Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) – movie review

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen, Mike Vogel, Eric Balfour

Director: Marcus Nispel

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is probably one of the most recognised horror titles around. Even those who haven’t seen Tobe Hooper’s 1974 cult hit know the name, so in the age of remakes what better film to pick to make all over again, and with an instantly recognisable brand name it must be a marketing department’s dream – or nightmare but in a good way!

The story, in case you didn’t know, is a classic one about a small group of young people driving back from Mexico across country on a quiet deserted road when they stop and pick up a young girl wandering clearly in shock on the highway. As I don’t really want to give too much away I’ll just say that the film involves the group going off the main road, coming across various individuals who have obviously indulged in too much in-breeding including one particularly nasty one called Leatherface, and being terrorised and picked off by them one by one.

One of the group is a very attractive young lady called Erin (Jessica Biel) who specialises in looking very good in a tight t-shirt and is the centre of the film’s attention spending a good part of the movie being chased through the woods and also proving that she can fight back more effectively than most.

As horror movies go it defiantly ranks towards the top of its genre, or really sub-genre as I would place it with the recent WRONG TURN. In terms of the obvious comparison with the original I don’t really think it’s fair to compare the two. This new TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is clearly made for today’s market and the whole feel and direction is much tighter. The original was a classic in its time and because the world had not yet seen all the Jason’s, Freddie’s, Joyride’s (Roadtrip in the UK), Jeepers Creepers etc it really stood out as a landmark.

The new TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE will do very well (as long as people realise it’s a remake and not a re-release) because it’s a good movie in it’s own right and because it carries the brand name of the original. If it does really well I could easily see it becoming a new franchise.

5 out of 6 stars