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Texas Chainsaw Massacre Review: Old Man Leatherface


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By Matthew Jackson/Feb. 18, 2022 8: 21 am EST

A key thing the total very very top “Texas Chainsaw” sequels beget in frequent, no longer decrease than for my money, is an inherent determining that they’re by no methodology going to duplicate the feeling of the distinctive film. Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel’s sweaty, docustyle descent into madness lend a hand within the Texas summer of 1974 composed carries a layer of additional horror about it, a intention that you just’re no longer in actual fact meant to peep what’s onscreen on story of it’s too visceral, too practical, too evocative of the real volatility that came with the making of that film. It’s a sense that’s impossible to duplicate, in phase on story of it’s no longer necessarily healthy to test out, and basically the most a hit sequels designate this. Whether they veer into outright lunacy admire Hooper’s maintain “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” in 1986, or into inventive reverence admire 2013’s “Texas Chainsaw 3D,” these are movies vibrant ample to borrow what they’d to find to from the distinctive thought, then push issues forward into their maintain manic territory.

Which brings us to “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” the 2022 requel from producer Fede Álvarez and director David Blue Garcia which helpful landed on Netflix. Relish “Texas Chainsaw 3D” sooner than it, this film opts to determine on the methodology of ignoring every outdated sequel within the decades-extinct franchise, rising a world in which Leatherface rampaged thru the Texas backwoods within the 1970s, handiest to then depart into hiding except some unhappy bunch of youths vexed his self-imposed exile. This buys the film a likelihood to form its maintain sense of lore spherical no longer helpful an damaged-down Leatherface (Impress Burnham), however the first film’s lone survivor, Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouéré), within the course of the lens of a new cast and a new atmosphere.

Here’s, for all its promise, a precarious setup, one which runs the possibility of being a little bit of too reverential to the distinctive film and its world, leaving the new film with minute room to creep in its maintain direction. Thankfully for all and sundry, whereas it has its share of missteps, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” takes every various to pass bigger than its predecessors, turning in a film that by no methodology reasonably loses undercover agent of the distinctive, however by no methodology clings too tightly to it both.

A atrocious industry day out

Because the film begins, a community of younger entrepreneurs led by Melody (Sarah Yarkin) are on their methodology to the ghost city of Harlow, Texas, where they hope to form a … well, a construction utopia of some form. Melody and her partner Dante (Jacob Latimore) are opening a cafe within the town, and they’re selling various buildings off to their fellow younger entrepreneurs with the aim of constructing some vaguely communal new tell where all and sundry can belong. It’s all very buzz-wordy, very social media suited, and per chance a little bit of shallow whenever you stop and test it for a moment.

And needless to claim, Melody and Dante didn’t mediate too arduous about Harlow itself, no longer decrease than when it comes to the ripple enact of their presence within the town. No one within the neighborhood of the pointless community appears to be like all that joyful to search them, and issues get namely dodgy once they advance and get that no longer decrease than one Harlow resident, an extinct orphanage manager (Alice Krige), isn’t focused on leaving the least bit. As Melody wrestles with the coolest implications of kicking this extinct lady out once they could well presumably now not technically beget the becoming to helpful yet, she and Dante moreover unknowingly awaken a monster. It appears that evidently the killer identified as Leatherface has been hiding in easy undercover agent in Harlow for years, living in gentle seclusion, except what’s left of his dwelling life is shattered. Confronted with every little thing he is aware of vanishing, the extinct mass assassin picks up his extinct weapons and tries to determine on lend a hand his city.

There’s a two-pronged methodology that contains this setup, and one aspect works powerful better than the numerous, so let’s get to the atrocious files first. “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is amazingly focused on the postulate of vaguely satirizing and, in some moments, sincerely picking apart a obvious form of Gen Z-ish circulate in direction of social exchange that sounds deeper than it in actual fact is. Melody and Dante discuss freedom and inclusion and the evils of leisurely stage capitalism, however they’re moreover businesspeople who’re however trampling yet another person’s dwelling. Their investors advance shopping for authenticity, however are like a flash to set up a technique in which they might be able to strip Harlow of all that it once used to be. Then there’s Melody sister Lila (Elsie Fisher), a college taking pictures survivor who appears to be conceal so the film can conceal some form of imprecise exploration of trauma and the becoming intention to beat it thru a new of wave of braveness when a maniac with a chainsaw rises up. None of this feels actively atrocious, and a few of it (admire the moment within the trailer when a community of of us with phones judge to test out and “murder” Leatherface by filming him) is certainly humorous, however it absolutely all feels reasonably limp in a “Halloween 2018 redux” form of methodology, namely when we search weathered extinct gunslinger Sally Hardesty gazing at a Polaroid of her chums who died lend a hand within the ’70s.

Terror revved up

The film’s early persona construction, and the efforts to form a juxtaposition between the extinct world of Harlow and the colourful life these younger of us imagine for the town, is all there to generate some level of investment within the inevitable. Your mileage could perhaps maybe presumably vary in regards to how well that investment works (it didn’t work all that well for me), however the numerous predominant thrust of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” picks up any slack that the persona constructing left on the ground and runs with it in dizzying and continuously captivating ways. All of which is a protracted methodology of asserting that, once Leatherface presentations up, issues get very wild very fast.

The distinctive “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is famously understated in its methodology to violence, no longer decrease than when it comes to the real gore onscreen. Its sequels had been a much bawl from understated, and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” sets out to form even basically the most vulgar of those note-u.s.stumble on tame by comparison. Garcia’s digicam practically by no methodology spares the gore, turning in dying scenes that are at turns cartoonish and draw back-inducing, however continuously inventive and morbidly fun to peep. Because the trailers imply, the film by no methodology holds lend a hand on the carnage or the physique count, and each Garcia and his cast are clearly having the time of their lives soaking the conceal in false blood. At practically every flip, it works within the film’s favor, turning in on the chainsaw-fueled mayhem the franchise has continuously promised.

It’s in that mayhem, and the new ways in which the film performs with the familiar “youths at possibility” system of the franchise, that “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” hits its bolt. After some questionable choices within the first act, the 2d and third helpful take care of ramping up the horror, the stress, and the unpredictability, except the film becomes one thing equally at dwelling at a rowdy drive-in or a candy-fueled slumber occasion. It can probably maybe presumably now not resemble the distinctive film all that powerful by the pause (except for just a few sly sequences meant to assume what came sooner than), however that’s precisely why it works. By revving up its maintain noticed and slicing madly thru what once used to be, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” brings the franchise to bloody new life, giving Leatherface an unforgettable new chapter that, whereas uneven, carries an infectious sense of slasher fun within the course of.

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is now streaming on Netflix.

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