Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Location: milwaukee, wi

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (Jonathan Liebesman, 2006)

I'll let you all in on a sort of embarassing secret: I prefer the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake to the original. Yep. Driving back from the theater after seeing the remake, my friends and I were totally terrified; Minnesota highways surrounded by nothing but cornfields, in the dusky night. Yikes. So I was pretty excited to see a TCM prequel, also having enjoyed the The Hills Have Eyes recent remake. While TCM: The Beginning has its scary and funny moments, true to the original, it's too typical of the modern horror film for me to have enjoyed it fully.

The plot deals with two young men heading off to Vietnam in 1969 (will any horror film set in the 60s or 70s not deal with Vietnam!?), taking a road camp to base camp with their girlfriends. Along the way, they meet the Hewitts, whose slaughterhouse has recently been condemned by the FDA. The uncle has killed the lone local sheriff ("I always wondered what it felt like to kill a whole sheriff's department," the uncle, played wonderfully evilly by R. Lee Ermey) and so there's no one to help these kids out. Predictably, the Hewitts go after the kids, and there's gore. I realized halfway through the movie, though, that even though the movie seems incredibly violent, the camera is always shaky, doing the MTV-type jolty editing that's so popular in horror films today that makes sure you can't tell what's going on. Sometimes it's cool, other times, it's just disorienting and annoying.

The performances are serviceable (except the already-mentioned hilarious Ermey), and the horror is sometimes palpable. It's too typical of everything about modern, popular horror films, which is a bad thing. It's good if you love horror, not if you don't.


RIYL: House of Wax, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

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