The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ★½

**21st Watch of Hoop-tober 2017**

I'm not sure what I just watched. Subtle is the last word I would use to describe The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Apart from a few solid moments in the first forty minutes of its runtime, this is neither funny nor scary and the back half is a complete mess.

However, there were some aspects I did appreciate so I'll start with those.

The opening car chase with the drunk college kids being attacked by two of the Sawyer brothers was fantastic. It's absurd, gory, and just over the top enough to be funny at the same time. Sadly though, this is about the only scene I found any favor with as a whole. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 does contain a great jump scare around 30 minutes into its runtime that was both effective and fun as a kind of haunted house gag of sorts.

Chop-Top, the Vietnam vet brother with a metal plate in his head, makes for a great addition to the Sawyer family and Bill Moseley's disgusting performance as him is easily the best in the film. When it comes to the technical aspects, Tobe Hooper's shot choices and staging, especially in the underground home of the cannibal family toward the end, are pretty great.

Sadly, I have far more grievances than I could properly write out.

The lead actress, Caroline Williams, looks like she'll have a lot to do when the story starts, but it quickly becomes apparent that all she'll do is scream the rest of the film. Unlike the first film, there is absolutely nothing subtle about its sequel, especially when it comes to subtext. So, as a result, there is no subtext. It's an overload in every way.

When it comes to horror, I suppose the aim was to gross-out the audience until they're scared, but that's never achieved. Tom Savini's effects are pretty great though. Still, such effects are undermined when it is obvious, in multiple scenes, that the chainsaws aren't even turned on! The writing is a joke and not a good one. Dennis Hopper yells the same line over and over again during the back half the film. His character is underdeveloped and a complete joke as is pretty much every single character in this film.

Frankly, I'm still at a loss for words. Let me say though, that I wanted to enjoy this and really tried to get into it, but I just couldn't. Whenever I would get over one aspect I found fault with, another was waiting around the corner. If I give it a few more minutes, I'm sure I'd think of another thing I disliked, but this "review" will have to do for now. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2's problem isn't that it tries to do something different from its predecessor by being a dark comedy as well as a horror film, but that it completely fails to be either.

Jonathan liked this review