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Reviews for the Week of 11/23:

Read My Recent Review of the New Independent Film, Expiration.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre



Rated R | 98 mins


     My readers know that even though I am technically a teenager, I abhor almost every single movie that the studios target at my demographic. However, every once in a while, the true teen in me bleeds through the surface of my skin, and I actually find myself enjoying a film that I should be hating. This is one of those times.

     The truth isóanyone that isnít a male, between the ages of thirteen and thirty will despise The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. My father, for one, shares an opinion with Roger Ebert, in thinking that itís one of the worst movies of all time. Even though it may be well-made, it does feature senseless violence and is a totally desensitizing experience, without a doubt. But itís its young masculine appeal that makes it the movie that it is. If you belong in The Texas Chainsaw Massacreís target audience, youíll find it to be a viscerally engaging and entertaining experience. However, if you do not, I wouldnít recommend seeing it.

     While this is a remake of Tobe Hooperís original creation, which has obtained cult-classic status, many aspects of the story have changed. However, the original idea remains the same. Based on true events, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre takes us on a journey down south, and will send chills down the spines of many. A group of teens are on a road trip to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, when they pick up a freakish hitchhiker who commits suicide in the back of their van. They stop in the nearest town to report it to the sheriff, who, at first, seems a bit odd, to say the least. Before long, they are all led to the house of a crazy, masked psycho who tries to kill them with a chainsaw and use other torturous methods. One is killed right away, whereas the others must find a way to escape from the town without their van, which is broken during all of the chaos. Itís one of the few movies that have actually scared me, in recent years. We actually care about the characters; even though they may be clumsy and stupid, the development of their innocence makes us actually pull for them, and hope that they make it out alive.

     Even those that dislike The Texas Chainsaw Massacre will not be able to deny that itís well-done. From the photography to the direction, the filmmakers have reached near perfection. However, my favorite aspect of the film is the sexy Jessica Bielís performance as Erin, our heroine. Sheís convincing and charismatic, glowing in practically every scene that sheís in. Without a strong lead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre would leave us let down, due to lack of attachment. We can be thankful that Biel does the job right.

     Those who think that they will like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre know who they are, and I suspect that ninety-five percent of them are in the age range that Iíve proposed. Even my dad liked the original when he was twenty-one. That evidence, supporting my recommendation, is as hard and cold as you will feel as you leave the theatre.


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