Friday, January 22, 2010

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (2003) - 4/5

This is one of the big remakes for Horror that made the trend so...trendy(?) to this day. Granted, this is definitely one of the better ones out there as it keeps the general concept and builds some slightly new nightmares on top of it. It's a new take on a classic that warrants at least a few viewings.

"TTCM"'s sleek look (thanks Mr. Bay!) does tend to counterbalance some of the ferocity of the film, its also where the it differs the most from its original, but it allows the film to do a lot of very cool shots and new visual tricks. Which is where Marcus Nispel truly excels. His visual style in this film is both very slick and gritty at the same time, all the while giving us some great memorable shots and some pretty stunning looks. The camera pull that goes through the hitchhiker and through the back window the van is one of those you have to rewind and watch a few times over and admire and his use of light in the film is impressive to say the least. Truly, its the work of Nispel and the clever writing that makes this baby tick.

I also enjoyed the acting in this film quite a bit. It's not your usual over-the-top Horror style we get with a 'slasher' and is actually quite the opposite. It's a very subtle style. The character work is very detailed oriented and I enjoyed it a lot. It was a surprise to me with the cast that was included with the film.

I have to say that there were a few moments in this film that prevent it from being a truly great film. Firstly, I grew tired of watching all of shots of Jessica Biel's lady parts. All right, I get it. She's not wearing a bra and she's wearing tight jeans. I saw it the first three times you showed it. Let's move on. Granted, I know that the general audience for this film is going to love that, but I thought it was weak point in a rather solid film. Also, I wanted the film to help fill in some of the gaps in the 'family' side of the film. I liked the additional characters that were added to the family (the two weird women for sure) but it seemed as though they were left to hanging a bit too much. I wanted a few more subtle hints to structure or relation here and there and I never really got it.

"TTCM" is a great remake in the end and still one of the best out there. I wanted a bit more here and there (and I missed the childish quality to Leatherface that was replaced with menace) but I really enjoyed this take on a classic. It's visually a stunner and the substance almost matches that. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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