After two films in the rebooted Hewitt Family continuity, Platinum Dunes sold the rights off because they clearly had no idea what they were doing. Then Lionsgate picked it up and decided they had a bold, new way to take the franchise. So this movie takes place immediately following the original movie, ignoring the other 3 films in the original timeline, making this the rare sequel/reboot combo pack. Also the bold new direction was to try to make Leatherface the anti-hero of the movie which, I will spoil for you now, is kind of a dumb fucking idea.
The movie starts with a quick recap of the original film during the opening credits and then immediately starts right where that film left off with the sheriff showing up at the Sawyers’ place and demanding they give up Jed. Who’s Jed? Why it’s none other than Leatherface/Bubba/Junior/Leather/Tommy. Goddamn, this series loves renaming this guy. Though they initially plan to give him up, a bunch of local redneck assholes show up and decide to just murder all the Sawyers. The movie really wants to paint them as the villains of this but it occurs 5 minutes after recapping all murders and cannibalism from the Sawyers so, you know, fuck em. Anyway, everyone dies except a baby that gets taken by a couple from the lynch mob like the most fucked up version of Clark Kent. This baby grows up and when her grandmother dies she inherits her estate. It comes fully furnished with a pool table and a Leatherface in the basement.
This movie is a fucking mess but then it was apparently written by the same guy that did Jason Goes to Hell and that explains a lot. First off, the timeline of this is very wonky. The movie is supposed to take place in 2011 but never changes the date of the first movie. This means that Heather (Alexandra Daddario), the baby from the opening, should be 37 years old but is instead in her mid twenties. Burt, the guy that led the lynch mob, also has a kid about her same age and it just seems like either everyone was real bad at math here or just didn’t give a shit. It should be noted that Burt will be our main villain here because, as previously mentioned, the movie wants to make Leatherface a sympathetic anti-hero. It does not do a great job.
The first kills that Jed gets are a thief and then all of Heather’s friends, if you don’t count the recap murders. However, when Heather finds out that she’s a Sawyer and her sadistic cannibal family got murdered, she just kind of forgets and forgives the attempted murder of her and that he chopped up all her friends. Like, I understand her being fine with him killing Burt since he was planning on murdering her as well but the movie ends with Heather being like “Welp, guess you’re family and I’ll take care of you from now on”. Also, the sheriff is the same both back in ’74 and 2011 and is the worst sheriff ever. He just sits there and watches the Sawyers get murdered with little more than “Hey, stop. Cut it out. I mean it.” and never even tries to bring any of them to justice. Then, in 2011, he straight up lets Leatherface murder Burt and then walks away like “I didn’t see anything.” What the fuck, my dude? You are the most ineffectual policeman in a movie I have ever seen. You want Burt dead? Great but don’t let a murderman with a human skin mask walk free afterwards.
I didn’t even mention but, as the title would suggest, this was a 3D film which also means we get a bunch of shit thrown or poked at the camera. While the actual murders in the film look awesome, for the most part; everything else about this movie is layered in shitty ideas.
Score: 1.5 out of 5