The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) Anticipation/Reviews/Discussion

Discussion in 'General' started by rhett, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. marcx

    marcx New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NYC
    Well, Onebyone, I originally thought it would be terrible because it was a remake. But I was pleasantly surprised as the film entertained me on its own merits. I had the same bias, but the film won me over...
     
  2. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    I am surely not knocking you. I agree, I thought the movie was good on its own. I was really surprised. But then this nagging voice kicks in the back of my head that it is a remake and not nearly as good as the first TCM and I get all huffy and yeah, I am all confused. I don't know what to think.

    But you were totally right when you said, if it wasn't a remake, more folks would be on board. I would be this movie's biggest advocate if it wasn't a staight up remake of one of my favorite movies ever. Still, with all my bitching, I will most likely get the dvd and continue this love-hate relationship, as good modern slashers don't roll up on my doorstep too often.
     
  3. marcx

    marcx New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NYC
    I can appreciate that. Id really like to see the director tackle an original horror film...
     
  4. dmeister

    dmeister New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    959
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I don't understand why some of you think it failed miserably as a remake if you still liked it a lot? Even if you thought the remake was inferior to the first film, if you still thought it was a good movie and it respected the key elements of the original (and it did), did it really "fail?"

    I agree that a lot of people seem to be judging it based upon the decision to remake the original, not on the quality of the remake. Was it as good as the first one? Probably not. But it was a pretty good film, especially compared to a lot of the shit Hollywood craps out nowadays.

    dmeister
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2003
  5. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,064
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON, Canada

    I agree with everything you said except for one thing.

    "it respected the key elements of the original (and it did), did it really "fail?"

    I think that's what most people have a problem with it didn't respect the key elements of the Original. It just took the superficial ones.

    1. This film was a slasher i don't consider the original to be a slasher.

    2. The documentary type film of the original, I felt none of that with this one. On the other hand with the original it almost looked like someone was video tapes these events as they were occurring,

    3. The Social commentary of the Original. the new version has little to no underlying substance.

    4. The Realistic acting of the original was no where to be found in the remake.

    5. Most of all the Coster phobic, Dirty, Sweaty, relentlessness of the Original was lost. This film felt to dam glossy and polished.

    So yes as a mindless slasher it was great but it really missed everything that made the original a classic in my opinion.
     
  6. dmeister

    dmeister New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    959
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Hi Ash, while I see where you are coming from, I guess I just have a couple of things to point out in defense of the remake:

    A group of teenagers was beaten, mauled, and/or killed by a family of rednecks armed with hammers, knives, and chainsaws. So I, personally, don't see much of a difference between the two in terms of the "slasher" angle. Though the first one was obviously written before slasher flicks became their own subgenre.

    But they obviously tried to do that, to the point of even bringing John Laroquette back in for the intro, even if it was less successful than the first (though I didn't get the same "video taped" feeling from the first that you did). The shaky camera work and Blair-witch style ending were also meant to convey that documentary style in the remake.

    Well, I won't argue as to how much social commentary (if any) Hooper meant with the original, but I will say that today's social climate is very different from the 70s, anyway. It's no longer about the slow-thinking country bumpkins of the establishment oppressing the free-thinking hippies. So, trying to deliver meaningful social commentary that is also relevant to today's viewers using the same basic plotline from the original probably wouldn't have been very effective.

    Frankly, I think the acting of the original cast is probably a little overrated. Marily Burns delivered an outstanding performance, but mainly because Hooper damn near drove her insane to get it. I, personally, felt that the family in the new film felt more real and sinister.

    While it's obvious that a bigger budget was involved, I felt that the remake was very nearly as relentless as the first, and more relentless in some ways. Keep in mind that some of the relentlessness is lost for us simply because we have seen it all before in the original.

    That's not to say that the remake didn't have some issues. There were several:

    1. I thought the family was too big. I think films like this feel more personal and more real when the cast is smaller. Besides, the chances of every person in your family being psychotic aren't that great.

    2. It was less realistic. For instance, no one is going to stand there and let you hack his arm off with a cleaver.

    3. There were too many anachronisms. Were "shit happens" and "hippie chics rule" bumper sticks really around in '73? Did people really say, "Bring it!" back then?

