Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Van Redin
Kristin Luna
January 19, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is almost laughably frightening in its inability to ignite fear in even the most apprehensive viewer. It’s the ’60s, and when the local slaughterhouse is shut down, a cannibalistic family seeks a means to survive: First they kill the town’s sole sheriff, then they prey on anyone passing through town. At least we get to witness how Thomas Hewitt — a.k.a. Leatherface — gets his monstrous start. (After being left for dead in a dumpster as a baby, he’s raised by a family of maniacs.) ”He ain’t retarded,” his adopted uncle says of Thomas. ”He’s just misunderstood.” The EXTRAS, which do little to fill the gaping holes left by the original TCM, are nearly as snooze-inducing as the actual movie. The deleted/extended scenes are 100-percent horror flick clichés, and the commentary by the director and producers praises the cast — including former Playmate Diora Baird and a boring Jordana Brewster — for what I found to be a general lack of theatrical aptitude. D+

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