Book Chapter

'Come on Boy – Bring it!': Embracing Queer Aesthetics in Marcus Nispel's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)


Elliott-Smith D (2015) 'Come on Boy – Bring it!': Embracing Queer Aesthetics in Marcus Nispel's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). In: Clayton W (ed.) Style and Form in the Hollywood Slasher Film. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 180-194.

Marcus Nispel’s 2003 aesthetically polished remake of Tobe Hooper’s iconic original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) was essentially a box-office success, taking approximately $80 million during its US theatrical release period… I want to argue initially that, despite the film’s often disjointed intertextual references to Hooper’s original , the remake’s tone, themes and aesthetics significantly have more in common with Bay’s slick, commercialised, hyperkinetic stylistic tendencies in that they have been ‘updated in their capacity for gore and contemporary pacing’ (Lizardi 2010). While this extends to the film’s visual reimagining of an ‘MTV-sanctioned counterculture’, whereby the ragtag gang of misfits in Hooper’s original are swapped for ‘a vanload of beautiful people adorned with corporate product placements’ (Keursten 2005), it also highlights a self-referential awareness of the place of the slasher sub-genre in both cultural and film theory. Here the hyper-stylisation of Nispel’s remake collides with the hyper-emphasis of the horror film’s academic and ideological critique. This works towards an updating of the original film’s mythology, a commercialising of its aesthetics and, arguably, a ‘queering’ of its monstrous patriarchal structures (in which a now all-pervasive matriarchy persists) and of the sub-genre’s erotic objectification of the female body, supplanting this with that of the fetishised male victim.

Horror Film; Slasher Horror; Gender Studies; Queer Horror; LGBTQ Studies; Film Studies; Genre Studies

FundersUniversity of Hertfordshire
Publication date31/12/2015
Publication date online26/10/2015
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publisher URL
Place of publicationLondon