A baby girl is rescued by mob members Gavin and Arlene Miller, who raise the child as their own until 20 or so years later, when she receives a notice that her grandmother Verna Sawyer Carson (Marilyn Burns) has died and left her a house in the same small town of Newt, Texas. The young woman, now known as Heather (Alexandra Daddario), is upset that her parents never told her she was adopted and decides to head to Texas to see her inheritance. Her boyfriend Ryan (Trey Songz) and friends Nikki (Tania Raymonde) and Kenny (Keram Malicki-Sánchez) come along for the ride.
What they don't realize, though, is that the house is still occupied. Deep in its bowels, Leatherface has been lurking all these years, and he's highly protective of his property. You could say he has an axe -- er, chainsaw -- to grind.
The End Result
Still, that's a minor quibble in comparison to the script's main shortcoming: the characters themselves. Horror movies aren't known to be populated by MENSA members, but Texas Chainsaw 3D's band of idiots is one of the most boneheaded you'll ever encounter. Their particular brand of stupidity goes beyond the standard "let's unnecessarily split up" genre clichés; these people honestly seem mentally deficient. At one point, they try to drive through a metal gate rather than stop to enter the code (which they have); of course, their van ends up disabled. Later, as Heather is fleeing from Leatherface, she actually tries to escape by climbing into a car of a MOVING FERRIS WHEEL, as if it won't just bring her back around to the waiting psycho killer. And time after time, our "heroes" act as if their legs (or perhaps their brains) have atrophied, choosing to hide rather than logically reasoning that they can outrun a portly 50-year old carrying a chainsaw.
By the end, the characters's illogical actions become not only unintentionally comical but morally bankrupt, as the writers try to turn Leatherface into some sort of sympathetic, post-modern Frankenstein's monster -- which might work if he didn't have a compulsive need to kill, dismember and eat people.
- Acting: C (Standard genre hamminess.)
- Direction: C (A couple of jump scares but otherwise nothing terrifying; non-intrusive use of 3-D.)
- Script: D- (Dumb, dumb, dumb.)
- Gore/Effects: B- (There's no "massacre" in the title, but there's plenty of gore on screen, even if some of it is of the CGI variety.)
- Overall: C- (The basic plot doesn't sully the legacy of the original too much, and it delivers much more gore than that film ever did, but this sequel lacks the original's disturbing edge and is weighed down by dense characters committing unforgivably moronic acts.)
Texas Chainsaw 3D is directed by John Luessenhop and is rated R by the MPAA for strong grisly violence and language throughout. Release date: January 4, 2013.