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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Film Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - The Beginning

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (18)

Dir. Jonathan Liebseman

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

This weekend you might have been able to make out the strangest of sounds, the noise made by power tools when used in bizarre ways you definitely won’t find in the instruction manuals. Alongside this unsettling soundtrack could also be heard the inhuman cry of a madman being driven ever more insane… Yes, I’ll admit it, I really don’t like putting together flat packed furniture and I can only apologise to the neighbours for the ungodly noise.
But what of the film? Well you might have already heard something about the infamous Hewitt family in the U.S. who from 1969 to 1973 murdered thirty-three people across the state of Texas. To this day, it is considered one of the most notorious and brutally sadistic killing sprees in the annals of American history and is referred to as ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. If you fancy seeing a fictional ‘what might have started it all off’ then you’re in luck because that’s exactly what The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is. Yes Jonathan ‘Darkness Falls’ Liebseman directs this grisly depiction of how your average oddball hillbilly family go from being ‘slightly unpleasant and eccentric’ through to ‘completely murderously insane and cannibalistic’. The descent actually only takes about half an hour and from then on in it becomes a pointless if striking mix n match revisit of scenes taken from the many previous money spinning Texas Chainsaw movies to date.
So a bunch of cute teenagers stumble across the killer family and end up feeling the business end of a variety of tools both powered and manual. Things get progressively grimmer and the graphic results of the heinous crimes are splattered liberally across the screen, in vomit inducing high definition. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is really not for the faint of heart (just in case the title wasn’t enough of a warning). At the screening I was at, more than 10 people walked out at various sadistically strategic points – that’s the most tangible audience disgust I’ve witnessed in my six years of film reviewing. So be warned. What actually upset me most on viewing this was the sheer lack of originality of the ‘origin’ story as to why the chainsaw wielding freakfest known as ‘Leatherface’ got quite so disturbed in the first place… Do the words ‘cynical cash in’ mean anything to you?

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö - nasty stuff, sadistic and grim
Laughs öö – if you find this funny... seek help
Horror öööö – pretty darn horrible in many places
Babes ööö – latest cute teens are fair to moderately hot

Overall öö1/2 (delivers a good chopping but weak on ideas)

Darkmatters: H O M E
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