TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D (2013) Reviews of another dire sequel

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‘Evil wears many faces’
Texas Chainsaw 3D is a 2012 American slasher horror film directed by John Luessenhop from a screenplay written by Debra Sullivan and Adam Marcus (Secret Santa; Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday) with later drafts by Kirsten Elms and Luessenhop.

It is the seventh film in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise and a sequel to the 1973 original film, immediately picking up where it left off (and including footage from the original).

The movie stars Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Tremaine Neverson, Tania Raymonde, Thom Barry, Paul Rae and Bill Moseley.

On January 6th 2013, Variety reported that Texas Chainsaw 3D initially over-performed expectations, having taken $23 million at the box office and knocked The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey off the top spot.

The film attracted mostly women under 25, an audience breakdown apparently typical for horror pics. It received a C+ CinemaScore audience feedback rating, which is more positive than normal for the genre, however poor word-of-mouth reports soon ensured the film’s earnings rapidly plummeted. Overall, the movie took $47,241,945 worldwide on its brief theatrical run on a reported budget of $20 million. Yes, $20 million. The original cost just $140,000.

Twenty years ago, the town of Newt, Texas exacted vengeance on the Sawyer family for their role in assisting and concealing murders committed by the chainsaw-wielding maniac Jeb Sawyer, aka “Leatherface.”

The entire family was presumed killed when Burt Hartman led the townspeople to burn down their farmhouse, but the Sawyer infant survived and was secretly taken away by two of the vigilante townies, Gavin and Arlene, and raised their daughter Heather. It’s not until she’s in her twenties that Heather learns that she’s adopted.

A lawyer for her grandmother tracks her down with word she’s been left an inheritance. Angry at her parents for lying to her, she sets out for Texas on a road trip with her boyfriend Ryan, friends Nikki and Kenny, and Darryl, a hitchhiker they pick up on the way…

“Nothing about this movie makes sense; the fact that it is set forty years on from the original means that our leading lady should be nearly forty years old but is clearly about twenty and even Leatherface should be a seventy or eighty-year-old man but dashes about slaughtering people with his trusty chainsaw like a sprightly maniac over half his age.” Cyberschizoid

“This dumb, draggy sequel to the 1973 classic shoves a chainsaw at you in 3D every once in a while but trips like a heroine with a sprained ankle over dumb plot twists, poor performances and inept would-be suspense scenes. A sole quality element is Daddario’s frequently-exposed taut midriff.” Empire Magazine

“There’s some vague sexual tension among the skanks, which is resolved by violence rather than orgasms, and there’s some knowing inside nods to the ridiculousness of the plot. The cliches keep on rolling, too. The violence is a ripoff of Saw movies. Even the 3-D feels old-timey.” Esquire

“The original Texas Chain Saw Massacre leaves audiences feeling hollowed out, dispirited and dissolute. Texas Chainsaw 3D is simply a bummer for being a big nothing.” Los Angeles Times

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“Credit writers Adam Marcus and Kirsten Elms with taking the story in a mildly surprising direction (the Sawyers aren’t so much homicidal cannibals as they are the victims of rural small-mindedness). But discredit director John Luessenhop for giving us 3-D visuals reminiscent of Jaws 3-D: That slab of meat’s coming right for us!” Village Voice

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“Luessenhop’s movie dedicates too much time to a messy character story without enough worthwhile payoff to be a fun (albeit brainless) slasher film. Worst of all, the film refashions Leatherface as a character that is actually less interesting than he was waving his chainsaw and spinning around in frustration at the end of the original 1974 film.” ScreenRant


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Timeline issue:
Original co-scripter Adam Marcus (also the writer-director of the execrable Jason Goes to Hell) told Agony Booth in 2018 why the timeline made no sense:

“For Texas Chainsaw, the studio wanted a direct sequel to the original film, so my lifelong writing partner Debra Sullivan and I started from that idea,” Marcus told the site. “We wanted to adhere more to the first movie. I love the first movie. Tobe Hooper loved our script, which was exciting. There was a certain reverence to what came before. I also loved the Jason character and the hockey mask, but there was no real mythology for Leatherface, and we wanted to create a mythology. With Leatherface, there was a really broken psychology there, like Frankenstein’s monster. For Debra and me, we wanted to tell the story of Leatherface’s imprisonment and his reverence for family.

Our draft took place in the early 1990s, but the finished film took place now, which makes no sense. The original film was in the 1970s, and the main character is in her twenties, which is why the script took place in the ’90s. It didn’t make any logical sense, and it’s frustrating. I was also trying to make the date in the script coincide with the release of Jason Goes to Hell.”

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