The first wide-release movie of 2013 is Texas Chainsaw 3D. Billed as a direct sequel to the original Tobe Hooper film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Texas Chainsaw 3D picks up 20 years after the events depicted in that film. With 2012's Oscar contenders out of the way, that leaves us answering every question that you could have about Texas Chainsaw 3D.
Q: Is Texas Chainsaw 3D a movie about a logger?
A: No, it is about a mass murderer who uses a power tool to kill people.
Q: Will there be a sequel using this "state, power tool" motif? Will there be an Iowa Weedwacker 3D or Vermont Snowblower 3D movie?
A: As much as I would like to see those movies and learn how either of those devices could possibly be used as a weapon, no.
Q: Does this have anything to do with the character of Chainsaw from Summer School?
A: Texas Chainsaw 3D is part of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise of films. Even though the word "massacre" has been left out of the title, for some reason. It is never directly stated if Texas Chainsaw 3D takes place in the same universe as Summer School.
Q: Is Texas Chainsaw 3D a remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?
A: No, it's a direct sequel. The opening scene of the film happens the day after the events of the 1974 original film.
Q: What happens the day after the events of the 1974 film?
A: Well, first, the police show up at Leatherface's home. Everything appears to be going smoothly until the town yokels show up and burn down the house with its occupants still inside.
Q: Does everyone perish in the fire?
A: Well, considering that this is a horror movie with the word "chainsaw" in the title, no, not everyone perishes in the fire. Also, a baby survives.
Q: Does Leatherface raise the baby?
A: No. One of the yokels -- who is mean, I should add -- finds the baby and raises it as his own. Twenty years later, we meet that baby, Heather (Alexandra Daddario), who finds out she inherited a house from a family she never knew.
Q: Wait, 20 years later? So Texas Chainsaw 3D is set in 1994?
A: Funny thing: math tells us that would be the case, but Texas Chainsaw 3D goes way out of its way to not specify a year.
Q: What does that mean?
A: Well, none of the characters use cell phones. (Though, a police officer does use what appears to be FaceTime to send video of a crime scene back to the station.) When we see the tombstones of the family members who die in the fire, the year of death is covered up by grass. Also, the date of the fire is mentioned extensively throughout the movie -- but only as, "August 19th." The year is never mentioned.
Q: Does Heather still live in Texas?
A: No. But she and her three friends (and, later, a very handsome hitchhiker) are headed that way anyway on a road trip to New Orleans.
Q: Is it safe to assume that not every member of the group makes it to New Orleans?
Q: Since this is 1994, do they listen to the Gin Blossoms on the way to Texas?
A: No. The music used in Texas Chainsaw 3D does not have a 1994 feel to it at all.
Q: Why is Texas Chainsaw 3D so defensive about what year the movie is set in?
A: Well, my only guess is that they don't want to market the movie as a '90s period piece.
Q: Then why not set the movie 39 years after the events of the first film?
A: Well, again, my only guess is that they want to market this movie to a teen audience and the thought of a 38 or 39-year-old heroine did not go over well in their market research.
Q: Should I assume that when Heather picks up her new house, things go amiss?
A: It's funny, a lot of the horror-movie tropes that The Cabin in the Woods deconstructs actually happen in Texas Chainsaw 3D: there is a house in the middle of the woods, characters split up for no real reason, ominous town-folk heed cryptic warnings.
Q: If you're going to be blurbed in this weekend's commercials for Texas Chainsaw 3D, what quote do think will be used?
A: "Texas Chainsaw 3D is just like The Cabin in the Woods!" -- Mike Ryan, The Huffington Post
Q: Speaking of town-folk, is the town where Heather's new house is located run by a police department in which the deputies wear blue jeans as a part of their uniform?
Q: Is Heather warned about Leatherface?
A: Well, she was given a note from her now dead grandmother that she was instructed to read. Of course, Heather does not read the note, which would have told her that she also inherited a serial killer.
Q: How many characters get run over by a car with minimal to no injuries sustained during Texas Chainsaw 3D?
Q: Is Texas Chainsaw 3D scary?
A: I scare pretty easily. For example, I used to be absolutely terrified by the early '80s PBS call sign. I mean, look at that thing! The "P" has a face! (OK, yes, it still terrifies me.) Having said that, I was never really scared during Texas Chainsaw 3D. It's hard to be scared when you don't really care what happens to the characters, which I will explain in the answer that is two ahead of this one.
Q: What is the worst thing about Texas Chainsaw 3D?
A: That there's a point in the movie where Leatherface becomes a sympathetic character.
Q: How is this possible?
A: Because everyone in this movie is an asshole. Leatherface is an asshole. Leatherface's family members are assholes. The townspeople are assholes. The mayor is an asshole. Members of the police force are assholes. Heather's adopted dad is an asshole. Even Heather's friends (except for one) are all assholes. And by the end of the movie, I can make a case that Heather is an asshole.
Q: How does that make Leatherface sympathetic?
A: Because it's mentioned many times that he's mentally challenged and that he watched his family burn in a fire -- so, yes, he does a lot of terrible things, but at least he has an excuse! Which is kind of what the movie wants you to think, too, which is a problem because of, you know, all of those brutal chainsaw murders!
Q: How much of your hatred for every character in Texas Chainsaw 3D has to do with the fact that you watched this movie and are writing this fake Q&A while having the flu?
A: The flu accounts for about 8 percent to my hatred.
Q: Is Texas Chainsaw 3D better if you watch it with or without having the flu.
A: I chose to watch Texas Chainsaw 3D with the flu, but I would advise against doing that because everything is worse with the flu. Except perhaps 7 Up and your fever dreams.
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.