The eagerly awaited return on Leatherface came to Netflix on Friday, so read on to hear my spoiler-free review! (Only plot hints given away in the trailer and on the official synopsis will be mentioned, I promise!)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) is a confusing one in the TCM timeline as it's set up as a direct sequel to the OG. When I say 'confusing', I guess no more so than any of the other sequels which can be watched in various orders to create slightly different timelines... Confused much? It's had a lot of issues over the years, being picked up by various studios in order to reboot the franchise, but it's often ended up back at the drawing board. Personally, I've never understood this; how difficult can it be to make a chainsaw wielding, face-wearing, hench dude, scary?! Very, apparently.
Anyway, let's chat about Netflix' take on Leatherface...
As someone who is turning 38 soon, the idea of the main characters being young, rich, social media influencers was less than appealing to me. I like to see real people getting real scares. People I can actually relate to. The original movie captured this perfectly; the close up of Sally's eye at the dinner table will forever haunt my dreams, (or nightmares...).
So let's just say I went in to this without high hopes, and for that reason, I wasn't disappointed!
The 'story' side of the movie was pretty irrelevant, and the characters? Well, I got massive Stranger Things vibes, and I feel like this movie would have been a whole lot better, storywise, if it was some kind of Stranger Things meets Leatherface crossover... But what do I know? I just watch the movies. Even reading reviews afterward it seemed like a lot of people didn't relate - or even care about the characters at all. In fact, I can guarantee that after that bus scene, (or maybe even before), you'll be rooting for Leatherface the rest of the way.
Leatherface himself was brilliant. One of the best we've seen and BRUTAL AS FUCK. The cheesey lines can almost be forgiven once the big guy gets going. (And trust me; there is plenty of cheese.) The inventive kills and straight up gore factor is exactly what you want from a straight-to-VHS horror release, (which this essentially is) - Leatherface even has an incredible scene featuring water, which I don't want to spoil here, but will definitely make you smile. And maybe cringe just a little...
One point I want to address without spoiling, is the return of a legacy character and the really poor way that was dealt with... You'll know what I mean when you see it; but all I'll say is that it was a sad and somewhat cheap end, and I hope that someone sees fit to attempt to fix that in future TCM movies.
Ultimately, TCM movies will continue to spark up healthy debate in horror circles. We all have our ideas on how the universe should play out - personally, I like the dark, moody vibe of Leatherface (2017) and thought it was a great new beginning for a darker, more mature Leatherface; but some people say this movie was the worst in the franchise. Everyone has their favourite, but none of these will ever come close to the gritty reality of the original movie.
Netflix have done a good job bringing Leatherface back, and I think the best we can hope for is that this ignites the passion to continue the franchise in a way that might finally unite the fans. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) is a fun romp that won't fail to make you laugh, cringe and cover your eyes all at once. The only thing missing is the story, and, as true horror fans, it wouldn't be the first time we've sat and enjoyed countless movies exactly like that before 😉 Love it for what it is, don't analyse it, and I guarantee Leatherface will give you a good time.
I'm off to watch it again 🤪
My movie reviews aren't like other reviews - I won't bore you with long, drawn out explanations, reveal big spoilers, dazzle you with long words, or try to analyse the movie for you. I won't tell you if you should watch it, or if you shouldn't - all movies are made to be watched, bad or good. I'll simply tell you what I think of it. What you choose to do with that information is up to you.... But don't say I didn't warn you 😉