So, the sequel to Tobe Hooper’s “Texas Chainsaw” wasn’t the sequel. They were sequels, but perhaps there’s a parallel Sawyer family out there somewhere. Maybe there’s a Leatherface A and a Leatherface B? The stories from parts two, and three in the eighties that followed Tobe Hooper’s original “Texas Chainsaw” were all nonsense that–I’m presuming–were just Nam flashbacks told by a hippy or something. Maybe there were “What If?” storylines. Or perhaps they were scenarios about what became of the Sawyers after Sally managed to escape Leatherface’s clutches. In truth, it’s just hackey studio tinkering that works best if you ignore it. At this point the “Texas Chainsaw” series is more convoluted and confused than “Halloween” and “Nightmare on Elm Street.”
No, 2013’s “Texas Chainsaw” is the actual sequel to Tobe Hooper’s movie, whether you like it or not. Per Freddy Krueger, after the massacre in the Sawyer house where only poor Sally Hardesty survived, the Sawyer family were burned down in their house by a lynch mob who proceeded to massacre them (get it?) for their crimes. After the sheriff appears alone to lure out the psychotic family (smart cookie), a lynch mob from town ensures that the Sawyers never see light again. We now join Heather Miller, the only surviving Sawyer who was taken by a member of the lynch mob and adopted. The Massacre happened in 1973, so Heather should very well be entering in to her forties by now. But no, she is instead a young prime woman well in to her early thirties. I’m presuming someone had their calendar wrong, somewhere.
In either case, that said, Heather is given news from her late grandmother that she has inherited her estate and her assets. It’s way out in the middle of Texas, but she feels good about owning a mansion. Even after the lawyer that provides her with the information refuses to enter the house. While there, Heather and her friends–all of whom are cannon fodder and really do nothing special–learn that the house holds many secrets, including hidden hallways, and a room that contains the gargantuan invalid Jed Sawyer, or as we know him: Leatherface. Most of “Texas Chainsaw” has no plot, and really all of the sub-plots that are written are never fully resolved or confronted by anyone. Alexandra Daddario is smoking hot as the ill-fitted Heather, who hates her family, and tries to find a place in the world with her friends, all of whom are shifty.
You can’t help but figure out why Heather’s been victimized over and over again when she’s friends with a small group of people who really can’t be trusted at all. Mid-way we learn Heather’s boyfriend is cheating on her with her sexy friend Nikki, but nothing is ever made of that, either. There’s no real karmic balancing there, and it’s never actually resolved. As soon as Heather does battle with Leatherface, she also begins to come to grips with her actual birth right and comes to the realization that she does belong to someone. Sure, they were inbred, face eating, mutilating, monsters, but hey, we can’t choose our family right?
I wish at some point Heather would have dug through the files at the police station and blurted “Oh god! I’m actually forty!” Longtime fans may not enjoy how “Texas Chainsaw” flips the script turning the Sawyers in to the victims, and making the humans in to the villains, but the writers merely carry on the formula from the Platinum Dunes bastardization. For all of its flaws (including a hilariously awful IPhone product placement sequence) and the fact that it has no actual story to it (save for a traditional revenge theme), “Texas Chainsaw” makes for entertaining horror filler. The gore is plentiful, the acting is solid, and Leatherface is a monster once again. And it sure as hell puts Michael Bay’s versions to shame.