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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

by on Aug.01, 2010, under Daily Review

A tough film to remake. It’s actually a strange thing to think of, as the original is one of the greatest horror films ever made. One of my personal favourites so how did I feel watching a remake? I remember seeing it in the cinema a few years back. There was a few teenagers laughing and joking during the trailers. I mentioned to my girlfriend that they’ll soon be quite when the film starts. Even back then, I knew a remake would hit all the right points. I must add, on leaving the cinema, I’ve never seen so many upset looking and silent youngsters, probably traumatised for life.

So, Marcus Nispel takes on the mighty Chainsaw after a career of MTV videos. This is some challenge and a make or break in the feature film world. The master stroke is pulling the original DP from the original Chainsaw Massacre, Dan Pearl, who makes the film look bloody amazing, capturing some of the real terror of the original but this time with the help of a huge budget and great equipment. The film looks brilliant. But this is not all about Dan Pearl. Nispel’s Direction is flawless, taking a great young cast (Eric Balfour, Erica Leerhsen and Mike Vogel) and creating a realistic and horrific film, which buries itself deep in the mind, waiting to wake you up screaming. Jessica Biel takes the lead role and offers the performance of her life. Strong, powerful and beautiful, she’s pure action and performs pure fear perfectly.

The story is close to the original, but adds a few slight changes. Rather than the crazy bloke hitchhiker from the first, this time we have a victim who’s been traumatised to the point of suicide. The crazy family is a bit more extended too with most of the small village involved in the vile antics. Even the local cop is a bad guy, played by R Lee Ermey. (The voice of the Soldiers in Toy Story) The recreation of the house is glorious and even more impressive than the first film. There’s a deviation into a meat factory which is a nice touch and Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski) is just as terrifying as he was 40 years ago. I could question his first appearance, as although it was a shocking moment here in the remake, the original holds an iconic, framed image, which is recreated later on in the remake. This is a slight criticism and one, which I’m only questioning. As far as I’m concerned, this is not only one of the best of all remakes, but stands up alongside the original as one of the greatest horrific horror films of all time. I love it.

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