I had pretty low expectations going into this remake. The original Texas Chain Saw Massacre from 1974 is still quite disturbing and powerful, thirty years after it was released. To remake such a classic, you’d have to do something extraordinary in order to surpass the original, break new ground, play with the genre and expectations. This film did none of that. It’s basically the same old formula, watered down for a new generation.
Removing most of the interesting elements from the original, this movie is basically undifferentiated from most of the other entries in the slasher genre. Put this next to Wrong Turn and there’s not much difference. To do a slasher movie nowadays means bringing something new to the genre (ie. Scream).
Nispel, a music video director, needs to learn how to make a good horror movie. The camera was too frenetic — okay, you’re trying to convey realism, as if you’re using a handheld camera. Fine, then use a handheld camera, don’t use editing to try and fake the effect. I can only imagine how interesting this film would’ve been had it not been a major Hollywood release. Lose the fancy producers, lose the pretty TV actors, and get a good writer/director onboard.
Oh, one last nitpick: this movie is supposed to be set in 1973. However, the actors both look and talk like it’s 2003. Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses did a better job with its 1970s setting.
Check out The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on video, or better yet, rent the original. It’s much more interesting and groundbreaking than this watered down remake.