In the horror films of yesteryear, originality and a genuinely scary plot were used to wow the audience into a state of terror.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a semi-remake of the 1974 cult classic, is an example of how far the horror genre has declined in terms of its dedication to truly scary filmmaking.
Don’t get me wrong, this film boasts plenty of good scares that will make you jump out of your seat, but it lacks the plot development of other horror films that make us feel creeped out even after we have left the theater.
The film is basically the same as the older version, with a few subtle differences to make it more appealing to today’s teenage audience. It follows five youths, who on their way to a concert, pick up a hitchhiker in rural Texas.
A chain of bizarre events is set off, and the youths end up meeting a very dysfunctional family. The classic teenage slasher flick blueprint is used, as the teens are picked off one-by-one in a series of increasingly gory death scenes.
This picture is one of the bloodiest of the slasher genre, living up to its name “massacre.” But the predictability, along with the unimaginative ending, leaves this film lacking a truly good horror film status.
When the original was released in 1974, it was revolutionary in spawning the horror genre. It had a grainy and unpolished quality that made it more believable and scary.
The new version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a few steps shy of the original, but manages at least to keep us scared for a few hours.
In today’s film world…what more can we ask?
Ross Bercik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.