20 Years of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Remake

Well, almost 20 years. The remake for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released in 2003, October anyway. This may be an interesting review considering I’ve been a loud voice against this very movie for…20 years.

I am an avid fan of the original 1974 film. It’s iconic, legendary and terrifying. It looks so much like a home video which gives it so much character. The set design and overall production design is fantastic. When Sally and the crew are in the van, you almost feel how hot it is just by looking at how sweaty they are. They stumble on the Sawyer house after being warned not to go to the Hardesty family home and that is when the most macabre things ever filmed happened. We had a bone room, furniture made of human remains and Leatherface expertly portrayed by Gunner Hanson. The family dynamic of three isolated men really makes your spin tingle.

The 2003 film has problems immediately, it’s too polished. The cast is too pretty and everything feels artificial. It took place in the 1970s and honestly didn’t feel like it was the 1970s. We were coming from a decade, the 1990s that really paid homage to the 1970s, we the look of these characters wasn’t too far off from what we saw everyday. Which is another part of my issue, the cast. Jessica Beil was a big attraction for this movie. Too many somewhat known faces took me out of the movie.

But, according to most fans, I am wrong. I’ve never understood the appeal to this movie vs the original or any other sequel. But the question is, “How do I feel now?” After nearly 20 years of viewings, I’d say maybe a good 10 or 15 in total.

I’m still not a fan. This time, I started with its 2006 Prequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and it works better for me. The Beginning, as I’ve said so many times over the past 17 years, is one of the better films in the franchise. It’s different, intense and has no baggage. The Beginning is #3 in my franchise ranking.

But overall, I don’t hate The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). I guess it is growing on me, and with each new movie, a case grows stronger for me to like the 2003 remake. The last three have fallen short as it doesn’t know what to do with the series. “Let’s make a sequel to the original, and now a Prequel to the original…now what? A sequel to the original that skips everything and set almost 50 years later.”

What a mess.

To summarize, yes, as the years go on the 2003 film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre gets better. The elements are there from the original, it is simply a different story. Some things I like and some I don’t. I don’t think it’ll ever crack my Top 4 of the series, but it’s here and I cannot deny or ignore that or the positive effect it has on horror fans and the genre completely. It’s very much loved. I am old and I believe the 1974 film is untouchable. But, we live in a world of choice and once and a while, I’ll choose to watch the 2003 Marcus Nispel directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

What do you think of the 2003 film? Where does it rank on your list? Let us know of Facebook and please check out our ranking episode of Horror Movie Massacre.

We do new episodes of Horror Movie Massacre every Wednesday night and very soon we will visit the entirety of the Halloween franchise.

About Ray Marek III 699 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)