The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006) Review: Bloody Good
“Every Legend Has a Beginning.”
Synopsis: Before being sent to serve in Vietnam, two brothers and their girlfriends take one last road trip, but when they get into an accident, a terrifying experience will take them to a secluded house of horrors, with a chainsaw-wielding killer.
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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is much better than I was expecting – and indeed, much better than a prequel to a failed reboot has any right to be. While not exactly in line with the well-loved ’74 movie, it nevertheless marks a decent addition to the series.
The thing that struck me most about The Beginning was just how pretty it is. It highlights the brutality all the more, having such beautiful shots juxtaposed with such meaningless savagery.
Most of the Hewitt family actors from the reboot make a reappearance: Andrew Bryniarski as Leatherface, R. Lee Ermey as Uncle Charlie, etc. The new cast of victims (Jordana Brewster, Taylor Handley, Diora Baird, Matt Bomer) all do well in their misery, though the Vietnam subplot doesn’t really pack the emotional punch the filmmakers were going for. As Ludwig noted during the movie, a prequel with the same characters as the original movie is always tough, being as the audience has some sense of how things must turn out (since we already know the situation at the beginning of the original). But though that puts a damper on things a little, it didn’t diminish the overall impact of the movie.
As this franchise is known for, The Beginning is rough on the viewer – heavy on gore and body horror, intended to provoke a visceral response. Interestingly, the gore here is almost exclusively blood, and while it looks fairly realistic, the lack of entrails or other body parts is occasionally noticeable. But where The Beginning shines is in how well it holds to the horror tone of the original. That bleak savagery is what made the ’74 movie so brilliant, and it’s nice to see even a fraction of that repeated here.
I didn’t have high expectations for this flick, so I was pleasantly surprised. Though some moments felt forced, others held up well. If you’re into gore, body horror, or the franchise in general, this one’s good to add to your queue.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B
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