Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
This movie seemed to start the big horror remake craze. Before this movie we hadn't had a remake of the big contemporary horror movie monsters like there are now. There have been plenty of continuations of Freddy, Jason, and Micheal Myers but no one had tackled redoing the movie that had started the franchise yet. I may be wrong and if I am please let me know in the comments. I might need to try to expand my rental list if I have missed a good horror movie remake.
I need to be honest and admit that I hadn't seen the original Chainsaw Massacre when my wife and I went to see this at the theaters. I had heard about Leatherface and knew what he looked like but I hadn't taken the time to watch it. Back in 2003 when my wife and I were just dating we went to the movies every week. We also loved horror movies and this was a must see. The trailer looked awesome and it was one we couldn't pass up.
I knew nothing else about this movie when we saw it and I will admit that it scared the living daylights out of me. Not because Leatherface is so terrifying, or that it messed with my head, but because this movie relies a lot on what I like to call the pop out scare. Everything is quiet and calm and then BANG!!!! a chainsaw comes ripping through the roof of the van with sparks flying. I jumped quite a bit and so did my wife when we saw this on the big screen. Since then it doesn't scare me because I know what to expect, but when we first saw this we had a lot of fun at this movie.
Like most horror movies this starts out with a group of people on a trip. In this case the five main characters have just left Mexico and are heading home to see a big concert. On the way home they come across a girl walking along the road. She has just escaped the Hewitt residence and they offer her a ride. Once she notices that they are heading right back in the direction she came from she flips out and kills herself in the van. The group stops at a gas station to call the sheriff and all hell breaks loose.
There were a lot of things I liked about this movie. The acting was pretty good for a slasher movie, Leatherface looked amazing with how much detail they put into the mask, and I liked the little bits from the original that were in this movie. The gas station for one is something that appears in both movies. Both gas stations advertised World's best Bar-B-Q, but in the first one we learn that the meat is people. This movie stays with animals, the cannibalistic family seems to be missing from the remake. Leatherface also has an updated look and it was really creepy. If you don't know about Leatherface he is an Ed Gein type an uses the flesh of his victims to make a new face. In this movie he not only uses the full face of one of the main characters, but he has a sort of Frankenstein style mask pieced together from different victims.
I liked this movie a lot and prefer it over the original. Usually I like the originals the best but this was very well done. Another favorite of mine and it always brings back fond memories of when my wife and I were dating. I give this a full 5 star rating; the casting was great, visual effects were awesome, and the story held my attention. If you like the straight slasher films that are loaded with blood and gore this is for you. Enjoy it if you are looking for a good horror movie for Halloween.
As with my other horror movies for Halloween Week, I will be including this in the Readers Imbibing Peril challenge that runs till Halloween. The R.I.P. challenge is put on by Stainless Steel Droppings who also has a great blog anyway. Check it out and the other entries for this challenge if you have some time.