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TCM: The Beginning review

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TCM: The Beginning review

Old 09-22-06, 05:39 PM
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TCM: The Beginning review

I pretty much had written this off as yet another pointless prequel/sequel for this horror franchise. The trailer looked like more of the same. Tonally very close to the re-make but had the 'we've seen it all before' feel.
This review has piqued my interest to say the least.
(A few small spoilers, so be warned....)


You know, this is a film that has a lot of strikes against it. It’s the sixth film in series that most tend to regard the first as being the only really good one. It’s a prequel, which is almost universally never a good sign. And it’s directed by Jonathan Liebesman, the director behind Darkness Falls. And yet, despite everything that could have gone wrong here, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning turns out not only to be good, but ridiculously good. There’s just no way this should have worked. But it did.

What’s so striking about this film is that they really cut loose – they found the soul of the series and crafted a very well written story that is heavy on mood, theme and subtext. I know, I know. It sounds impossible, but there it is. This is a genuinely scary film that sets out to create a very believable, carefully honed origin story for the most famous Texas family never to exist, and accomplishes it at every beat. By the time the credits roll you will 100% understand this family. They make sense. Their motivations are plausible, their story clear and their methodology a thing of necessity. Sure, they’re still all sorts of bugfuck crazy psychopathic – but the logic in what they do is sound. There’s nothing random or simply sadistic about it. It’s layers of psychosis laid atop a foundation of survival instinct…and pride.

There are some amazing character dynamics here that you just don’t see coming – most notably that of damaged Korean war vet Ermey pitted against the young damaged Vietnam war vet (played my Matthew Bomer.) The result is this great horrors of war theme that creates a raw, visceral animosity as these two play off of each other. And unlike most films in this day and age that deal with war, this is done so without message or agenda. It’s just two pissed off, fucked up vets that end up facing of against one another, each using their own strength forged in the horrors of their past to get the upper hand.

And the film is brutal. I mean BRUTAL. No less than a dozen times as savage as its predecessor, this film doesn’t hold back one bit. It hurts, time and again, delivering gory painful death after gory painful death. There’s a scene with a sledgehammer that messed me up 7 different ways from Sunday – easily being the best use of a sledgehammer since Misery. Yeah, it’s that kind of disturbing. In fact, this film is so bloody, my first question for the film makers was going to be to ask what they were going to have to cut to get an “R” rating, only to find out that THIS was the “R” Rated cut.

Um. No. This isn’t an “R” Rated film. This is pushing the envelope on that so hard that one can only attribute brilliant maneuvering on the part of the studio and producers to get this through. Gore hounds and fans of disturbing violence are going to go positively apeshit over this. It hurts, a lot, and delivers at least a half dozen wince inducing kills.

This is a lightspeed jump for Liebesman, who frankly, its time to let out of the box. Watching this reminded me of the few really good little moments of Darkness Falls (despite the hours of really bad ones) and has given me an itch to return to it – just to re-examine it. Those moments were glimmers of the director he was to become, and this here and now is the proof. The guys got a lot of talent. He helmed a film that shouldn’t have worked, with a visual style crafted by another filmmaker and absolutely made it his own without straying from the formula. This isn’t the guy from Darkness Falls, this is a brand new confident filmmaker who managed to pull out some really layered performances and sell some truly gruesome moments. Really, what do you say we let him out of the box?

Is this a better film than the Chainsaw Remake? You bet your ass it is. It’s smarter, sharper and has levels of pathos the last film didn’t even come close to. In fact, if I were to compare it to anything, I would end up more closely comparing it to Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects in the sense of overall mood, the rampant nihilism, and just how deviously fucked up it is. The closest thing anyone’s ever come to recapturing the magic of the original Chainsaw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is a film that’s going to surprise a lot of folks out there. Horror fans and anyone that enjoys the seething, dangerous films of the 70’s are going to find a lot to like, if not simply love, here.

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/30155
Old 09-22-06, 06:52 PM
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It also got a glowing review on Aint it Cool News. I'm really looking forward to this one.
Old 09-22-06, 07:29 PM
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Didn't Harry Knowles have a cameo in the remake? I'll take anything AICN has to say with a grain of salt.

I am however looking forward to this even if it is much of the same as the remake. It was pretty good so I'm hoping this is pretty good as well.
Old 09-22-06, 07:32 PM
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Another positive review (With spoilers)

I did my best to stay away from the remake and have only caught bits & pieces of it on cable (With the main focus being on Jessica Biel) but this constant "Unrelenting" praise that The Beginning continues to get is peaking my interest big time.

Last edited by Mondo Kane; 09-22-06 at 07:39 PM.
Old 09-22-06, 09:39 PM
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I actually liked the remake(hated it 1st time just cuz of the changes but liked it more after a couple viewings) so im looking forward to the The Beginning.
Old 09-22-06, 10:06 PM
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Does it show the actual footage at the end?

