The unnecessary prequel to the unnecessary (2003) remake of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 cult staple does at least deliver the gore. The spin this time (it’s 1969) is the how and why the cannibalistic Hewitt clan came to be, including Leatherface’s evolution from abandoned fœtus in a dumpster to Stihl-wielding psycho. Beyond that, and an occasional churn in your stomach (there’s a gruesome face peel), Beginning lacks an edge. You know, after all, how it will play out (it’s a prequel), and director Jonathan Liebesman treats the whole bloody shebang as if it were a widescreen video game; lost are the devious wit, the creepy camp, and the profound dread that imbued the original. The spawned retreads (I’m sure there’s more to come) are just fixes for slasher junkies awaiting the next Tobe Hooper to tap new blood. With Yalie Jordana Brewster as the quarry and R. Lee Ermey as the tobacco-spitting Hewitt head.
On the Web
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning's Web site: http://www.texaschainsawmovie.com/