Years before the events that took place in the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre a young Leatherface (who acts nothing like Leatherface until the end of the movie) escapes from a mental hospital, is taken hostage by a weird homicidal couple, and then kills some people.
Why does Leatherface need an origin story? I have no idea. I always just thought that he was a mentally challenged fellow that killed people and that was all you really needed to know. Apparently the people behind Leatherface thought otherwise and the results are just about as bad as you could imagine. Giving him an origin story (where he is actually a pretty nice guy) makes about as much sense as the folks behind the Friday the 13th reboot (that thankfully got cancelled) wanting to expand on Jason’s origin (he drowned. That’s his origin. How do you expand on that?). Instead of the demented and terrifying Leatherface we all know and love we get some pretty boy that looks like he walked off the set of a Twilight movie trying his hardest (and failing miserably) to play the part. I had no expectations for this movie going into it but I was actually surprised by how bad it was.
Why is this film so bad, you ask? I’m not sure where to begin. For one the premise is just lame and as I already said, did we really need to know about Leatherface’s past? I honestly thought that the entire movie was a giant snoozefest that tried way too hard to be disturbing and edgy (spoiler alert: It’s neither). It is poorly written and it becomes painfully obvious just a few minutes in that the screenwriter had no clue what direction to go in after he started writing it. I’m pretty sure that the people responsible for this mess of a film never actually watched any of the other movies in the series and were like “Oh, that’s okay. You don’t have to see any of them so we’ll just stick a chainsaw in some young guy’s hand and say that he’s Leatherface when he was younger. People will love it!” or something to that extent. Honestly, Leatherface is so much not like Leatherface in this movie that it could have been called anything else.
I also didn’t really care for any of the characters either. Since I never wanted to see a friendly, nice Leatherface I just couldn’t get behind the title character. The character of Lizzy is just sort of there and nothing about her really stands out as she is just like countless other similar characters in other horror films, and without a doubt Ike and Clarice are two of the most annoying characters to ever appear on film. They both get old very fast and I just couldn’t wait for both of them to die so I wouldn’t have to look at them anymore. I actually felt bad for Lili Taylor (who obviously needed a pay check) as she tries her best with what she has to work with but unfortunately since the script is so bad it isn’t much. The same could be said for poor old Stephen Dorff too. I know he isn’t the greatest actor in the world but even he deserves better than this.
For some reason the filmmakers felt the need to throw some mystery into the mix for over half the movie (because The Texas Chainsaw Massacre films always have an element of mystery. At least these guys thought so anyway) as we have to try to figure out which one of the characters is actually Leatherface. It is painfully easy to deduce and just doesn’t work on any level and most viewers will figure it out within a minute of meeting the character that turns out to be him. Not sure why this was thrown in there other than the fact that it pads out the running time and as I said earlier, the screenwriter wasn’t sure how he was going to milk out a 90 minute film that revolved around Leatherface’s origin.
Without a doubt Leatherface is one of the worst movies I have seen in a while and was painful to sit through. I thought that it was an insult to the original movie (and its two sequels) as well as a slap in the face to all the hardcore fans that love the character. In a way I am not surprised that it was as bad as it was because all of the movies after the horrible remake have been unwatchable in my opinion. I think it’s time to leave The Texas Chainsaw Massacre alone and quit making terrible movies that sully the name of the original. After watching this mess of a film I’m pretty sure that there won’t be any new movies in the series for a very long time (which might be the only good thing about this turkey). Believe me when I say that it should be avoided like the plague (especially if you have a special place in your heart for Leatherface).