Title – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
Director – David Blue Garcia (Tejano)
Cast – Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham, Jacob Latimore
Plot – Almost 50 years on from one of the most tragic and bloody events in Texas history, masked mass murderer Leatherface (Burnham) returns when his quiet existence is disrupted by a group of idealistic city dwellers.
“The face of madness returns”
Review by Eddie on 25/02/2022
Doing away with the countless sequels, prequels and reimagining’s that have cropped up in the franchise brand since Tobe Hooper’s original horror entry revved into the history books way back in 1974, Netflix’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre (full props for the original naming) sees sophomore director David Blue Garcia deliver a blood soaked gore-fest under the guidance of Evil Dead/Don’t Breathe creative team Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues, resulting in an end product that may receive top marks for inventive and often horrific carnage but extensive fail marks in almost all other departments.
Clocking in at a brisk sub-90 minute runtime, a refreshing component in a genre that has over recent time begun to overstay its welcome with long in the tooth running times, TCM wastes little time or effort doing much of note outside of creating ways and developing scenarios where Mark Burnham’s mask clad Leatherface gets to go about his grisly business dispatching a bunch of utterly unlikeable and charisma free characters, characters that inhabit a story that is devoid of saving, conjured up by a script that should make it very hard for screenwriter Chris Thomas Devlin too get future work in Hollywood.
It’s within these components that we find it difficult to properly nail down just how bad or even so bad its good TCM actually is, for while it fails in many key aspects we would usually associate with being integral to making a good feature film, there’s been far worse and less tolerable genre entries over the recent years and there’s little denying that despite the lack of narrative goodness, scares/frights or noteworthy acting turns, Garcia’s blood-soaked affair might be just the type of mindless and murderous flick some viewers are wanting.
With promises from Garcia as well as Alvarex and Sayagues in the lead up to Netflix dropping their film that their bloody affair would deal directly with the events of Hooper’s original and even bring back past characters, with the character of Sally Hardesty returning this round in a move that feels directly ripped from the minds behind Halloween’s 2018 revival, long-term fans of the genre defining original are going to likely walk away from this TCM effort disappointed that this ride didn’t do more with its potential to deal with almost 50 years worth of time in between misused tools being unleashed, even if towards the films latter stages it appears likely that some connecting of the dots were thought about.
There’s no question about TCM’s merits as a good film, as it’s not, but as a film that it is and with enough creative chainsaw inflicted chaos that it harbors (a bus set sequence is a real eye popping spectacle), there’s a significant amount of dumb horror infested entertainment here to make this latest franchise entry far from the worst of its brand.
Final Say –
Totally unnecessary and let down by an inability to make a single likable character out of its dire script, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is another poor addition to a once classic brand but does enough on the bloodthirsty front to at least do something right.
2 sets of keys out of 5