Fearter rating 6/10
Shallower than a paddling pool during a hose-pipe ban. There's no emotional insight in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre origin story.
Review (no spoilers - as such)
I was quite looking forward to seeing this as I found The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) dark and disturbing. I wanted a movie all about how the infamous chainsaw wielder came to be, involving a terrifying study of nature versus nurture - challenging the notion of whether evil itself exists. What type of childhood could create such a monster? What is going through the mind of Leatherface?
None of those points or questions are answered - instead what we get is this half baked amalgamation of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest and Saw. The movie starts off well with a good opening chapter (with the exception of the Saw rip-off pig mask/head). You think, OK this family is messed up and this is going to be great. But then it all goes wrong - and not in a good horror way.
The youngest son of the family gets taken away by the police. Years later he is in a mental health institution - for reasons we aren't told - with a new name. Interestingly at this point we're unsure who the son is now, but you're pointed towards the lad who looks like Meatloaf. Another young man in the institution becomes a hero as he risks his life for a nurse who he likes. THIS, THIS is actually our young Leatherface! A person who loves and has normal feelings of empathy.
After this the film turns into a cat and mouse chase between the escapees and a police officer who might as well be a Scooby Doo villain due to his hatred of 'those pesky kids'. Our young mass murderer to be is still being nice to everyone and loves the nurse and Meatloaf (in different ways). How he turns from this relatively normal person into the devil incarnate is so monstrously weak that you will have to see the movie yourself.
The ending is a let down and there's a continuity error which made me think the makers had given up (it involves the sturdy head brace he wears which keeps his mouth shut - mysteriously changing into elastic as he can scream mouth fully open).
All in all it's a missed opportunity. Rather than a dark, meaningful and insightful character based horror which explores the human psyche - what we have is a play safe, production line movie with a few gory bits to keep the 'horror fans' happy. But we wanted more than that Hollywood! We wanted more!