Photo: Lionsgate screencap
Come January we’ll have another chainsaw-wielding masked man running around causing mayhem in Texas.When we first saw a trailer for another “Texas Chainshaw Massacre” revival our initial thought was just what we need, another revival of the 1974 classic filled with typical elements of a tired slasher: half-dressed girls, an old haunted house in the middle of nowhere and a murdering psychopath on a rampage.
Then we realised it’s not a reboot at all.
Though there have been two films in the past decade, next year’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D” will be a sequel to the original.
While a six-year hiatus from the big screen could bring a fresh take to the franchise, a few hints predict this may be the first of 2013’s Hollywood busts.
It’s a sequel
You wouldn’t know it from watching the trailer or reading a synopsis of the film; however, Lionsgate’s 3D treatment is a sequel–and not to the 2003 remake featuring Jessica Biel or the Chainsaw sequel of 1986 (also by the original director Tobe Hooper), but rather the original 1974 classic.
We’re sure a sequel 39 years later featuring a hip-hop artist appeals to the generation who went out and saw the original (who are now averaging between nearly 60 years of age).
Also, can we have a sequel when we’ve already had one sequel (1986), a reboot (2003), and a prequel to the original (2006)?
“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” 3D engineer Markus Lanxinger told site 3D Focus back in October he thinks so.
“We felt quite a bit of responsibility on set. The producer and the director were very concerned about it. For that reason they had some of the original cast enrolled in the movie. Everybody on the crew was required to watch the original [Texas Chainsaw Massacre]. I think that inspired us to do something that lives up to it. I could tell that the producer and director wanted to make something that appealed to the fans of the franchise.“
Photo: YouTube screencap
The Cast“Chainsaw” is taking a huge gamble on Hip Hop and R&B artist Trey Songz to attract a younger crowd to theatres.
While it won’t be Songz first film–he played a small role in 2010’s box-office bomb “Preacher’s Kid“–it will be his first lead acting role.
Though Songz is popular (here’s his most listened to song, “Bottoms Up,” on YouTube) he doesn’t have the general mass appeal of other singers who have tried their luck at acting.
Sure, there have been successful films with singers in film; however, they were all huge stars. (Eminem in “8 Mile,” Jennifer Lopez–enough said–and Beyoncé in “Dreamgirls.” Then there was Britney Spears’ “Crossroads” and Mariah Carey in “Glitter.”)
If you’re going to bring a film back to the big screen to be taken seriously, you don’t make the lead actor a Hip Hop and R&B artist.
Among other actors in the film include Shaun Sipos (“The Grudge 2,” “Final Destination 2”), Bill Moseley (who played Chop Top in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”), Alexandra Daddario (“Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”), and Tania Raymonde (“Lost”).
Oh, and Scott Eastwood is in the film–yes, Clint Eastwood’s son.
A Little-Known Director
Luessenhop’s collaboration with Songz is of little surprise since his films always include a hip hop star.
“Takers” attempted to jump start singer Chris Brown’s acting career (Brown later appeared in this year’s hit, “Think Like a Man”) while “Lockdown” featured Master P.
Though “Takers” brought in a modest $69 million worldwide, “Lockdown” earned a box-office total of $449,000.
The “Dredded” 3D Title Killer3D has long worn its welcome. It was a cool, nostalgic return to childhood when it first resurfaced in theatres.
Like anything else, in small installments–and done right–3D is a welcome change. (Who didn’t see “Avatar” wearing glasses?)
However, when its exploited in everything from television sets to quickly churned out classic films that had no business being 3D but for a monetary boost its interest wanes.
No one wants to shell out an exorbitant $14-$18* for what may end up being a mediocre film.
What’s worse is that “Chainsaw” decided to include 3D in the title of this film when it isn’t exclusively playing in the format.
Viewers will be able to see it in the less pricier 2D, but because of the confusing title treatment, that isn’t always clear, causing audiences to see something else instead. Such was the case with “Dredd 3D,” a well-received Lionsgate film that bombed at theatres.
Just look at a list of previous horror films released in similar format this year:
Opening Weekend Worldwide Box Office
“Silent Hill: Revelation 3D“: $8 million $33.2 million
“Dredd” (had 3D in all its ad marketing): $6.3 million $28.5 million
“Piranha 3DD” (released in 86 theatres) $182,237 $8.5 million
“Nitro Circus the Movie 3D” $1.1 million $3.4 million
The real exceptions were “Titanic 3D,” which was the previous highest-grossing film of all time, and horror film “Saw 3D” in 2010 which earned $136.1 million worldwide. However, the Lionsgate thriller was a well-established popular franchise that needed a new gimmick to make it feel fresh.
What’s the bonus to seeing in 3D?
Lanxinger said it’s taking archived footage from the original and showing it in the format.
“There were very few shots that we ended up converting on that film and the ones we did tended to be the archive footage and stills from the original movie.”
Bottom line: With the addition of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D” there will be six “Texas Chainsaw” films.
The 2003 reboot earned $107 million worldwide; however, that was with big producer Michael Bay and actress Jessica Biel.
2006’s prequel, also produced by Bay but featuring no big name star grossed half of that worldwide. With no big name actor, producer, or director at the helm and an estimated $8 million budget, “3D” has its work cut out for it.
Watch the first trailer for the film below:
*(NJ / NY 3D prices)
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.