The Texas Chainsaw Massacre | Chicago Reader

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Rated R 98 minutes 2003

I haven't seen the original (or wanted to) in 29 years, but this remake by Marcus Nispel revives its crudely effective variation on the hatred and fear of hillbillies in Deliverance, as teenagers stumble upon a family of mad butchers in rural Texas. The new version, with Blair Witch Project pseudodocumentary updates, carries more of a jolt, as well as fancier sets, more sadism (courtesy of R. Lee Ermey, virtually reprising his drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket), and more pretension (a teenager crucified on a meat hook). “Inspired by a true story” presumably adds to the sordid thrills; maybe we should look forward to entertainments about Nazis torturing children. With Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen, Mike Vogel, Eric Balfour, and Andrew Bryniarski as lovable Leatherface. R, 98 min.

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