Top 5 scene-stealing supporting performances in horror films

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2. R. Lee Ermey — The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Remaking a sacred horror classic, like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre seemed like a foolhardy move. Platinum Dunes (a veritable horror remake factory) had the temerity to “reimagine” this hallowed classic. This was one of the rare instances where Platinum Dunes came through as they had an ace up their sleeve in the form of the late, great R. Lee Ermey.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) is a slick, paint-by-numbers slasher movie with an attractive young cast and few surprises. This film’s incarnation of Leatherface is very passable and workmanlike. When you take everything into account, Chainsaw ’03 seems like a bit of a bland film. That is, until you factor in R. Lee Ermey’s creepy, funny, and downright scary performance as Sheriff Hoyt, the true big bad of the film. In fact, I would consider Ermey’s Sheriff Hoyt to be one of the greatest additions to a well-established horror franchise, right up their with Ash vs. Evil Dead’s Kelly Maxwell (so brilliantly played by the wonderful Dana DeLorenzo).

Sure, Ermey chews the scenery in the way only he could, but he never goes too over the top, and he never allows the performance to stray too far into Gunnery Sergeant Hartman territory (as he did in the disappointing 2006 prequel). This is Ermey’s best work outside of Full Metal Jacket, and it ultimately takes what could have been a middle of the road slasher remake and transforms it into one of more solid horror remakes of the 21st century.