In Texas, years before the events of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in the early days of the infamous Sawyer family, the youngest child is sentenced to a mental hospital after a suspicious incident leaves the sheriff’s daughter dead. Ten years later, he kidnaps a young nurse and escapes with three other inmates. Pursued by authorities, including the deranged sheriff out to avenge his daughter’s death, the Sawyer teen then goes on a violent road trip from hell, molding him into the monster now known as Leatherface.
Okay, so yes, this one is a little different from the others in the franchise but that’s honestly one of the best parts of it, and what I liked most about it. And to be honest, this installment does not stray far from the original and it does answer a few questions and brings new life into an already classic storyline. It’s another prequel to ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: the Beginning’, but this time it closely follows the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This Leatherface version basically ignores all later sequels and has nothing what-so-ever to do with the 2003 remake and its prequel either.
The movie begins in rural Texas in the year 1955 at the Sawyer farmhouse, a birthday party is being held by the mother, Verna Sawyer, who is played by Lili Taylor, for her youngest son, Jedidiah. Horrifying enough, the boys present is to induct him into the sadistic family rituals, so he’s gifted a chainsaw and forced to torture a man who they accuse of stealing one of their pigs. Freaking out, Jed refuses, and you can see how visibly disturbed he is becoming. Throwing down the chainsaw he runs off and the thief is killed by Grandpa.
We next skip forward 10 years later to 1965 where nurse Lizzy, played by Vanessa Grasse, is starting her new job at a local mental health hospital. Lizzy is pretty quick to form bonds with, Bud and Jackson, who are two of the patients that seem harmless and even respectful. Verna shows up later one night and attempts to have her teenage Jed freed but her appeal is quickly rejected by the director of the hospital. Pissed off, she then breaks into the hospital, causing a riot that ends up killing many of the nurses and patients. Jackson shows up and saves Lizzy and manages to get her outside to safety where the two are swiftly taken hostage by two crazed, escaped patients named Ike and Clarice. While the four starts to drive away, they run across Bud who is covered in blood, he has just killed the hospital administrator so they decide to take him along with them.
The film has a few twists and turns that I especially liked, and a surprise or two. I feel that the characters and the story were really good. One nice surprise is that we actually get to see some of the Sawyer family members when they were younger! However, the only issue I had with the film is that the reveal of who Leatherface really was is done rather poorly. Hardcore Chainsaw fans will no doubt be shaking their heads when they realize the so-called twist.
All in all, the movie definitely an improvement over Texas Chainsaw 3D in my opinion, but it really doesn’t offer much of anything new to the Chainsaw films. If you’re a long time fan of this franchise then by all means, definitely check it out. It’s nothing new, but it’s certainly not a bad addition to the Sawyer family tree.
Release Date: October 20, 2017
Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Crime
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor, Sam Coleman, Sam Strike, Vanessa Grasse
MPAA Rated: R
Directors: Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo
Reviewed by: Disturbia
Our Rating: 3.4 /5
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