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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

A mediocre 'Beginning'

"Texas Chainsaw: The Beginning" naturally garners low expectations with its credentials -- it is the latest in a series of films spawned from a popular horror movie and a comparatively lackluster cinematic offering put foreword to take advantage of interest in the "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" stirred up by the recent, fairly high-quality remake of the original. It is also directed by Jonathan Liebesman, who was responsible for "Darkness Falls" (remember, it was the one with "the tooth fairy?"). \nHowever, in spite of all these indications that "Texas Chainsaw: The Beginning" would not make a stab at greatness, my interest was piqued, as it was no doubt meant to be, by the promise made by this prequel to satisfy morbid curiosity as to the beginnings of Leatherface and his evil family. \nOn a few points, the film is surprisingly strong. The production values are better than I expected. Most importantly, the two young couples who are the protagonists/potential victims of the film are done fairly well. You will find yourself invested in their survival. Disappointingly, this movie only somewhat makes good on its implied promise to illuminate the early story of Leatherface. The film opens with Leatherface's birth, but his childhood is seen only as a montage during the credit sequence. Leatherface's uncle soon emerges as the main antagonist and his masked nephew is only a tool at his disposal for the remainder of the story. \nAn aspect of the film that could be counted as good or bad depending on your taste is the gore. As a fan of horror films, I cannot pretend that I deny the entertainment value of bloody spectacle. However, for my taste, the blood and guts in "Texas Chainsaw: The Beginning" are excessively disgusting and not artfully done, visually interesting or even funny as they might be in what I would consider to be a more satisfying piece of horror. \nThe special features that come on this DVD are not too scarce. There are several deleted scenes and multiple alternate endings, which you will surely enjoy if you are a fan of the film. There is also commentary and a making-of featurette.\nHonestly, I felt nauseous as I viewed the film. If seeing people get cut up is one of the main draws that horror films have for you, this one will be pretty satisfying; otherwise, you might want to skip it.

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