This newest installment in the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ franchise is designed to ignore the events of the previous sequels in the series and serve as a brand new sequel to the original 1974 film.
Set nearly fifty years after the original, the story follows Melody (Sarah Yarkin), Dante (Jacob Latimore), Lila (Elsie Fisher), and Ruth (Nell Hudson) who have recently purchased the deeds to a small, deserted town in Texas in the hope of attracting young people who want to leave the hustle and bustle of the city life for a quieter rural life.
Soon after they arrive, they run into the proprietor of the town’s long-shuttered orphanage who has secretly been harboring Leatherface all these years. A dispute with the elderly woman causes her untimely death, an event that causes the once murderous killer to pick up the chainsaw once more.
What follows is a gore fest as Leatherface takes out his homicidal rage on those he feels are responsible for the death of his “mother” and the unfortunate souls who get in his way, including a bus full of potential buyers.
It’s this brutal slaying of everyone in sight that causes any thread of a storyline this movie had to go out the window. It’s this, too, that results in the film being more of a senseless slaughter-fest that presents the audience with an overabundance of gore for the sake of gore.
The B-story line is lifted directly from David Gordon Green’s ‘Halloween’ as it gives us a hardened version of Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouéré), the only character to survive the original film. This grizzled interpretation of Hardesty is an attempted copy of the version of Laurie Strode from Green’s 2018 film.
Similar to Strode, Hardesty has been waiting to exact her revenge. We even learn through a quick information dump that following the events of the original film, Hardesty became a Texas Ranger and spent years trying to find the infamous Leatherface.
Unlike Strode, Hardesty is ill-equipped to deal with her tormentor, finding herself frozen when she finally comes face-to-face with the monster that killed her friends.
Our quartet of leading characters all felt one-dimensional with the exception of the back story given to Lila. We learn through an exposition dump that she was the survivor of a school shooting, setting up her role as the “final girl.” She manages to tap into this past trauma as a means of overcoming the hulking, chainsaw-wielding brute.
Despite the series coming out strong with Tobe Hooper’s original 1974 film, the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ franchise has been marred with numerous failed installments over the years. The only standouts have been the original 1986 sequel, which took on more of a comedic tone than the original, and the 2003 remake, which reimaged Hooper’s original tale.
Installments like ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D’, ‘Leatherface’, and ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation’ have only served to diminish the character of Leatherface. This newest film from David Blue Garcia is no exception. Where the original film displayed a more timid Leatherface, who killed more out of fear than malice, this newest installment gives us a maniacal Leatherface, who kills more for the sake of killing, not unlike Jason Voorhees.
If you’re a fan of mindless gore then you might find some enjoyment out of this film, but if you want more substance to your horror then there is unfortunately not enough here for you.
On a scale of 1-5 stars, I give this movie 2.5 stars.
With a film that had been plagued with issues even before being completed, it’s not hard to see where it all went wrong. From the attempt to tap into the success of Green’s ‘Halloween,’ to the almost non-existent storyline, down to the retooling of a horror icon that does not need any reimagining, it’s clear this newest film is just an attempt to cash in on the horror revival that has been going on in recent years.
‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ stars Elsie Fisher as Lila, Sarah Yarkin as Melody, Jacob Latimore as Dante, Moe Dunford as Richter, Olwen Fouéré as Sally Hardesty, Nell Hudson as Ruth, Jessica Allain as Catherine, Alice Krige as Mrs. Mc, William Hope as Sheriff, Jolyon Coy as Deputy, Sam Douglas as Herb, and Mark Burnham as Leatherface.
I have come here to chew bubblegum and write horror, and I’m all out of bubblegum.
Senior Editor at Horror Facts