Picking right up where the original film ended, Texas Chainsaw opens with a recap of the original Massacre. This is one of the best parts of the film as the remastering on the original film’s footage is really nice. The film starts it’s own story with the town sheriff driving out to the Sawyer clan’s house. He confronts the family, but a lynch mob shows up. A fire is started and the mob celebrates the Sawyer family demise. One of the mob discovers a mother and her baby, he kills the mother and he and his wife raise the baby as their own, naming her Heather.
40 years later, Heather is about 24 years old. Yes, the film starts in 1974 and picks up in 2012. Yes the young woman is clearly in her twenties.
Anyways, Heather gets a special delivery package telling her that her biological mother has died. Her friends pack up a van (what is it the Texas Chainsaw Massacres and vans?) and head down to Texas for her inheritance. She finds out she has inherited a very large house. She also finds that her grandmother was not particularly liked by the local townsfolk…what with her being related to the Sawyer clan and all. The mob ringleader Burt is now the mayor, and he offers to buy the property. Heather politely declines. While partying at the mansion, Heather’s friends start getting picked off by Leatherface (who apparently ages at the same rate as Heather). She manages to reach town, which alerts Burt and the others that Leatherface is not dad as previously assumed. And this is when Heather discovers that the townsfolk are as much a threat to her as Leatherface.
And herein lies the biggest problem film. It makes Leatherface more sympathetic and less of a villain than other characters in the film. He is more sympathetic than Burt and his cronies, to the point that the Sheriff refuses to interfere when Leatherface gets the upper hand. Heather takes him home and takes the role of caretaker for Leatherface.
It is a visually nice film, but the characters are paper thin archetypes. The continuity is pretty shoddy. Where did all the Sawyer family members come from at the beginning? It is not really clear. How is Heather not nearly 40 in the film? Why doesn’t Leatherface know Heather is coming? I mean, aside from it makes more sense when he initially tries to kill her. Texas Chainsaw is a very weak film (though the 3D works pretty well). Sure, it is better than Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III or the abysmal Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. But that is not saying a lot.