    4. I wasn't thrilled with the musical score.

    5. I thought the documentary angle was poorly done in the remake. I could have done without the Blair Witch ending.

    6. I haven't decided whether the movie has the same impact without the cannibalism angle.

    There were a couple of others, but these are all just nitpicks. It was still a good movie.

    dmeister
     
  7. legnadibrom

    legnadibrom Guest

    poop

    saw it today,
    i liked it, but nothing great,
    the pre and post doc footage was awful, so obviously digitally manipulated,
    jessica biel was good, though
     
  8. satanservant

    satanservant Guest

    Saw it at the drive-in. No hardtops for me. It was o.k. Nothing compared to the original but who expected that. They should have just made a worthy sequel instead of a remake, but it's over now so good riddance.
     
  9. Rainbowthief

    Rainbowthief Guest

    rhett, mainstream critics in general are very biased against horror films in general because they usually dismiss the violence and gore as "gratuitous" and any violence against female characters as "misogynistic". As mainstream critics go, however, Ebert has championed the horror genre more than any other I can think of. If you can find me a critic from a major publication (Time, Rolling Stone, N.Y. Times, L.A. Times, Washington Post, etc) who gives horror as fair a shake as Ebert, please post some samples. I'm not saying his track record is perfect and he definitely praises too much Hollywood junk (like XXX), but if you've read his reviews and columns consistently over the years, you'll see that he critiques films within the context of what he believes they're trying to accomplish (hence a mindless actioner like XXX is reviewed for what it tries to do: provide an hour and a half of escapist action through fights, chases, etc). Sure, it's an extremely subjective system, but Ebert is the first to point out that his reviews are just his opinion.

    Among the films you list above, I happen to find The Thing, The Fog, Hellraiser and They Live quite mediocre, and as a fan of the genre for some twenty years (and someone who's seen Suspiria, Four Flies on Grey Velvey, In a Glass Cage and Dead/Alive in a theater), I think I'm more knowledgable of the genre than your average mainstream critic.

    You're complaining that he doesn't give positive reviews to horror films, then you complain that when he does, he's not praising the right things. Among the movies he's given positive reviews are Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, The Hills Have Eyes, Last House on the Left, The Serpent and the Rainbow, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Re-Animator and Santa Sangre.

    I'm by no means arguing that Ebert fully appreciates the genre (he doesn't seem to dig Peter Jackson much and trashed Lost Highway and Blue Velvet), but he at least enjoys it a lot more than most of his collegues. Really, for a fifty-something year old assbag who writes for a major metropolitan newspaper and has a syndicated television show, that's not bad. :D

    The best place for any horror fan to get good reviews, though, is message boards like this one, where the reviews are written by people who know their shit and aren't disgusted by gore and violence.

    Oh, yeah, haven't seen TCM 2003 yet and don't plan to until it comes out on video.
     
  10. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,064
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    I agree with you Rainbowthief, I have in the past felt that Ebert has been a pretty fair critic for Horror films especially compared to other critics. hey he gave Blair Witch 4 stars. Gotta love that.

    Last night though he really said something that pissed me off. I was watching Ebert and Reoper's review on the TCM remake. Reoper gave it a thumbs up and the last thing he said in his praise of the film was that it looked good and had some nice camera shots. (i don't have the exact quote but that was pretty close to what he said)

    Ebert said in response nobody watches a film like that because it looks good and has nice camera shots.

    Now am i the only one who is a little offended by that remark. To say that horror fans can't appreciate good cinematography is extremely ignorant.

    Why the hell does he think we like Argento so much or want all are dvd's in widescreen with the best video possible. It's because we do appreciated cinematography in horror Films. We don't just mindlessly go to horror films for the gore factor alone. As he may be suggesting, But we do appreciate everything that any film lover would appreciate in film.

    That statement just made me think that maybe he doesn't really get Horror films and that audiences really shouldn't take much credence into what he thinks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2003
  11. Grim

    Grim Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2002
    Messages:
    7,668
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Finally saw this. It was alright. In my opinion, it could've been a lot worst. It did have great atmosphere and a nice score, not to mention R. Lee Ermey. As for the acting, I found most of it decent.

