Extending the mythology of the cannibal Sawyer family with reams of
backstory, 3D limb-severing and not a hint of the terror generated by
Tobe Hooper's relentless 1974 original, John Luessenhop's belated sequel
is as pointless as one feared it might be. After learning that she is
adopted, and has inherited a house from a grandmother she never knew,
Heather (Alexandra Daddario) sets out on a road trip to Texas with her
boyfriend Ryan (ripped R&B singer Trey Songz), her pal Nikki (Tanya
Raymonde) and Carl (Clint Eastwood's son, Scott).
After picking up a handsome hitchhiker, the friends arrive at the imposing property, only to find that Leatherface (Dan Yeager) – who together with the now dead grandmother and a female baby, survived a shoot-out and torching party staged by outraged locals nearly four decades ago – has been hidden in the basement ever since.
Chronological consistency is not the script's strong suit (this would make Heather herself 39 years old), but at least writers Adam Marcus ('Jason Goes to Hell'), Debra Sullivan and Kirsten Elms have made some attempt to revivify the Sawyer family history. If only director Luessenhop had confined the action to the inherited house, this scenario's twisted narrative potential – 'Families are messy. Nothin's thicker than blood.' – might have been realised. Instead, he splits the action between several locations, overworks the familial back story to the point of tedium, and fails to deliver the required nightmarish intensity.