Texas Chainsaw 3D is the newest “official” sequel in a long line of sequels, prequels and reboots in one of the pre-eminent Slasher film series of all time, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This particular movie picks up right where we left off in the first film, making it a sequel/soft-reboot combination, similar to Evil Dead 2, or The Incredible Hulk. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end, seeing as one of those is comedy-horror, and the other is Super-hero Action. Texas Chainsaw 3D falls pretty well into the slasher-horror genre, or as my father calls it, a “spooker“, where we see a bunch of stupid young people make a bunch of stupid decisions that get them very, very dead.
Since this is one of mine and my father’s favourite genres, we usually see this type of movie together, in theatres. It’s a tradition that goes back to the late 80s or early 90s. Over the years, a formula of sorts has been developed. Of course, when dealing with this kind of movie, you shouldn’t be expecting high-art. I’m not saying there aren’t artistic horror films. There are several. Having a critically acclaimed spooker is an anomaly, and should be regarded as such. In order to be successful as a spooker, a movie must really only pass Dad’s three question test:
- Is it a jumper? Did it make you jump, if so, how many times? No-Jumper is a piss-poor waste of time. A One-Jumper showed up to the party. A Two-Jumper is a very enjoyable experience, and has done well. Three-Jumper is fantastic, and very rare. I don’t think there’s ever been a Four-Jumper, I certainly couldn’t name one.
- How’s the gore? Is there a lot of it, and what kind? Describe it… Is it Tense? Gross? Funny? CGI? Fake-looking? Realisic? Cringe-worthy?
- How stupid is it? How stupid are the character’s choices, and do they at least make a little bit of sense, most of the time? More importantly, how stupid are the film-makers? Do they show you a car driving off a cliff, only to see there’s no engine or drivetrain in the car?
If a film can pass most of these questions, then it has succeeded in landing itself a place in the pantheon of films known as “Pretty Good Spookers“.
Now let’s take a look, and see how Texas Chainsaw 3D fared, shall we?