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Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) Review

Time: 92 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1]
Cast:
Alexandra Daddario as Heather Miller
Dan Yeager as Leatherface
Trey Songz as Ryan
Tania Raymonde as Nikki
Scott Eastwood as Deputy Carl Hartman
Shaun Sipos as Darryl
Keram Malicki-Sánchez as Kenny
Thom Barry as Sheriff Hooper
Paul Rae as Mayor Burt Hartman
Richard Riehle as Farnsworth
Bill Moseley as Drayton Sawyer
Marilyn Burns as Verna Carson
John Dugan as Grandfather Sawyer
Gunnar Hansen as Boss Sawyer
Director: John Luessenhop

Decades ago, residents of Newt, Texas, long suspected that the Sawyer family was responsible for the disappearances of many people. When their suspicions finally were confirmed, vigilantes torched the Sawyer compound and killed every member of the family — or so they thought. Much later, a young woman named Heather (Alexandra Daddario) learns that she has inherited Texas property from an unknown relative, and she is unaware of horrors that await in the mansion’s dank cellar.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a really effective horror movie, it’s one of the only horror movies that got close to actually making me feel unsettled, and was the scariest slasher movie that I’ve seen. As for the sequels and reboots, I haven’t seen them but I heard that they are pretty bad. Still, years ago I still decided to see Texas Chainsaw 3D and was less than impressed to say the least.

Even though it initially seems like a reboot or remake, Texas Chainsaw 3D is actually a sequel to the original. It even opens right after the events of the first movie. If there’s something I can give credit to this movie for at least trying, it’s that it attempts to be a continuation of the original story instead of just rebooting… though that would still prove to be a problem for the movie. One of the biggest mysteries and confusions surrounding Texas Chainsaw 3D is the time period. It certainly feels like a modern movie, but certain things revealed just don’t add up. The first movie was made in 1973 and that’s where the movie was set, Texas Chainsaw 3D is like 20 years later so really it should be in the 90s. But it doesn’t seem that way, it’s in the 90s yet characters have smart phones. I almost feel like the people making this movie didn’t know entirely themselves, there’s a bit when the main character reads a newspaper and it shows the date but deliberately hides the year. Its not just the time period that’s wrong with the movie unfortunately, for the most part Texas Chainsaw 3D is a rather generic slasher movie, with boring characters who make stupid decisions, the type that a lot of bad horror movies have. Early in the movie, the main character is given a letter and is told that its absolutely important for her to open it before going into this faraway house that she apparently inherited from some mysterious relative. Yet she doesn’t until much later, revealing so much incredibly major things that would’ve made the events play out much differently. They basically made her conveniently not think about checking out that letter even when some weird stuff starts happening. Weird decisions at the end aside, for the most part the movie is very predictable. It’s also got some moments which come across as silly, like at a point there are two people chainsaw fighting, and I’m pretty sure the filmmakers wanted us to take this movie seriously. The strangest parts however come towards the last act as the plot takes a weird turn, and not necessarily for the better (potential spoilers for the rest of the paragraph). The film actually tries to make Leatherface likable and sort of an anti-hero of sorts, and it’s just bizarre, it’s so sudden and jarring. I guess credit for them for trying but they weren’t anywhere close to succeeding. By the time it got to the point where it was clear what direction the story was going in, I just gave up on the movie at that point, I couldn’t take it seriously.

I don’t know if most of the cast have talent, but the characters are so underdeveloped that they really didn’t have a chance. There’s only two actors in here that I recognise. Alexandra Daddario I guess was the best of the cast as the lead character. She’s passable enough and I’m not really sure if I’d go so far as to call her performance bad, but she really didn’t have anything to work with in this movie, more so to the rest of the cast.

