Director – David Blue Garcia (Tejano)
Starring – Sarah Yarkin (Happy Death Day 2U, American Horror Story), Elsie Fisher (The Addams Family, Castle Rock), and Mark Burnham (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Low Life)
Release Date – 2022
Rating – 2.5/5
My opinions on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series is very controversial. I respect what the first film brought genre fans and it’s influence on history. However, I prefer the sequels, reboots, and prequels to the original film. It’s not a bad film but after a handful of viewings I find it to be dull. However, I absolutely fucking love Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part II, The Next Generation, and Leatherface: TCM III. Hell, I even liked the remake and it’s prequel. The newer films, Leatherface and Texas Chainsaw 3D, are fun as well. They are not perfect films but I enjoy them for what they are worth.
When I heard that Fede Alvarez was producing a new film that was to be a direct sequel to the original I was fucking hooked. The film was released on Netflix today so before work I woke up early to check it out. Sadly, it’s the first film from the franchise that I didn’t like. Awesome deaths but a story that was blatantly copying from another slasher franchise.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a young entrepreneur and her business partner who visit to a ghost town in Texas where they have purchased it in hopes of selling the buildings to other entrepreneurs. However, the town is not as vacant as they think. The old orphanage is currently occupied by an elderly women who has worked there for almost 50 years. They try to get her to leave and she becomes irate which leads to the police arriving to escort her out. However, she collapses and her massive son picks her up to carry her out. The police put him and his mother in the back of their wagon and try to get her to a hospital but she dies along the way. Her son, Leatherface, becomes enraged and kills the police before returning to town donning a mask made from his mother’s face. **Spoiler Alert**
I was so fucking pumped to watch this before my muggle job today but after 20 or 30 minutes into it I couldn’t help but compare it to Halloween (2018). This direct sequel copies a lot from Blumhouse’s film that was also a direct sequel to the original film. I wanted to love it but I couldn’t. I was very disappointed in it.
The acting in this one was great. Sarah Yarkin has appeared in several genre releases in her short career. Fans may remember her from Happy Death Day 2U, as well as, her appearance in American Horror Story. I liked her character here and she does a fantastic job potraying a character that is not only tough but emotional. We see her go through some…shit and she does a great job with her performance. She feels genuine throughout the entire film. The same can be said for Elsie Fisher who portrays her sister. Her character is written to be a little tougher and she does a great job as well. The remainder of the cast was great as well but these two made the film as enjoyable as it is for me.
The story for this one takes what Blumhouse did with Halloween (2018) and made it work for Leatherface. Both films are said to be “direct” sequels to the original film but several decades have passed with the final girl now dedicating her life to killing the monster that took so much away from her. Sound familiar? Of course it does. Now, if you ignore that template you will find a film that spends too much time mocking gen z’ers and plot holes. At one point we watch Sally Hardesty hold a shotgun to Leatherface and then the scene cuts to him outside with her chasing him. No explanation as why she didn’t blow his ass away. This is just one instance of many that just doesn’t make sense. It also introduced meta-Leatherface that is impervious to bullets, chainsaws to the face, and being gutted. So many things are going on and none of it makes sense.
Finally, the death scenes in this one are seriously impressive. I loved them so much that it’s one of the few reasons I didn’t give this one a lower rating. The gore is absolutely fantastic, the deaths are brutal and energizing, and the effects are top notch. Even though I was not a fan of this film I will still be praising these deaths for years to come. Overall, Texas Chainsaw Massacre has a great cast and some seriously impressive gore but the story borrowed from Halloween (2018) and the choppy writing makes it hard to love. I won’t be revisiting it anytime soon but I’m still thinking about the deaths.