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Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) Review | Leatherface is back!

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Another classic slasher has returned to our screens, well – small screen. Leatherface is back, Halloween (2018)-style, in a direct sequel to the nearly 50-year-old original, that debuted all the way back in 1974. With a plethora of sequels and reboots under its wing, it stands to reason why resurrect such a graphic franchise? Well, because Leatherface’s chainsaw is not out of gas just yet.

Netflix’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre decides not to cover new ground, and instead sheds the usual, over-the-top graphic violence that the franchise is infamously (and famously) known for. As such, the performances are only second to the incredible kills, but there are some incredible noteworthy standouts here: Elsie Fisher’s school-shooting survivor Lila, and her older sister Melody, played by Sarah Yarkin. Second-time director, David Blue Garcia, has some incredible material to work with here, and he certainly succeeds in crafting a great addition to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre family of films.

One thing that comes with most Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies is that the story is always the same just with minor tweaks. Here, instead of a group of young adults making their way through rural Texas, our poor unfortunate souls are a cohort of young entrepreneurs wanting to revitalise the place into a trendy, gentrified community. The one thing that stands in their way is the one and only Leatherface, here played by Mark Bunrham. The TCM franchise has had many portray the notorious chainsaw-wielder, some good and some bad, but here Bunrham definitely knows how to portray the silent, menacing cult icon.

Photo: Netflix

Acting as a direct sequel to the original, this 2022 entry in the series has definitely been influenced by other un-reboots (instalments that ignore reboots) such as the return of Halloween in 2018, and Candyman in 2021. This is easily shown with the return of the final girl from the original, Sally Hardesty, now played by Olwen Fouéré following the passing of Marilyn Burns who portrayed her in the first movie. There’s not much to this addition the story, but I did find what they did with the character to be incredibly satisfying. Scream (2022) had recently commented on the whole ‘requel’ treatment, and here I’d like to think the story behind this new entry, co-written by Fede Álvarez and Rodo Sayagues, the masterminds behind the 2013 revival of Evil Dead, was as self-aware as it is perceived on camera.

Garcia’s entry, however, suffers from an incredibly short runtime – only 81 minutes long, not counting the credits. This results in many of the characters being thinly written, with any actual attempts to develop them quickly dropped as soon as Leatherface starts his blood-soaked chainsaw. It’s a fair trade, however, as if you’re not expecting much in terms of story, you’ll be greatly rewarded when it comes to the action that slashers like this franchise are known for delivering.

Photo: Netflix

Donning a new mask and his trusty saw, Leatherface succeeds in leaving yet another catastrophic bloodbath in this sequel. Sure, the script is too on-the-nose at points when poking at the millennial generation, but this franchise isn’t known for being perfect slashers, and that’s the point of them; all they’re doing is letting Leatherface let rip and have a relatively successful, stylish go at giving some travellers hell.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released on Netflix on February 18th, 2022. 

FILM RATING

Hey, I'm Jacob. He/him • Freelance Media Journalist • Words: CoastalHMedia •My Letterboxd -> https://letterboxd.com/Crosdales/

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wendy Healy

What a good, honest, review!!

HORROR

The Exorcism | Official Trailer

A troubled actor begins to unravel while shooting a horror film. His estranged daughter wonders if he’s slipping back into his past addictions or if there’s something more sinister at play.

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Genre:

Horror, Thriller

Release Date:

June 7, 2024

Director:

Joshua John Miller

Cast:

Russell Crowe, Sam Worthington, Samantha Mathis

Plot Summary:

A troubled actor begins to unravel while shooting a horror film. His estranged daughter wonders if he’s slipping back into his past addictions or if there’s something more sinister at play.

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Trap | Official Trailer

A father and teen daughter attend a pop concert, where they realize they’re at the center of a dark and sinister event.

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Genre:

Crime, Horror, Mystery

Release Date:

August 9, 2024

Director:

M. Night Shyamalan

Cast:

Josh Hartnett, Hayley Mills, Marnie McPhail

Plot Summary:

A father and teen daughter attend a pop concert, where they realize they’re at the center of a dark and sinister event.

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Speak No Evil | Official Trailer

A family invited to spend a weekend in an idyllic country house, goes from a dream vacation to a psychological nightmare.

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Speak no Evil [credit: Universal Pictures]

Genre:

Drama, Horror, Thriller

Release Date:

September 13, 2024

Director:

James Watkins

Cast:

James McAvoy, Aisling Franciosi, Dan Hough

Plot Summary:

A family invited to spend a weekend in an idyllic country house, goes from a dream vacation to a psychological nightmare.

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