After a nine-year hiatus Leatherface makes his return, this time to Netflix in the reboot-quel “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, now streaming. It’s hard to gauge credible expectations going into a franchise with this many sequels, remakes, and reboots. But there is always room for the chainsaw wielding killer in the slasher genre and despite its blatant hindrances I had a serviceable amount of campy fun with this newest entry.
The plot is a bit thin; some would say razor thin, and it’s more than a little nonsensical. It’s a concept that in theory could be a rational business move but for the sake of getting the film into gear it’s all simplified. You have a group of Gen Z’ers who buy a remote Texas town in efforts to reinvigorate it and they arrive by bus to see what their investments have yielded. They get there and find a dilapidated ghost town with only a few inhabitants, one of them coincidentally being Leatherface himself who is still living at home with momma.
So, the story’s sole purpose is to plant its players in this remote town. They’re all cardboard characters with little to no depth. But do you need to care about the characters in a slasher flick to have fun with all the murderous mayhem? Do we ever expect more than one, or really any characters at all to make it to the end credits in these movies? Personally no, so the fact this movie gets going quickly and rarely takes its foot of the gas in terms of bloody carnage was more than enough to keep me entertained.
The recent “Halloween” approach was given to this franchise and while it isn’t ambitious in terms of storytelling, and character development, this newest entry has fun with the gore. And like the title says, it provides a string of massacres for ninety-minutes, and it isn’t as bad as people are saying. It’s as shallow and absurd in places as people are saying, but there is plenty of sadistic fun to be had if you’re in the mood.
Sure, the film could’ve been better. It could’ve followed a more creative progression. However, there are a few nicely crafted scenes that will leave a lasting impression. The gratuitousness is through the roof and that’s what you want with a franchise centered around a chainsaw killer with a mask made from human skin. There is a studio gloss but it’s minimal. Overall, the direction was capable, small moments pay homage to the classic entries, and others pull the character into the modern era with squeamish delight. It doesn’t always make sense, but it doesn’t undercut joy in seeing Leatherface rack up an impressive body count.
Anthony J. Digioia II © 2022 SilverScreen Analysis. All Rights Reserved.