The direction of the movie is competent at best. For the horror, the movie relies heavily on jumpscares, with none of them effective at all. I always found the scariest part of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre to be not the chainsaw wielding murderer, but just the absolute insane people in the family. Texas Chainsaw 3D mainly relies on Leatherface however, and in this movie he really isn’t intimidating, just another silent killer who happens to have a chainsaw. Again, there isn’t a consistent time period, if it’s really the 90s, the modern music has no place here. Yes, there’s a lot of gore here but it looks incredibly fake. There’s one bit where someone is being sliced at the waist with a chainsaw, but only the top half is moving, the bottom half of the body isn’t moving at all. Now this movie is called Texas Chainsaw 3D, and indeed you can tell that this movie was filmed to be 3D at points with the way that its filmed, with Leatherface thrusting his giant chainsaw in front of the camera just for audiences to see in its 3D glory (even though pretty much no one is watching this in 3D). There was even a moment later on where Leatherface throws his chainsaw at the camera, which was straight out of a bad 3D movie from the 90s where they tries to have random things popping out at the camera (and no, I’m pretty sure they aren’t attempting to tribute those movies at all).

Texas Chainsaw 3D is really not good at all. The acting isn’t good, the direction is lacklustre, it’s not scary in the slightest, it’s a rather standard and average slasher movie that you’ve seen done so much better, and although it does try to connect to the original movie, its ties just end up making the story stumble even more. Even if you liked the original movie, I don’t think you’ll get anything out of Texas Chainsaw 3D.

Rampage (2009) Review

Time: 85 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Violence and offensive language
Cast
Brendan Fletcher as Bill Williamson
Michael Paré as Sheriff Melvoy
Shaun Sipos as Evan Drince
Lynda Boyd as Bill’s Mom
Robert Clarke as Evan’s Father
Director: Uwe Boll

A man, Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) with a thirst for revenge builds a full body armour from Kevlar and goes on a killing spree.

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Uwe Boll was often infamously known as one of the worst filmmakers ever to work and get attention, pretty much like Ed Wood or Tommy Wiseau, if none of their films were actually entertainingly bad at all. Despite this, many have said that his Rampage movies were actually really good. I did have some doubts going in but coming out I’ve found that Rampage is a surprisingly decent movie. It does have a few flaws here and there and it really isn’t that great of a movie but it is overall a decent movie that might actually be worth checking out, for those curious enough to give it a shot.

Rampage is a little slow with its buildup, in these moments it shows what drives the protagonist Bill (Brendan Fletcher) to essentially go on a killing rampage. It does get a little too preachy, political and in your face about what Uwe Boll is trying to say, there is little subtlety but it can be overlooked. In these moments, there are also parts taken from later on in the movie that were put in there that really didn’t serve much purpose (maybe just to remind us that he’s going to eventually go on a shooting rampage). Although I felt that they did that a little too much, it seemed to work fine enough. It’s once he dons the Kevlar armour that the movie really picks up. The film is not that complex and a lot of it is following Bill on his rampage but for what Rampage is going for, it succeeds pretty well at it.

If you’ve watched plenty of other Uwe Boll movies, you’ll immediately detect the sudden improvement in acting, it’s like they’re suddenly acting like human beings. I heard that it’s because the actors were allowed to improvise but whatever the case, the acting is okay. Brendan Fletcher was really good and he does well in showing his eventual descent into madness. He was somehow also able to convey his emotion even behind a suit of Kevlar armour. He is quite intimidating and a real powerhouse when he’s on screen. He’s really one of the highlights of the whole film. The supporting cast was also pretty good but it’s mostly Brendan Fletcher’s show, it’s really him who’s the standout.

Uwe Boll’s direction wasn’t anything special but in comparison to the direction in most of his other movies, it’s much better. The cinematography is a little shaky, I could understand the reason for this decision but at the same time, it got a little hard to see what was going on at times. A good thing is that the violence in this movie is well handled, unlike some of Uwe Boll’s movies like Bloodrayne, he doesn’t have an excessive amount of blood. Even though there is a lot of blood, it is played as realistically as much as possible. Rampage does really feel like a low budget movie but it’s effective enough.

Rampage is a surprisingly good movie from Uwe Boll and it’s almost worth checking out. Although the cinematography is shaky at times and there really isn’t much to the movie aside from Brendan Fletcher going on a shooting rampage, the film is decent overall and for an Uwe Boll film that is extremely rare. It’s not a must see movie but if you’re curious enough, I’d say check Rampage out whenever you can.