Texas Chainsaw

Texas Chainsaw

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The first time I saw Texas Chainsaw was back in 2014. January 15, 2014 according to my watchlist. Almost 10 years from now. This was the movie that introduced me to Alexandra Daddario. In hindsight I might have seen her earlier in the first Percy Jackson, but it was this movie that not only made her the lead, but also utilizes all of her striking features. She is the most memorable aspect of a movie I back then gave a two star rating. Last week I listened to a podcast covering all of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies and the remarks they made about this movie and Alexandra made me give it another go almost ten years later.

Texas Chainsaw incorporates a technique that over the past few years has become fairly common: a sequel to the original movie that ignores all previous sequels, reboots and such. Terminator: Dark Fate did it, Halloween even twice.

The movie opens up with a recap of the original movie using actual footage. It then switches to the immediate aftermath as we witness how an angry mob burns the Sawyer residence down to the ground. One woman and her child survive. One of the townsfolk comes across them and takes the child while killing the woman. He and his wife raise name the child Heather and decide to raise her as their own. One day Heather (Daddario) receives a letter that claiming she has inherited an estate from a grandmother she never knew she had. She travels to Texas only to find out that the estate houses something gruesome.

Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Trey Songz and Keram Malicki-Sánchez in Texas Chainsaw

Texas Chainsaw ticks of most of the franchise’s boxes. A group of friend traveling in a van to Texas? A hitchhiker? Check. Check. Shots of roadkill? Check. A chainsaw wielding maniac with a face mask made out of human skin? Check. People being hung onto meat hooks and being cut into pieces? Check. Scantily clad women? Check. The only thing missing was a deranged family of cannibals. Leatherface is all on his own this time.

The movie looks very polished and therefor strays away from the grainy, almost documentary like feel of the original movie or the gritty Platinum Dunes remake and its prequel. This is possibly the best looking Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie up until now. But looks aren’t everything.

Tania Raymonde in texas Chainsaw

The first half of Texas Chainsaw is pretty decent. Though the first obvious flaw is that the gap between this movie and the original is 40 years while everybody in the movie has aged only 10-20 years. A now supposedly 40 year old Heather is played by a 25 year old actress. Now they could have set this movie in 1993, but since there is an entire scene featuring a video call on smart phone it’s obviously set in 2013.

Despite the characters being rather stupid and making decisions that Scream already made fun of back in 1996. The most glaring example being the transfer of the estate to Heather. The notary handling the transfer is well aware of Leatherface’s presence in the estate. Yet, he hands her and her friends the keys with the only instruction being “read this letter from your grandmother”. Sure, the letter explains everything, but he doesn’t see to it that she actually reads the letter immediately or says anything about the possible danger to her and her friends. It would make sense if this guy turned out to be in on it all and is willingly trying to provide Leatherface with some victims, but that isn’t the case.

As soon as Leatherface enters the picture all of the characters make one stupid decision after another. When the local police is aware of Leatherface being alive, they actually let one cop enter the estate and livestream everything with his phone with the 2013 equivalent of Whatsapp. Gee, I wonder if he’ll make it out alive.

In terms of character development Heather makes one of the craziest transformations I’ve ever seen in a movie. She’s introduced to us cutting up and packaging meat at the butcher’s department of a local supermarket. At home she’s filling out a gross looking painting with chicken bones which makes no sense at all. Why would someone even have this thing hanging on their wall? These two scenes are foreshadowing the transformation her character will make. Another seed is planted by the hitchhiker they pick up when he mentions that blood is thicker than water. But even these foreshadowing moments don’t justify the transformation her character makes in a single day.

Alexandra Daddario in Texas Chainsaw

Full spoiler warning for the entire movie:

Heather’s arc starts off with her learning about how her parents are not her real parents. She is a bit shook about being adopted and not knowing about it her entire life. So she decides to go to Texas immediately.

All of the events in Texas take place during the span of a day. That day starts of pretty well as she’s happy with the enormous house she inherited and it isn’t until somewhere in the evening that she’s suddenly confronted by Leatherface. She witnesses him chopping up parts of a human body in the kitchen and he knocks her out cold. She wakes up in his cellar where he’s dismembering the body of one of her friends. She manages to escape and is subsequently chased by him while he’s wielding his chainsaw. She hides in a coffin which he then starts to saw right into. Narrowly she escapes again due to her friends distracting him. There is a lot of chasing going on for quite some time and she witnesses how he tries to murder her friends and sees her boyfriend die during their escape. Finally she ends up in police custody while Leatherface manages to disappear into the woods.

This alone would require several years of therapy.

At the police station she is presented with a box of evidence from the crime scene she survived in 1974. While it’s clearly mentioned how Leatherface brutally murdered several young people, she seems to respond more to the fact that the town folk burned down her house with most of her family in it. People she never knew. She almost immediately starts to sympathize with a brutal killer who she just watched chopping up her friends including her boyfriend. That’s quite a stretch if you ask me.

She even begins to show some typical Sawyer family tendencies in the back of police car and the finale has her and Leatherface connecting as kin. There is an extremely corny moment where she throws a chainsaw to Leatherface and says “Do yer thing, cuz!” The movie even ends with her now being his caretaker. As if her friends meant nothing to her and nobody is ever going to come look for them.

All this takes place over the course of about 12 -18 hours.

Alexandra Daddario in Texas Chainsaw

But like I said in my opening paragraph, the reason I rewatched this movie is Alexandra Daddario. And boy does the movie not disappoint. She’s in almost every scene and looks gorgeous in the first act before she becomes covered in blood and gore. She has a cute smile and some of the most piercing blue eyes you will ever see.

Alexandra Daddario in Texas ChainsawShe walks around in a pair of tight jeans and a shirt that only covers her breasts and arms. During the second and third act she’s constantly running around with her rather imposing boobs bouncing all over the place. This is a deliberate choice since the wardrobe department could have given her a sports bra, but it looks like she isn’t even wearing a bra at all. It’s a nice sight to look at and reminds me of the finale of Friday The 13th: A New Beginning. The final girl in that movie has a showdown with Jason in the pouring rain while wearing a white blouse and no bra. Great stuff.

During the finale in this movie Daddario’s outfit outfit merely consists of a shirt with just a few buttons closed. It creates quite memorable, though exploitative situations where she’s tied up or running around with an open shirt and her boobs are just hanging out. As if we are still in the 70s exploitation era.

There is a reason this movie put her on the map with me and its still evident ten years later. If you need a reason to watch this movie, that reason is Alexandra Daddario. While this is a bad movie, she makes it an enjoyable ride.

Alexandra Daddario in Texas Chainsaw

Texas Chainsaw Poster
Texas Chainsaw Poster
Texas Chainsaw
  • Year:
  • Director:
    • John Luessenhop
  • Cast:
    • Alexandra Daddario
    • Tania Raymonde
    • Scott Eastwood
  • Genres:
    Horror, Thriller
  • Running time:


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