When I saw the remake in theaters I wanted to punch the fucking screen when I saw that.
Old 09-22-06, 10:20 PM
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I'm another one that totally hated the remake even though I loved 1 and even loved 2 and 3... I was not looking forward to this though when I heard about but after reading the top post and some of the other reviews I'm totally psyched. If it can be compared to the energy in Devils Rejects then sign me up!
Old 09-22-06, 10:28 PM
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All I know is if I see this preview with another movie I go to, I will refuse to watch it ever...
Old 09-22-06, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RyoHazuki
Does it show the actual footage at the end?

When I saw the remake in theaters I wanted to punch the fucking screen when I saw that.
Actual footage?
Old 09-22-06, 10:57 PM
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This is good to hear, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to see a few more reviews before I'm convinced.
Old 09-22-06, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Actual footage?
Yeah I hear a lot of people talk about this 'actual footage.' Sigh...

I liked the remake no less or more than the original, and the reviews for The Beginning are exciting me more and more! I know where my ass will be come opening night.

Last edited by CKMorpheus; 09-22-06 at 11:18 PM.
Old 09-22-06, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Actual footage?
Gonna have to re-iterate the

What is this?
Old 09-22-06, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Actual footage?

Yeah, same camera person who did Blair Witch Project I guess.
Old 09-23-06, 05:17 PM
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This scene was at the end of the original remake film:
The "actual footage" was when the cops went to originally investigate the house where this actually took place, leatherface jumped out and killed them. There was a cameraman there filming so people saw a grainy 3 second clip of leatherface footage.

I can't belive how many dumbass this duped. I spent 20 minutes to no avail trying to convince our student council moderator that it wasn't the actual footage and the "true story" was nothing close to the movie. Even to this day you can ask any random person who saw the remake and half will probably tell you that theres real footage at the end.
Old 09-23-06, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RyoHazuki
This scene was at the end of the original remake film:
The "actual footage" was when the cops went to originally investigate the house where this actually took place, leatherface jumped out and killed them. There was a cameraman there filming so people saw a grainy 3 second clip of leatherface footage.

I can't belive how many dumbass this duped. I spent 20 minutes to no avail trying to convince our student council moderator that it wasn't the actual footage and the "true story" was nothing close to the movie. Even to this day you can ask any random person who saw the remake and half will probably tell you that theres real footage at the end.
Well, wouldn't that indicate that the film makers did a good job with creating that final scene? If it tricked people into thinking that it was real then filmmakers succeeded.
Old 09-23-06, 06:05 PM
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Im there ! and there for the unrated dvd
Old 09-23-06, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RyoHazuki
This scene was at the end of the original remake film:
The "actual footage" was when the cops went to originally investigate the house where this actually took place, leatherface jumped out and killed them. There was a cameraman there filming so people saw a grainy 3 second clip of leatherface footage.

I can't belive how many dumbass this duped. I spent 20 minutes to no avail trying to convince our student council moderator that it wasn't the actual footage and the "true story" was nothing close to the movie. Even to this day you can ask any random person who saw the remake and half will probably tell you that theres real footage at the end.
Anywhere i can read up on the "true story"?
Old 09-23-06, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by chaz k
Anywhere i can read up on the "true story"?

This will get you started.

http://www.houseofhorrors.com/gein.htm
Old 09-23-06, 10:40 PM
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I can't believe with the info-laden society we have today, people actually think this is real. Late 70s I could understand the confusion, but the 21st Century????...we do have the inter-web and all.

Quick horror-history movie lession....
Ed Gein was also the basis for Norman Bates and Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.

Last edited by MartinBlank; 09-23-06 at 10:43 PM.
Old 09-23-06, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank


I can't believe with the info-laden society we have today, people actually think this is real. Late 70s I could understand the confusion, but the 21st Century????...we do have the inter-web and all.
Exactly.
Old 09-24-06, 01:23 AM
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These are the same people who think the songs "S.O.S." and "Pump It" have original samples
Old 09-24-06, 10:36 AM
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I'm pretty wary of this flick...didn't like the Remake a whole lot, but these early reviews are starting to get me interested...although I have to agree, I have seen the trailer so many fucking times, it's really starting to get to me...

MATT
Old 09-24-06, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
Well, wouldn't that indicate that the film makers did a good job with creating that final scene? If it tricked people into thinking that it was real then filmmakers succeeded.

Nope. It just means that a lot of modern moviegoers are gullible and will swallow anything.


That review has me interested, but I was one who shunned the re-make when it hit theaters only to find out it wasn't that bad when I got the DVD. Granted, it wasn't great, but I would definitely put it on my Halloween Horror film festival list!
Old 09-24-06, 03:52 PM
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This movie is going to be 2:30 according to that second review? That seems very long.

I think I might go see this. I haven't seen a horror film theatrically since Freddy vs Jason which I found shallow, dull, and empty. The marketing was very good though.

If this film ends up actually scary, hopefully he'll get his shot at his Friday the 13th film that he wanted to do. Maybe he can make a scary one.

Last edited by AllHallowsEve; 09-24-06 at 03:58 PM.
Old 09-24-06, 06:18 PM
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A friend is supposed to get some sneak preview tix for this. Hope it happens. He did get me into the TCM remake and DotD remake.

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