Perhaps it's misleading to praise "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" for its positive family values. But we do note that the Hewitts -- the Texas relations at the center of this horrorfest -- say grace before dinner and show deep love and support for one another. We're almost reluctant to mention their tendency to apprehend, slaughter and eat anyone who passes through their rural hamlet.
But the Hewitts are doing the best with what they have, which, in this economically impoverished corner of Texas, is nothing. The one who prepares their cannibal spread, of course, is Thomas, a.k.a. Leatherface, the marauding butcher of the original 1974 "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," who never met a visitor he couldn't dismember, dice and debone in time for supper.
Sadly, this movie is a far cry from the atmospheric, even thoughtfully crafted original, which made you truly scared for the unkempt, everyman victims. But this latest version, though just as grisly, is literally hackwork, and stars a forgettable, airbrushed cast of slaughterees.
-- Desson Thomson (Oct. 7, 2006)
Contains hardcore violence and gore, profanity and some sexual content.