Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003): KnigaWorm Review

This is going to be a strictly Rambling Review which I wrote a couple of weeks ago on a crazy hot day. And what is the best way to spend a crazy hot day? For some people, it’s going to the beach, but for me it’s staying inside a dark and, if needed, air-conditioned room and watching a horror movie.

Let the ramblings commence! Obviously, ALL THE SPOILERS AHEAD!

The only recollection I have of this film is a brief comment from my Diary.ru days saying, “I can’t believe how much they messed up the original. Ew.” So that’s what we have to work with. On the other end of the spectrum we have the fact that this is the one version of Chainsaw that I couldn’t find on subscription so could it be that it’s too horrific for the subscription crew? Cause that’s the tendency I notice on our streaming services – the truly gruesome fair like the original Martyrs doesn’t get a spot. But it might just have to do with copyright.

Anyway, I still don’t know if this is a remake of the original or a reimagining… At least judging by the looks of it, it takes place in modern day (which here is early 2000s) so already not a direct remake (upd: apparently, it takes place in 1973, the clothes threw me off.) Also, the nerd is not wheelchair-bound so there’s that. Anyway, I’m just glad to see a fuller-figured pre-Timberlake Jessica Biel. She used to be likeable and hireable back then, remember?

Here is another difference – the person they encounter is not a Hewitt brother (why did I think the family name was Sawyer?) but a traumatized young girl. Was she a prisoner of the Hewitts? I vaguely remember this trailer in the woods with some weirdos, so like there’s more than just the Hewitt family there.

Where was the girl keeping the gun?… Let’s just assume it was somehow tied to her inner thigh and leave it at that. The scene is horrific enough as it is. I like that the premise of them not going to the police about this is believable – they have pot stashed in the car so they can’t go to the cops or they’ll get arrested.

In a way, it’s good that I watched the prequel first. Now I know what it’s all about – who the Sheriff is, who the clerk lady is, why the guys are supposed to head to the Crawford Mill, etc. I guess Sheriff Hoyt learned his lesson from the prequel – instead of going and fetching the prey himself, he makes the prey come to him. Also, remember that Cousin Hewitt got his legs blown/sawed off in the prequel so he can’t help with fetching.

oh Jessica… your intentions are pure and your heart is in the right place, but it’s also what will get you all killed. Also, this is kind of a twist on the old premise – now we have five able-bodied unhurt young people altogether in a group. How are they gonna get separated and taken down? That’s interesting. Cause before it was either people separating and being differently abled, or starting off with being injured. But this is a new set-up. I suppose the kid will act as bait. And them being kind of stupid – you should have listened to the nerd. And while I kind of in a way get it about getting the girl’s body back to her parents (how they’re gonna find them is another question) but also, they are essentially all getting killed because of some weird honoring of an already dead body. So, I get it but I also really don’t get it. And now they got separated into two different locations, that’s just great.

I wonder, even without seeing the prequel, who would believe that R.Lee Ermey is the actual Sheriff? Just look at him. And listen to him, such sass. I know I’m not supposed to like him even a little bit, but again, thanks to the prequel, I appreciate this character. He is a great horror movie villain, the demented mastermind of the whole Hewitt operation.

LEATHERFACE! Don’t judge me, I’m a fan.

Is this proper police procedure to wrap up suicide victims in Saran wrap? I know that the guys are traumatized and not thinking clearly, but they should be really suspicious of this Sheriff. And yet, you have to admire Ermey’s commitment to this character, complete with anecdotes from “his patrol days”. Wait… is he actually letting the other kids go? Not forcing them into his car to go and testify or something? That’s interesting. So far, they only have one captured victim, and while that’s the arguably biggest and strongest guy, there are still four capable young people running around unattended. Alright, I’m invested now.

So, the collection of abandoned rusted cars, people’s teeth, and the suicide girl’s photo in a jar don’t raise suspicion? You still wanna stick around and investigate? Okay, fine, now you can’t abandon your friend, but why are you separating again?

Meanwhile, Leatherface is just out here, minding his business, working on his new catch. I bet he doesn’t even question how the guy got in the house, who he may have been with, etc. He’s just happy to have a new body to dissect and possibly a face to take.

Ms Leather the Face is at it again! Keeping it pushing. Gotta love the determination and the trek skills. Also, why so many sheets hung out to dry? Makes for a cool visual, but what is the practical purpose and explanation?

Yay, Ermey is back! And now we’re getting closer to the climactic third act with all the kids now in “custody” in one way or another and taken back to the Hewitt house. Ms Face treating the second guy like literally a piece of meat is dementedly brilliant. He treats the cut-off limb with salt so as to preserve it. He is preparing the meat for conservation. And yes, here he goes, working on his new face. And oh wow, his old face is… gross. I suppose that disease they mentioned in the prequel took parts of his face along with it. Rotting from the outside, so to speak. Also, I love the juxtaposition of Leatherface’s physical horror and Ermey’s psychological horror. Leatherface is a brutal executioner while Ermey goes for psychological torture and making people inflict physical pain on themselves, like with the poor nerd. This whole scene is fantastic! So well acted, so tense. This is how you do it!

The poor dude trying to get himself off the meat hook is… too much. It’s making me physically sick and I can stomach a lot of horror. I’m not even joking, my breakfast is starting to repeat on me from all this carnage.

How does this movie have such a low rating on IMDB? What’s wrong with people? This is such a solid horror film, especially for a remake.

I tell you… when Ms Face slashed the girl open and then turned around and looked at Jessica with her boyfriend’s face… that is the perfect blend of physical and psychological horror right there. Visceral is also the word we could use here. We could use all the words, really. This is seriously one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a while! And now Jessica has encountered the Tea Lady and shit is about to get even more demented. And I already feel sick as it is. Honestly, I’m having Tick-Tacks and black sugared tea cause my stomach can’t take this, and I usually eat along with stuff like Saw and Hostel, but this is some next-level shit… I am actually taking a break because I can’t take it anymore. Wow…

Oh no, the Tea Lady is gonna drug Jessica, right? And I’m guessing that baby came from the suicide girl?

Oh look, Ms Face changed his face. I guess the new one didn’t fit him well enough. Maybe he should try the other dude, he had a broader jawline.

This is morbid. Poor guy can’t get off the meat hook although they keep trying, and he’s just hanging there, playing the piano with his one leg. Asking Jessica to finish him – and she actually did, wow. They can never do it, but Jessica is special.

JESUS! The nerd was in the bathtub and I thought it was the boyfriend who even without a face was somehow still alive. And I screamed, sorry neighbors! I actually screamed which again, never happens. What a movie!

Okay, hiding in some house is kinda stupid, but where else are they gonna go? I kind of get it. I’m guessing the nerd is still gonna die and Jessica might make it.

This movie is a neverending torture parade. Jessica somehow escaped the abandoned house (only because Ms Face got caught in the barbed wire and sliced his leg open.) But he caught up quickly at the meat-packing plant which again is operational and looks legit (remember the horror show from the prequel?)

Wow… that was a lot. I now need a sedative in the form of One fine day which I can finally watch. But this movie, this fucking movie… was fantastic! It is a testament to how truly gruesome a horror movie is if it made me scream and feel physically sick. Bravo, cast and crew!

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