31 Days of Halloween – Day 5
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (directed by Marcus Nispel, 2003) After picking up a hitchhiker on a desolate road, a trip through Texas turns into a living nightmare for five young adults. A family of sadistic psychopaths terrorize the travelers, led by the menacing, but simple Leatherface. Sound familiar? That is because Tobe Hooper already made a film called Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974. Since Hollywood became obsessed with being unoriginal, there have been several attempts to cash in on remakes. Most are rather lame, but this update of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is actually really good. Michael Bay’s production company, Platinum Dunes, specializes in horror movies, and the first few years it was mostly remakes that they focused on. Amityville Horror (2005), Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street are the other franchises that Platinum Dunes have tried to revitalize. This is by far the most well produced and directed of all of the other films that have been released by this company. There are differences here and there between the new and classic stories, but the gritty and grisly terror that the 1974 Massacre is known for is quite prevalent in the reboot. The dirty, sweaty hot Texas atmosphere and backwoods sets are really well done. The portrayal of Leatherface by actor Andrew Bryniarski is menacing, and R. Lee Ermy (Sgt Hartman, Full Metal Jacket) is typically awesome as the ‘sheriff’. I actually find his character a bit more insane than that of Leatherface. Jessica Biel also stars as Erin, the lone survivor of the ordeal. Director Marcus Nispel, who also directed Friday the 13th (2009) and Conan (2011) had a tall task in recreating the infamous original, and does a commendable job. Out of all of the horror remakes in recent years, this is one of my favorites. If you are looking for a get-down-to-business, chainsaw thriller with a lot of running and screaming, this is your second best option, but we will talk about that a little closer to Halloween.
Cool Fact – Actor John Larroquette (TV’s Night Court), who lent his voice to the original 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre returned to narrate the 2003 remake as well.