Surprisingly Good Remake: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (2003)

I know I’m gonna get the shit kicked out of me for this, but let me explain a bit. I enjoyed the original film, while I think its a bit overrated(it was never scary or shocking to me, even in the 80’s), it did still leave you with a dirty feeling, a feeling like you just watched a snuff tape and did nothing.

I enjoyed the remake because it does what a remake is meant to do, it take the core of the story and updates it nicely. It still shows the proper respect to what has been done ans gives stuff for the new generation to enjoy. Jessica Biel isn’t a bad actress, while she may not have been the best choice for the role, I can see why she picked it, its so far from her goody good role on 7th Heaven(which co-starred Child’s Play actress Catherine Hicks)and she wasn’t terrible,it just felt like it was written for someone else.

Andrew Bryniarski is one of the reasons why I enjoyed this film as much as I have enjoyed it. He played Leatherface very well, strong and threatening, even more than the Gunner Hansen version, while Gunner seemed to be more like a tool the Sawyers were using, this Leatherface is doing it all on his own, very little pushing is being done to send him over the edge. I was surprised to see he played Lobo in the short based on the DC Comics character and Zangief in the not so bad, bad Streetfighter film “QUICK CHANGE THE CHANNEL”

R. Lee Eemy is another fun reason to watch this film and the next film, I am not a fan of Full Metal Jacket, too me after the boot camp scene the film kind of get slow and at times boring, but that first 45 minutes when we see Ermy berating the cadet(who was recently in Law & Order: Criminal Intent)made that film enjoyable. For this film he once again does that, you can really see him as the man in charge of the in house stuff.

Another aspect of the film is the cinematography, just like the original film we are made to feel dirty and uncomfortable, every time I watch this I gotta take a shower or wash my hands. Daniel Pearl should be given a great deal of respect for the style used in this film as it is a staple of what we see in the later Platinum Dunes remakes. The one scene I’d say really grabbed my attention and kept me wanting more was the hitchhiker scene, as its very different from the original film, for one we don’t have one of the Sawyers marking the next target and secondly we see a setup for a whole other story(which has yet to be told).

I also loved how the end of the scene occur(come on, love or hate the film you know you cringed) The tension in the film is high always and f you have seen the deleted scenes section, you can see the writers did try to give the characters a personality, they didn’t just want a group of meat walking around(which honestly my generation of films went overboard with). We have to remember what makes classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play and even Hellraiser so great is the writers made sure we get just enough character story to care for the victims and would be victims, nowadays that’s a lost trait in the writing, all we get now is a lot of people, a lot of death scenes and no story.

—Eric Curto

1 thought on “Surprisingly Good Remake: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (2003)

  1. I agree with this review. I watched the original first, and though I could see how it would have shocked people in the 70’s, it didn’t have a huge impact on me. I thought the kids were weakly drawn, and I felt zero investment in their plight. The dinner scene was annoying – all the non-stop screaming.
    When I saw the remake, I had to keep turning it off because I was so disturbed and freaked out. I felt invested in the characters, and cared about their fate, which to me is what makes or breaks a horror. I thought the acting was fantastic, and the cinematography creative. Leatherface was not a dumb redneck loser who got beaten up, but a truly scary nightmare figure; though I have to say – the Sherriff was even scarier.
    I know aot of people seem extremely precious about the original, but personally, I was viscerally affected by the remake, and found this to be a case of the remake surpassing the original.

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