Texas Tuesday: Looking back at The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake


Fifteen years after The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake came slashing in theaters, the film’s still remarkable. Join us in looking back at the 2003 redo.

In the aughts (that’s what the 2000s are called…I know right), remakes are running rampant. While wholly original material’s still being produced, redos, and sometimes reimaginings, drench the market place. And while most are trash offerings — studio cash grabs is more precise, one movie stands along the best. That movie is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.

So let’s sharpen those blades, get ready for some prime meat, and head to the Texas as we look back at the 2003 remake.

The Saw Is Remade

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) — Courtesy of Platinum Dunes

The first remake in the Platinum Dunes era, The Chainsaw redo simply does everything right. With direction by Marcus Nispel, Leatherface’s return is hip without sacrificing an ounce of fright. Featuring realistically empathetic characters, the remake is thrilling in every aspect we seek when seeking quality horror.

With gritty realism, the film is a prime example of taking source material and using it to create something new. In other terms, this is not reheated leftovers. In fact, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake is its own tasty, fully meaty, cinematic dish.

The Proof’s In The Protagonist

While Sally Hardesty (Maiylin Burns) is amazing in her own right, she doesn’t reach the depths of Erin (Jessica Biel). Before passionate fanboys (aren’t we all) start hitting me with hate mail, I love Sally, her boyfriend Jerry and the motor mouthed Franklin. But if we’re measuring emotional impact, pound for pound, there’s no question it’s Erin.

Down to her core, you feel her plight much more. You easily empathize with her more realistic romantic relationship, and when her boyfriend’s face is draped onto Leatherface’s, it’s both sad and bone-chillingly effective. It also helps Biel is a better actress ultimately.

Shooting The Thrills and Carnage Kills

More from 1428 Elm

While it doesn’t come close to matching Tobe Hooper’s stunning work in the 1974 classic, Marcus Nispel is bringing the goods in the 2003 version. Not only are the kills stylistically gruesome (legless scene anyone?), but the overall film is shot with precision and poise — one shot and scene in particular.

If you’re a fan of the film, you’ll remember the twist on the hitchhiker character. Changing from male to  female, she’s distraught while searching for safety. The scene eventually shifts on a dime after she takes her own life — leading Nispel to breath life into his filmmaking. The camera pulls back, capturing the characters in horror, and goes through her head until it lifelessly falls back. It’s a stunning piece of movie making. And in the end, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake is a solid piece of entertainment.

This has been another edition of Texas Tuesday. We’ll see you next week in the heart of Texas.

Next: Halloween: A look at every official movie poster