the most gore and shock factor was when the hitchhiker grabbed a gun from underneath her skirt then proceeds to aim it inside her mouth to blow her head off. The camera view from the gunshot wound and the smoke coming out of her mouth was awesome, adding intensity to what just happened. It was also great to see Leatherface get hacked by a meat cleaver and actually be in pain; it’s not usual for him to express pain out in the open even if he gets physically hurt.
The Grave Review
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) is the fifth installment in the TCM franchise, and it is a remake of the classic 1974 film of the same title. It’s interesting to note how some of the crew members from the original film also participated in this new version, including the original narrator from 1974. While this new installment does not follow the exact same storyline from the original, it is still similar.
The opening and last scene features a variety of police footage and a crime scene walk-through of the events (shot in black and white) that transpired in the film. This is an interesting and effective method to convey realism and it added to the horror ambience as well. The protagonists are not your usual set of teens out mucking about. What makes you root for them is the fact they were just victims of circumstance—they simply wanted to help the helpless hitchhiker, but they all end up victims of the Hewitt family.
The chase scenes between Erin and Leatherface was great, especially the scene where Erin is running frantically inside the slaughterhouse while trying to escape Leatherface. The slaughterhouse is where Leatherface first learned to kill so it is interesting to see him in his homecourt. Another great yet horrifying scene between them is when Erin sees Leatherface wearing Kemper’s face as a mask as he killed Pepper.
As far as remakes go, this film is not too bad. It gives a lot of nods to the original movie, but it also managed to incorporate fresh new ideas that would make it a great standalone film. While some fans of the original film might think this is an unnecessary remake, it is still a decent watch and would satisfy slasher film fans for all the gore it brings.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) gets three graves out of five graves.
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