A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Texas Chainsaw 3D is the seventh film in the famous horror/slasher franchise that began with the 1974 drive-in classic. This one is no classic, though, like the rest of the franchise, it does have tons of blood and gore (which is intensified when seen in 3-D). Several characters are injured and/or killed in various nasty ways, body parts are severed, and heads are bashed. The female main character is treated roughly during certain scenes. Sexual content is heavily suggested but barely shown. Male and female characters are shown half-naked or in underwear (one partial breast is seen), and they're definitely thinking and talking about sex. Language is very strong, with "f--k" and "s--t" used throughout, plus one use of "c--t." Apple iPhones are used as a big part of one scene. There's some drinking and smoking, but it's not blatant, and the characters are of age. Teen gorehounds (and fans of musician Trey Songz) will likely want to check this out, but it's bound for a short shelf life.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Immediately following the events of the 1974 movie, a band of local vigilantes burns down the Sawyer farm, and a baby is secretly rescued from the scene. Years later, the grown-up Heather (Alexandra Daddario) works as a butcher in a supermarket. She learns that her blood grandmother has died and left her a mansion and decides to take some friends to see it. Unfortunately, a hitchhiker decides to ransack the place and accidentally unleashes Leatherface (Dan Yeager), who has quietly been living in the basement. Leatherface goes on a rampage, while Heather learns the terrible secret of what really happened on that day all those years ago.
Is it any good?
TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D starts with some good ideas. It follows immediately on the trail of the original classic, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and introduces the main character as Leatherface's cousin. The movie touches slightly on the idea of families looking out for one another, which makes for an interesting dynamic toward the end. Unfortunately, the bulk of the movie is just another slasher flick, albeit a non-supernatural one.
Characters usually suffer their terrible fates through blatant stupidity, such as trusting the mysterious hitchhiker alone in a house full of valuables. They rarely behave in an even remotely logical manner -- for example, there's a scene in which a cop explores the Sawyer mansion alone. Director John Luessenhop shoots cleanly in order to capitalize on the 3-D effects, but there's nothing particularly scary or even imaginative here. Overall, it's better than some of the entries in this series but nowhere near as powerful as the first.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Texas Chainsaw 3D's violence. Do the gore and blood seem excessive for the genre? Are they necessary to the story? What impact does it have on you?
What's the appeal of horror movies in general and slasher movies in particular? Why has the Texas Chainsaw series lasted so long?
Who is the villain in this movie? Is it Leatherface, or are regular people to blame for these events? Or is it more of a gray area? Do horror movies have to have obvious villains?