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Photo: ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’
The spooky season of autumn may have already come and gone, leading us to now welcome the new flowery time of spring, but, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still enjoy the good ol’ experience of watching a horror movie. Especially one that relates to one of the most iconic figures in horror Cinema history: Leatherface.
The direct sequel to the original 1974 film ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ has finally been released as a Netflix original. Simply being titled ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, the recent horror film gives off an atmosphere of a wonderfully cheesy yet rather bloody adventure that seems to reach its targeted audience; which both seems to be the current young generation and those who are big fans of the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ universe.
‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ – The Return Of Leatherface: A Killer Resurfaced
I will wholeheartedly admit that I was initially iffy about whether or not I’d fully enjoy this film. Typically, newer horror films don’t seem to hit a home run in my book; with the exception being recent films such as ‘Hereditary’ and ‘Us’. Along with this, there are also about nine films in the entire ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ series, so I was curious as to how a new addition could expand on this universe even more. But, in the end, I am an extreme sucker for older horror films. So, with me already being a fan of the original 1974 film (and finding the entire development of Leatherface’s character quite intriguing) I believed that it would be worthwhile to give this movie a shot. And, spoiler alert, it was totally worth it.
The 2022 film ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ follows a group of optimistic friends who have come to the town of Harlow, Texas, to start anew and build a better future. But, after nearly 50 years of hibernating in his secured home, the group accidentally awakens the killer in Leatherface once more; thus, leading everyone down a path in soon becoming his next victim. Alongside this, in the shadows also lurks Sally Hardesty; the final girl from Leatherface’s original bloody massacre, who wants to exact revenge and kill the one who haunts her dreams day in and day out.
The story for the film is short and to the point, similar to the film itself. With a runtime of merely 93 minutes, ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ sets out exactly to be what you fully expect it to be with all the time it has. There are no plot holes or any additional subplots that will make you groan and beg that the story gets back on track; and all-in-all, it seemingly is a film that wants you to enjoy the experience that it gives you. This is ultimately a breath of fresh air since with the original film having the same runtime, it feels as though it’s paying a wonderful tribute and reunion; completely not falling into the well-known Cinema schlock that sequels based on older movies can tend to lean towards.
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The Development Of The Massacre
Directed by David Blue Garcia, and screenplay by Chris Thomas Devlin, ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ has rather simple substance when it comes to looking at the film overall. As I mentioned before, the runtime flows perfectly with the short story and there aren’t many twists and turns that you find yourself going down. But, despite this, it’s still noteworthy how regardless of the expected and typical cliches that we can find today in horror films, the writing within ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ hits those marks while also mending them into something unexpected as well. More specifically, what I mean by this involves the few moments in the film where you will anticipate something to happen because that is “of course, how it’s always been with these types of movies”; and then suddenly, that anticipation is cut short when nearly the opposite happens. Not to mention how all of this is set in this current day and age to add more of an odd realism. It’s all rather comedic in some weird dark way, actually.
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Now, Garcia’s direction of the film is intriguing. His directing style matches with Devlin’s writing in an oddly incredible way, and it’s from this element alone that I gathered the assumption that Garcia and Devlin simply wanted to make a horror movie; a fun one at that. When I mention the fun part of it, however, I don’t want you all to potentially think that describing it as such demeans the spooky enjoyment of the film. In fact, I find that there is an appropriate amount of blood and guts, and badass final girls, to classify this as your run-of-the-mill slasher film. And who doesn’t love a good slasher film now and then that brings out a little bit of fun in you? I know I certainly do.
Of course, this sequel would not be complete without the wonderful performances of the actors (I’m specifically looking at you, Elsie Fisher). The cast in the film is rather small, given the largest group of people you’ll see in the movie being extras. However, the main group that the story focuses on completely steals the show; specifically, the two sisters Melody (Sarah Yarkin) and Lila (Elsie Fisher). While everyone who worked on this film did a magnificent job, it is through Yarkin’s and Fisher’s performances that kept the momentum of my truly engrossed attention into the film. They had so much life in the ways that they played their characters, which overall brought connection to the audience despite us never seeing these two ever again.
I also want to give a big hand to Olwen Fouéré, who did a fantastic job playing one of the original final girls: Sally Hardesty. Overall, Fouéré acted out an amazing tribute to Marilyn Burns (the original Sally and one of Cinema’s well-known scream queens).
The End In Harlow
Horror in Cinema is forever changing, and we don’t know what’s to come next for the genre. There could be more horrifying films out there that dive into the odd technological world we currently live in, or there could be some that bring audiences back into the familiar and reminisce on that terrifying film experience that they once had with the original film.
Ultimately, the 2022 sequel to the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ universe was something cinematically classic in the world of horror. The ending has a sense of comedic tragedy and makes you spend the last two minutes of the film with your mouth agape wondering what on earth just happened. And, honestly, this was a bold move for the film to make since we had already spent so much time investing in the story and feeling secure in knowing how it would end. But, as I mentioned before, ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ is full of giving you the oddly amazing opposite side of things.
By Leah Donato
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