0

The year is 1973, and five teenagers, Erin, Jessica Biel, her boyfriend Kemper, Eric Balfour, Morgan, Jonathan Tucker, Andy, Mike Vogel and hitch-hiker Pepper, Erica Leerhsen, who has become Andy's squeeze, are driving through rural Texas on their way to a concert. They pick up a troubled young woman on the road and she promptly blows out her brains. Seeking help, the quintet stumble on a sinister old house where some very nasty things are going on. Tobe Hooper's 1974 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was originally banned in several countries, including Australia, not so much because of what it showed - it was fairly reticent about actually depicting violence - but for the feeling of dread Hooper was able to create on a miniscule budget. The new version starts off by claiming, falsely, that this is a true story that happened in 1973 (in fact, the real-life incidents had inspired films as far back as Psycho in 1960), and then sets out to establish new records for goriness and on-screen slaughter. In the process, the suspense is seriously diminished and it goes without saying that these teenagers don't dress or act or talk like they would have thirty years ago: this is a film aimed squarely at today's teenage audience. Jessica Biel is a resourceful heroine and R. Lee Ermey brings a touch of menace to the role of a deranged sheriff; but Marcus Nispel's film, co-produced by Michael Bay, isn't anywhere near as good as the original.