Filled with stupid characters, illogical actions, and gratuitous gore, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” is your typical, dumb horror sequel.
Thing is, there will be some people that like that.
Beginning with a pre-title sequence set immediately following the events of 1974’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” bases itself around the premise that the locals of the town that Leatherface and his kin lived in got word of the rampage he went on, roused every gun-toting man in town, and surrounded the infamous house along with their two man police force. Then then bathed the home in a hail of bullets before setting it afire. Of course, there are a few survivors. The first is a baby, who is found with her mother away from the shooting. The man who finds her takes the baby so he and his wife could raise her as their own. He then leaves the mother to, presumably, burn alive.
Leatherface manages somehow to survive the bullets and the blaze and makes his way to a relative’s.
When the woman he seeks refuge with grows ill decades later, she leaves her estate to her grandaughter, Heather (Alexandra Daddario), who had been stolen as a child the night of the incident. Shocked to learn of her true parentage, Heather gathers some friends and heads to Texas to receive her inheritance. What she finds is an enormous, lavishly furnished mansion, set back from an off the track road just outside of a small town. What she and her friends don’t realize is that Leatherface, the overgrown man with the stunted IQ and a predilection for wearing the human faces of his chainsaw victims, still lives in a secret room in the basement.
It’s not long before Leatherface gets out, and the murdering begins. In an added level to the film, however, Heather eventually has to deal with the town’s vigilantes as well. The murderous men who slaughtered her kin decades ago, and are now after her as well.
It’s my thinking that “Texas Chainsaw 3D” contains the requisite body count, sufficient gore, and a famous enough villain to pacify most horror fans. This certainly won’t be hailed a classic of the genre by anyone who ever sees it under any circumstances imaginable, but for a one-off slasher, it’s not all that bad. Leatherface’s family is notably absent, but he himself gets to bludgeon, hatchet and chainsaw enough people to be passable, I would think. I can’t comment on how it compares to the rest of the franchise as a whole (this is the seventh “Chainsaw” outing), as I’ve seen others but the only one I’m strongly familiar with is the original. And it’s a given that this wouldn’t measure up to the timeless classic. It’s probably not even as good as the fairly decent 2003 remake.
That said, though it will probably appease horror fans, anyone without a vested interest in the franchise or the genre as a whole should stay away. There’s nothing of value to the broader movie-going public to be had. It’s not scary per se, though there’s a couple of pretty gory scenes here and there. And anyone not giving it the “Horror Movie Pass” will shred the bad acting, head scratching decisions, and the improbable high concept.