The very nature of a horror movie prequel is pretty bleak. If you are going back to “the beginning”, you pretty much wreck any hopes for a happy ending.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre the Beginning follows two couples. The young men are brothers, one returning to duty in Vietnam and the other joining him. Except the younger brother really does not want to go. In what seems like a small action, he starts to burn his card, but they find themselves in a car accident. Who should find them? Sheriff Hoyt. Except, now we discover that Hoyt is not the Sheriff at all. Young Thomas Hewlett went on a slaughtering spree the day they closed the only job he could love…working the slaughterhouse.
When the sheriff stops Thomas, he is killed and Hoyt took over the role. When Hoyt finds the burned draft card, he gets irate and starts torturing the brothers. One of the girlfriends got away, but the other suffers all sorts of torment. The “Final Girl” (a term used very loosely here) tries to save her friends, but the situation just gets worse, right to the bitter end. You know she cannot get away…the Hewlett’s have to make sure nobody gets away.
Everything is pretty by the book, and the film lacks any real twists, as it is super busy filling in the blanks from the first film. These were not necessary to fill in, as they were things like “How did that old guy lose his legs?” Or “How come Hoyt has fake teeth?” The answer is that everything happened in this one moment of time in the 60’s.
The cast is pretty decent, and again Ermey is disturbingly entertaining. But other then that, nothing really stands out. It is gory and gritty, taking it’s look from the previous film. But it never quite grabs the viewer in any way. The characters are under developed, and while sometimes a film can be entertaining enough to give that a pass, this is not the case here.
One interesting note is John Laroquette reprises his role as narrator again, though the film closes with his narration instead of opens with it.