Directed by David Blue Garcia, co- directed by Christian Mye and Edward Mathias with a screenplay by Chris Thomas Devlin, from an original story co-written by Fede Álvarez and Rodo Sayagues, the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre plays as a directed sequel to the 1974 classic (ignoring the other seven sequels). It stars Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham, Jacob Latimore, Moe Dunford, Olwen Fouéré, Alice Krige, Jessica Allain, and Nell Hudson.
The film is set around fifty years after Leatherface’s killing spree in 1973 and we meet young entrepreneurs Melody (Yarkin) and Dante (Latimore), Melody’s sister Lila (Fisher) and Dante’s girlfriend Ruth (Hudson) who have travelled to Harlow, an abandoned Texas town. The entrepreneurs have required the deeds to all the properties in Harlow and plan to auction them off to create a gentrified town.
Events take a strange turn when our group come across a rundown almost abandoned looking orphanage, run by an elderly woman named Ginny (Alice Krige). Ginny disputes the group’s claim that they own the building. She states that she has papers to prove it. An argument breaks out drawing out a tall scary looking man, then Ginny collapses and is rushed to hospital by two police officers, accompanied by Ruth and the man.
Unfortunately, Ginny dies on the way to the hospital. Ruth texts Melody to let her know just as the man goes berserk and murders the officers driving the ambulance – making it crash. Ruth witnesses the man cut off Ginny’s face to wear as a mask – revealing him to be Leatherface. Ruth manages to radio for help before being killed by Leatherface. He then turns his attention to the town of Harlow.
As plots go, there are not many shock revelations here. The reveal that the huge scary man was Leatherface was obvious from the first moment we saw him. All the events that unfold from that point are very predictable. Having Olwen Fouéré as Sally Hardesty, the only survivor of Leatherface’s original killing spree (original actress Marilyn Burns sadly passed away in 2014) turning up for revenge was a nice touch but felt rushed and waisted.
Most of the key cast played their roles well, Krige is always gold and Yarkin and Fisher more than held up their end throughout the movie. Moe Dunford as Herb was criminally underused and had so much more to offer as a character, and the rest of the acts did what needed to be done.
Respect is shown to the original movie throughout this film and there is a nice post-credit scene where Leatherface is seen returning to the house where his original massacre took place but unfortunately is just fails to be as disturbing and jarring as the original.
Verdict: 5/10. A well-meaning step forward for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise but further sequels need to take more risks and push the comfortability level of the audience.