A desperate single mother moves with her three children into the notorious, supposedly haunted, real-life Amityville house to try and use its dark powers to cure her comatose son. Things go horribly wrong.
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
A video artist looking for work drives to a remote house in the forest to meet a man claiming to be a serial killer. But after agreeing to spend the day with him, she soon realizes that she made a deadly mistake.
A violent teen and three others kidnap a young nurse while escaping from a Texas mental institution. Pursued by a vengeful sheriff, the disturbed young man embarks on a murderous rampage that shapes him into a legendary killer known as Leather face.
When the directors of 2007's gore-spectacle 'Inside' (Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury) took over the reins of a supposed prequel to 1974's Tobe Hooper classic 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', expectations had indeed sky-rocketed. But what we get isn't even worthy of being called a tribute to the TCM franchise, let alone be regarded as its worthy canon prequel.
The screenplay offers very little in terms of the surprises it throws at the viewers (and TCM fans), thereby ending up strictly ho-hum. We see a bunch of eccentrics creating a riot at a mental health facility and escaping, with tidbits of the Sawyer family thrown in to engage the viewer. In fact, the makers are trying to sell this movie around the mystery of which character amongst the the leads ultimately evolves into 'Leatherface'. Well, much to our dismay, even this stretch appears annoyingly contrived (and to be honest, the poster kinda spoils it already!).
What we're subjected to for most part, is literally a lunatic couple shotgun-killing their way to notoriety on their supposed escape (even the big chainsaw-kill comes in too late) with a helpless nurse named Lizzy (Vanessa Grasse) who has unnecessarily been dragged along with them while also being accompanied by a duo of brothers (the somewhat compassionate Jackson and the bulky Bud). Lizzy is the character we're supposed to root for, but sadly this does not work. We know as little about her as we know about the rest of the zany troupe.
The directors who're known to stage horrifically-exciting set- pieces, resort to cheap tricks here (like a partial necro scene) in order to augment the shock-value. The shot of a woman's derriere walking into a barn surrounded by badlands (during one of the opening segments, clearly reminding us of previous TCM films including the Michael Bay funded remake) had just about raised my hopes a teeny weeny bit before everything came crashing down.
With no real thunderbolts in store for fans or non-fans, this prequel falls head first into a pit of quick-sand, the real difference-maker in the story being the weapons (shotguns, knives) that the characters possess and not their personalities. You're bound to forget this movie as soon as the credits roll.
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