2013 has started with a bang for the horror box office, thanks to the remarkable opening of Texas Chainsaw 3D in America, (followed by the Guillermo Del Toro flick Mama) but the question is this - Is this latest instalment in the long-running franchise any good? Does it keep the series alive? Is it the true sequel to the original?
In my opinion yes, but only just.
TC3D has a simple but clever enough premise. Protagonist Heather Miller (Alexandra Daddario) finds out that she is adopted, and is in fact the only living relative of the infamous Sawyer family from the original film, and as such she inherits the family estate. What she doesn’t realise however, is that she has also inherited the chainsaw-wielding maniac that has terrorised so many others over the years. As such, Heather and her friends embark on a road trip to check out the house, and of course it’s not long before the bodies start piling up.
As a slasher-style film, TC3D starts out strong. The kills are nice and gory, there are a few good jump moments, and some nice tension too. This instalment doesn’t feature the grimy, sepia tones of the 2003 reboot and its sequel, which is a bit of a shame, but the more modern look works well enough (if you ignore the fact that Heather should be in her 40’s if the story’s timeline is to be believed), and the 3D, though not entirely necessary, looks pretty good. All in all, so far so good. There’s even a laugh out loud moment where Heather falls down repeatedly while running in classic scream queen fashion - a tongue in cheek scene perhaps?
Then something strange happens towards the third act. Not only does Heather not seem too upset by the fact that everyone around her has been killed, she then makes a few decisions that are slightly hard to swallow. I won’t say anything else in case you’ve managed to steer clear of spoilers, and the about turn in plot doesn’t kill the film entirely, even setting up an intriguing premise for the already announced sequel, but it still distracts from what could have been just a fun, nasty slasher film, and in my opinion the ending is a bit of a letdown.
So, in the end, TC3D does what it’s supposed to do pretty well (anyone watching this will know what they are getting). It just has a story that becomes a bit hard to believe once it hits the final act. If you are a fan of the franchise so far though, TC3D is bloody and fun, and well worth a watch. Just don’t take it too seriously.
Overall Rating: 6.5/10