THE LAIR EXPERTS
Matt: Heading into this one, I didn't really know what to expect. I know they were coming off two highly successful remakes by Platinum Dunes, but the fact they gave up the rights to the series really worried me. Add to that, the little or no publicity this film received prior to release, and it sounded like a recipe for disaster. But what we got was something I don't think any of us expected-- a decent horror movie. The main positive to this film is the fact that the producers took such care in reproducing 1973 in the opening sequences. It really felt like it took place after Sally escaped in the original. The opening shootout was very much like the Devil's Rejects-- and it was disappointing to see the family-- which included Bill Moseley and Gunnar Hansen-- killed off so quickly. Fast forward to present day, and that's when the problems begin. The young cast (besides the beautiful Alexandra Daddario) just couldn't hold weight with me-- and made it very difficult to invest in each character. By the time the principals were killed off, their deaths were almost cheered for. And the whole modern-day Hatfields and McCoys storyline fell flat, in my opinion. All it did was take the Sawyers away from being what they are supposed to be-- a psychotic family of cannibals-- and portrayed them as sympathetic victims. True, it was unique and never done before, but really, who wants to root for the Sawyers? We just want more of that BBQ! Dan Yeager did an admirable job as Leatherface, considering what he was given to work with. It was the best portrayal of the character since Gunnar Hansen, and really helped establish himself as the new face of the franchise. All in all, a better first half of the film than a second half, and while it may not equal the recent films, it certainly did itself justice and earned its place in the franchise. 5 out of 10.
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