Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a 2022 American slasher film directed by David Blue Garcia, with a screenplay by Chris Thomas Devlin, from an original story co-written by Fede Álvarez and Rodo Sayagues. The film is a sequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), the ninth installment of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM) franchise, and it also acts as the second reboot of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre after The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). Picking up several decades after the original film, the story focuses on the serial killer Leatherface targeting a group of teens and coming into conflict with a vengeful survivor of his previous murders. The project is a joint-venture production between Legendary Pictures, Bad Hombre, and Exurbia Films. The film stars Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham, Jacob Latimore, Moe Dunford, Olwen Fouéré, Alice Krige, Jessica Allain, and Nell Hudson.
After the release of Leatherface in 2017, Lionsgate had plans for five more films in the franchise. However, the studio lost the rights due to the time it took to release it. Legendary acquired the franchise's rights, with Álvarez and Sayagues serving as producers alongside Pat Cassidy, Ian Henkel, and Kim Henkel who co-wrote the original film. Duo filmmakers Ryan and Andy Tohill were initially signed on as directors, but were replaced with Garcia due to creative differences. Filming took place in Bulgaria in August 2020 with the film released on February 18, 2022 on Netflix.
48 years after Leatherface's killing spree in 1973, a group of teenagers accidently trigger Leatherface's return. Now, Leatherface commits a new massacre that terrorizes the town. The teens are joined by Sally Hardesty, the sole survivor of Leatherface's massacre of 1973, to take down Leatherface once and for all.
Why It's Canceled, Brother
- One of the criticisms about the film is that it's following almost every single plot point of the original without any special twist involved, making the film seem unnecessary. Even worse, a lot of critics and some fans have pointed out that nobody (besides Sally) is even worth rooting for, making the very same mistake that Texas Chainsaw 3D, ironically another Un-Reboot taking place after the original, made several years ago.
- While there are moments of suspense and tension like the first movie had; much like the later sequels and the original remakes, this movie focuses way too heavily on blood and gore with ton of carnage.
- With the exception of Melody, Lila, Leatherface, and Sally Hardesty; most of the characters are unlikable or only serve as throwaways who gets slaughtered by Leatherface.
- Plot holes happen here everywhere like Texas Chainsaw 3D.
- How did Leatherface end up in the orphanage in the first place?
- How did Leatherface survive the climax in the end when he was killed in the final battle?
- Terrible dialogue that tries to be hip like "Hey, Leatherfuck!" and "Try anything and you get cancelled, bro." The latter line was also used in the trailer of this movie and was made fun of by the people in the comments.
- Richter. Despite his mannerisms, he's actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and one of the smartest characters in the film. The second he finds Dante's mutilated body, he immediately tries to save him (despite trading blows with him earlier), tells Catherine to call the cops, and tries to save Melody. Richter is also the only character besides the cops and Sally smart enough to arm himself while Leatherface is on the loose. Frustratingly, he's dispatched by Leatherface just when it seemed like he'd become more integral to the plot, and right when it seemed like he'd join Melody and Lila in helping them escape town.
- There isn't much of a plot to speak of, it's just Leatherface going around killing people with Sally Hardesty joining the party.
- Speaking of Sally, she gets killed off by Leatherface two-thirds into this movie. While it is surprising, some viewers may feel frustrated that Sally had not completed her revenge against Leatherface since 1973. She also only gets a few shots on Leatherface before dying, none of which are damaging enough.
- Unsatisfying ending. Leatherface is revealed to be alive and kills Melody. Much like any horror film villain, he gets a moment where you think he is dead for good, only to come back alive. And unlike Halloween Kills, there is no explanation to how he made it out alive, and likely only is done to sequel bait, as it moved to Netflix.
- The film is nothing but a rip-off of Halloween (2018), as many have argued that Sally's inclusion is very obviously a retread from the usage of Laurie Strode in Halloween (2018) (a much poorer one for that matter, though likely meant to be satirical).
- Colin Stetson's soundtrack is amazing. A mix of dark ambience and industrial in the vein of the soundtrack of the original film, but with its own modern influences and haunting, dissonant soundscape that mixes Stetson's signature rugged horns with an industrial soundscape of scraping metal, piercing shrieks and metallic grumbles.
- Leatherface still looks intimidating like the first movie.
- Good cinematography that were improvement of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D.
- The acting is decent for the most part. Olwen Fouéré does a good job being Sally Hardesty since her original actress, Marilyn Burns, passed away in 2014.
- Some neat kills, with the bus carnage being the most terrifying scene in the film, and also the most satisfying because it likely makes fun of cancel culture unintentionally.
- In the post credits scene, we see Leatherface walking towards the house in the first movie.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre received generally negative reaction. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 31% of 81 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 4.2/10. The website's consensus reads, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn't skimp on the gore, but Leatherface may have irrevocably lost his ability to terrify." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 36 out of 100 based on 20 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Valerie Complex for Deadline Hollywood wrote "The real horror here is the modernizing of the content by merging social media, social issues and Twitter buzz words in a careless fashion that makes it hard to latch onto anything substantial". For The A.V. Club, A.A. Dowd negatively compared the film to David Gordon Green's Halloween and said "Isn't it kind of arrogant to position your movie as the only proper follow-up to an iconic original and then make the same blunders as the films you're retconning?" Owen Glieberman of Variety called the film "a blood-soaked but unscary footnote."
Writing for The Wrap, William Bibbiani said "Garcia clearly knows that this is the film's ultraviolent slasher centerpiece, and he absolutely delivers on all that gory promise." Frank Scheck, of The Hollywood Reporter, wrote "Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn't exactly offer anything new, but gorehound fans who rejoice at watching people's innards fall out of their bodies will find much to appreciate.
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