The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)

A prequel to 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this movie reminds me that when a franchise has run out of ideas, they always go backward. Back to the well or, in this instance, back in time for a prequel.

Back in 1939, a woman gave birth in a slaughterhouse and dies, at which point the manager throws her infant into a dumpster where its rescured by Luda Mae Hewitt, who raises the baby as her son Thomas.

Fast forward to 1969 and Thomas works in the same slaughterhouse for the same manager and when the plant gets shut down by the health department, he refuses to leave. So when the manager pushes him, he gets killed by a chainsaw and his adopted brother Charlie  (R. Lee Ermey) kills the arresting officer that comes to their home — Sheriff Hoyt — and takes on his identity.

Thomas eventually becomes Leatherface — are you surprised? — but not before wiping out an entirely different set of teens years before the original movie, including Jordana Brewster from The Fast and the Furious series.

This comes from the days when Platinum Dunes were the Blumhouse of the 2000s, reinventing horror film series like The Amityville HorrorThe Hitcher, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street to varying degrees of box office success. Director Jonathan Liebesman also was behind their reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

At this point, even a fan of the character like me — I dressed as Leatherface for more Halloweens than I can count on a severed hand — checked out.

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