The Saw Returns in Texas Chainsaw Massacre

When the news first came out that there was going to be a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre I was genuinely excited. The first Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a classic and a few of the following sequels were pretty good. My excitement was already high for this film and when I found out this was going to be a direct sequel to the original, I got really excited to see this movie.

Growing up, I was huge into horror movies, and the first time I saw TCM I remember seeing it through my fingers because I was so scared by the imagery and the noises coming from the television. I remembered watching it again during the day because watching a horror movie in the day is safer and not as scary. I counted down the days until the release of the new movie and I think I let my excitement get the best of me.

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE Sarah Yarkin as Melody. Cr. Yana Blajeva / ©2022 Legendary, Courtesy of Netflix

Ok, let’s start off by saying that Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2022 does not break new ground. It follows the familiar storyline of most horror movies: City people go into a small town. City people mess with the wrong person or do the wrong thing. City people are now running for their lives from the killer.

While this trope is very easy to do in horror movies, it is how the writers tweak it to make it their own story that helps out the movies. In this version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we learn that one of the sisters was a victim of a school shooting. Now that event is a traumatizing event but feels like there could be more to that part of the story. It is also a reason why the two sisters are moving to an abandoned town to start a new utopian way of life. This town is supposed to be a place where everyone is respected, all walks of life are enjoyed, and no harm will come to anyone anymore. Yes, this concept might turn people away by making the movie feel too “woke”, but it also plays into the inexperience they have in dealing with their situation.

I feel that TCM has some great kills and beautifully shot scenes but the movie still feels empty. One of the big reveals in the trailer is the return of Sally Hardesty. She was the final girl in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and has been looking for Leatherface for the past 50 years. This part of the storyline feels like it is taking its cue from the most recent Halloween movies. We get the original actress replaying her role and she is out for revenge. It is great to see Olwen Fouéré back in her role but it feels like more could have been done with the character. This is one of the failures of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Having Sally in the movie felt more like fan service in a way.

I know what you are thinking, “This is a horror movie! It is supposed to be scary and fun!” and you are correct. After you disregard some of the cheesy and cringe moments, the movie is a good horror movie that will take you on a scary ride for an hour and a half. Yes, it does have a short runtime but it gets into the plot and kills pretty quickly. Once Leatherface is unleashed onto the people of Harlow, the movie picks up the pace and shows us some impressive and unique kills. Even though he has been in hiding for 50 years, Leatherface has not lost his touch.

Final Thoughts: This version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a fun horror movie to watch and does not really advance the story of Leatherface. Some interesting kills make this film one to repeat watch but more questions are raised than answered.

Kid-Friendly: No. With all of the bloody kills, this one is not for younger children. Maybe 15 and up can handle this but parents can make that judgment call.

Violence: There is a lot of violence in the movie. Leatherface gives us some creative and violent kills this time around.

Melody (Sarah Yarkin), her teenage sister Lila (Elsie Fisher), and their friends Dante (Jacob Latimore) and Ruth (Nell Hudson), head to the remote town of Harlow, Texas to start an idealistic new business venture. But their dream soon turns into a waking nightmare when they accidentally disrupt the home of Leatherface, the deranged serial killer whose blood-soaked legacy continues to haunt the area’s residents — including Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouéré), the sole survivor of his infamous 1973 massacre who’s hell-bent on seeking revenge.

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE Mark Burnham as Leatherface. Cr. Yana Blajeva / ©2021 Legendary, Courtesy of Netflix
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