It takes a lot to make me wince, given the numerous gore movies that hit our shores like Hostel, Severance and the likes, and surprisingly, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, surpassed the rest in actually making my hair stand on ends.
Perhaps it's because I wasn't immersed into the mythos of the chainsaw wielding psychopath and his family of cannibals. Supposedly based on one of the most notorious criminal families in Texan history, these folks operate like the characters from Tsui Hark's New Dragon Gate Inn, exploiting the innocent who happen to cross their paths, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Already this cliche has been used to death (pardon the pun) in movies of the same genre, but this was one of the first (The original was released in 1974), ,with a number of sequels (one even starring Viggo Mortensen), and remakes (one starring Jessical Biel recently, produced by Michael Bay).
So what is it that makes Thomas Leatherface Hewitt a hit? It's the weapon baby. The chainsaw is music to the ears, and it is raw power. In the right hands, it's a lumberjack's weapon of choice in sawing down some trees. In the hands of a psycho, plunging it into someone brings about a sickening squishy sound of metal grinding against flesh and bone.
And that, is the sick pleasure one gets when watching the movie. There is nothing too brainy about the storyline, given that it's a prequel trying to explain how things came about, and because it's something that chronologically had happened before, there's no prize in guessing who survives, or not, which makes the finale a bit of a bore. I think I am, and the audience too, are sick in wanting to watch our eye candy cast, whom we don't really give a damn about, become target practice for one of the cult killers of cinema.
There are supporting characters who join in the fray, but ultimately, it's still focused on one of the first two couples who have their opportunity to make or break with our killers on the loose. It's a mixture of capability - some utterly useless and cowardly, while others, like Chrissie (Jordana Brewster, she's hawt!) had more to do than just looking good, or scared, or shitting in their pants.
To watch this uncut, uncensored in R21 glory, and anticipating those moments when Leatherface discovers the joy and pleasure of using the chainsaw, makes this movie the largest guilt trip I have undertaken this week. And to think I watched this before my week long hiatus too :P
Welcome to the slaughterhouse!