The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

The best possible outcome of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:  The Beginning would be to kill the entire teen slasher movie for a few years.  There is nothing interesting about this film, a prequel of sorts to the better but still not very good remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  All of them are the same - find gory ways to kill stupid teenagers.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:  The Beginning was supposed to be a look at the formative years of Thomas Hewitt, aka Leatherface, but again, there is nothing that sheds any meaningful light onto his existence.  Generally, there really is no reason that this film should exist aside from a quick buck for the filmmakers.

Keep in mind, this reviewer is not saying that all slasher films are bad - just that most of the recent ones have been.  They take the formula and run with it, not doing anything original.  Just how many times and in how many different ways can somebody be killed by a chainsaw?  Apparently, director Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls) and screenwriters Sheldon Turner (The Longest Yard) and David J. Schow (The Crow, Critters 3) felt there were more.  They place the story in the late sixties, with the Vietnam War and the draft in full effect.

Four teenagers, Eric (Matthew Bomer, Flightplan) and his girlfriend Chrissie (Jordana Brewster, Annapolis, D.E.B.S.), his brother Dean (Taylor Handley, Jack Frost) and Dean's girlfriend Bailey (Doira Baird, Accepted, Wedding Crashers) are on a cross-state trip across Texas.  Eric is going to re-enlist, and Dean is going to join him.  Dean doesn't really want to go, and will spring this surprise on Eric at some point.  See, that means the characters really are deep.  Meanwhile, in hickville, Texas, a meat packing plant closes down, and the town slowly dies around it (still doesn't explain how some lady comes by for tea later).  A local kills the last member of law enforcement and becomes Sheriff Hoyt (R. Lee Ermey, X-Men:  The Last Stand, Man of the House).

His nephew has some, uh, issues.  He was born scarred, and this manifested itself with tendencies towards self-mutilation (how deep).  With everybody gone, Hoyt and Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Scooby-Doo) decide that eating people will let them survive.  Uh, ok.  Thus, the four kids find themselves in the grasp of more psychotic hicks (with the token fat people making an appearance).  There's lots of running, sadistic violence, and blood, and it's all pretty boring.  While the film shows how the killing begins, it never shows how these people became homicidal.  That would be more interesting than this.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 24 minutes, Rated R for strong horror violence/gore, language and soem sexual content.

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