Image by Yana Blajeva, ©2022 Legendary Pictures and Courtesy of Netflix

Film Review: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

12:00 February 24, 2022
By: David Vicari

Oh for the love of Nubbins, make it stop! I'm tired of Chainsaw Massacre films! Now the original 1974 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, directed by Tobe Hooper, is an absolutely brilliant and unnerving exercise in primal fear. Hooper returned for the gory, dark comedy of a sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986), which I simply adore. After that, we got lousy sequels, remakes, and prequels to remakes. None of them are any good, including the new one, which is streaming exclusively on Netflix.

This new movie, lazily titled Texas Chainsaw Massacre, pulls a 2018 Halloween and is a direct sequel to the original movie. The Chainsaw series actually did that already with 2013's Texas Chainsaw 3D. Anyway, a group of twentysomethings come to a small Texas ghost town to gentrify it. The operation is led by obnoxious entrepreneurs Dante (Jacob Latimore) and Melody (Sarah Yarkin), with Melody's sad sack sister, Lila (Elsie Fisher), tagging along. Then there is the party bus full of victims.

After an old woman (Alice Krige) is evicted from her home and dies, her "last boy," who is the chainsaw wielding Leatherface (Mark Burnham), springs into murderous action. He's pretty spry for a character who, unless my math is wrong, should be about 70-years-old. Anyway, he does us a favor by slaughtering these characters, who are mostly unlikable turds.

There is one sequence in David Blue Garcia's film that does generate some tension. It's when a van has crashed into a field, and a potential victim, while trying to escape the van, keeps checking the rear-view mirrors for Leatherface. Other than that, the movie is shockingly dull in terms of scares.

Again and again, Chainsaw fails at Screenwriting 101. We find out that Lila is a survivor of a school shooting, yet nothing much comes of it besides it being offensively exploitative. We also get a Laurie Strode-style revenge plotline with the survivor of the original Chain Saw, Sally Hardesty (played by Olwen Fouere since the original actress, Marilyn Burns, sadly passed away in 2014), who has become a Texas Ranger in preparation for a final face off with Leatherface. Again, it's a useless plot thread. To cap it all off, there is a stupid reference to "cancel culture," which actually makes no sense in the context of the scene.

Everyone remembers the original classic. Few will remember this one.

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