Viewed – 02 April 2007 DVD
When I first heard they were doing a remake of one of the most notorious horror movies ever made, I was initially skeptical. Then I saw the remake and was rather impressed…it was everything the original wasn’t – gore filled, stylish and well acted. It even retained the original’s disturbing feel…so I had to tip my hat to it.
Now we have a prequel, telling the tale of the Hewitt family’s origins and especially how the infamous Leatherface came to be. Though this is just briefly touched upon showing his birth, and before you can blink, he’s fully grown and mowing down teenagers again. Yes this feels very familiar, and doesn’t really shed any more light upon the cannibilistic family or what made them ‘tick’. Yet what we get is 90 or so minutes of well paced, well made horror that’s thoroughly nasty, unpleasant and graphic to the extreme. The cast is mostly unknown except for Lee R Ermy (the psycho drill instructor from Full Metal Jacket) who delivers a powerhouse performance, and Fast & Furious’ Jordana Brewster, who is suitably gutsy and watchable. So if you like your horror to leave a nasty taste and make you come away drained, then this is gonna work a treat.
This is the UNCUT version (the film is released on DVD in both Uncut and theatrical versions, although it puzzles me why anyone would want to see something thats had the censor’s scissors to it). Both versions are selectable on the menu of the first DVD, which also houses a commentary. I was also impressed to see a choice of 5.1 EX Dolby Digital and DTS ES soundtracks. I only managed to experience the Dolby though, which still added tons to the overall viewing experience. DVD 2 houses behind the scenes footage, galleries and a trailer. Not too shabby really.
Verdict: 4 /5