    One thing I thought was great was knocking off the boyfriend first, I originally thought it would've been the Andy character, since he bears such a resemblence to Kirk from the original. Leatherface finding the wedding ring was a nice touch as well. The scene where Andy's fingernails snap off actually made me wince, that doesn't happen much. Erin is probably who most cared about in the movie, but I actually cared more the guy Morgan, he had the right idea from the start, and even realized Ermey was fucked up, not to mention his tragic death where his balls are turned into apple sauce. That brings me to the gore, nice stuff there. I laugh now, thinking back when there was the phrase "less gory and more thrilling" attached to the remake. Thats all, I'm done my spiel.
     
  12. napalm68

    napalm68 Guest

    It was just released in Australia so finally got to see it.

    I was most impressed. R Lee Ermey was a classic as always. I love his work. The sound engineering was fantastic. Cinematography excellent (the unique camera involving the head was superb). So fuck Ebert for his comments - I agree ash28m - one thing DVD has allowed me to do is appreciate a lot of the cinematography and sound engineering used by horror makers, as opposed to fuzzy vhs shit.

    It was a pretty nerve wracking film. And the bit where Leatherface changed masks during the film was absolutely inspired and used to wicked/sick effect. It shocked/ dismayed/ freaked me too. I could really feel for Erin when that happened.

    And fuck me that Jessica Biel is built.
     
  13. Lyle Horowitz

    Lyle Horowitz Miscreant

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    Ebert does not hate Day of the Dead, btw. In the new special edition DVD from Anchor Bay he said that he gave Day another chance and ended up liking it and likes the film a lot. Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead, but I thought i'd clear that up. And yes, i'm an "Ebert fan", if there is such thing.
     
  14. Agent Z

    Agent Z "Get to the river...

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    5,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Oh boy, let's not stir that mess up again! :D

    And I watched the remake again last week to give it a second chance, after the hype has died down.....and it still doesn't work for me. I just can't connect with the characters in the remake, they are more props to the storyline, rather than fleshed-out participants. There's no motivation behind the proceedings. No tension. I always felt a few steps ahead of the storyline and I never could care for (or fear, for that matter) any of the characters. There is some nice cinematography, but there's also some questionable framing decisions on some of the "homage" shots (like the "walk from the swing to the house" and the "meat locker door slam")...which is strange considering the link in camera talent from the original to the remake.....

    At first glance, this shiny new saw looks ready from the outside. However, further inspection shows that its teeth are too dull, and there's not enough fuel in the tank to get the job done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2003
  15. Revoltor

    Revoltor Guest

    Just wanted to post this:

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure if it's better than Cletus the slack-jawed yokel cutting his hand but it sure as hell got a "HOLY SHIT!" out of me.
     
  16. Agent Z

    Agent Z "Get to the river...

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    5,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    To be honest, I found the original hitchhiker scene to be more disturbing.
     
  17. Dr_Acula

    Dr_Acula Guest

    Going to wait for video....I really felt the movie didn't need to be remade, and couldn't bring myself to see it in the theater. The fact that some liked it is the only reason I'm going to bother renting it. Actually, seeing Ebert so bothered by it was the first thing that made me think it might be worth seeing.

    I think Ebert probably gives genre films [horror, science fiction, and fantasy] a fair shake for the most part, at least more than most mainstream critics. None of them are ever going to really embrace any of these films, but it can sometimes be interesting to see their reaction. I remember being a kid and watching Siskel and Ebert on PBS during the 70s and early 80s and it seemed like Siskel was the one who really hated a lot of the horror films.

    Besides, anyone who wrote scripts for Russ Meyer can't be all bad.

    Now, to see if I can resist the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake...
     
  18. venomjuice9

    venomjuice9 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    California
  19. napalm68

    napalm68 Guest

    I love that remake. Now I'm actually waiting for the Dawn of the Dead remake too.

    One thing in TCM remake - that above depicted headshot set the bar a bit too high for the rest of the film. It was awesome and damn unique.
     
  20. I still don't wanna see it - just in case I like it.
    There's far too much re-making going on, just because people see it as the popular way into the trade, and - because they couldn't write an original idea that would matter to anybody. Much simpler to use something with it's own inbuilt notoriety.
    I say again, Fuck big studios.
     

Share This Page