Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
Directed by: David Blue Garcia | 83 minutes | crime, horror | Actors: Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham, Jacob Latimore, Moe Dunford, Olwen Fouéré, Jessica Allain, Nell Hudson, Alice Krige, William Hope, Jolyon Coy, Sam Douglas, John Larroquette
A hammer smashes a head into red meat. Glass severs a carotid artery. Warm blood sprays as the victim dies gurgling. And then the screeching engine of a chainsaw in the hands of a psychopath with only one goal: to kill. Since 1974, Leatherface has terrorized the sanity of the horror fans and casual viewers of ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)’. The current film, the ninth in the TCM franchise, is no different. Like junk food, the movies follow a set formula that delivers exactly what’s expected. ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ was initially supposed to be directed by Ryan and Andy Tohill. However, due to creative differences between the Tohill brothers and the studio, they were replaced by David Blue Garcia (“Tejano”). ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ is a sequel to the first Tobe Hooper version from 1974 and is set 50 years after Leatherface’s first massacre.
Melody (Sara Yarkin) and Dante (Jacob Latimore), two millennial entrepreneurs, travel to Harlow, Texas, to auction old buildings. The intent is to revive the extinct and abandoned Harlow with new ideas, creativity and capitalism. When they walk into an abandoned dilapidated orphanage to remove a flag of the Confederate States of America flying outside, they discover that the orphanage is still occupied by an old woman with an oxygen bottle. She wasn’t supposed to be there anymore and Dante lets her know in no uncertain terms. An altercation ensues, which is interrupted by a second resident. He stands silent and tall at the top of the stairs. The old woman assures this silent beholder that nothing is wrong. She returns to Melody and says that this was the last boy from the orphanage. That he needs special care. And that he doesn’t really do well in the outside world. Then the police enter and remove the fiercely protesting woman from the building. The ensuing events trigger the resurrection of Leatherface (Mark Burnham), the chainsaw-wielding psychopath who doesn’t just use this tool to help people get to the other side of life.
The first ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ breached the general consciousness of society, mainly due to the fact that such a level of unscrupulous violence, especially in 1974, was by no means standard on the big screen. However, in all the years the formula has not changed: a trail of blood towards the end of the film. Now it doesn’t matter when storylines are simple. It is equally important how a story is told. And there is something to be said about that.
The protagonists, Sara Yarkin (Melody), Elsie Fisher (Lila) and Jacob Latimore (Dante) represent the millennial generation. Not much is expected of the actors in the film, other than screaming, yelling and running away. More is not necessary because the film aspires to nothing other than what we expect. The dialogues are also minimal and intended to create a little bit of context. The character development here also follows a standard format where the weak underdog confronts the fear and thus places himself in a stronger light.
A big plus are the sound effects. The film is largely set in an old wooden house. The creaking of the shelves and the squeaking of the doors is a real pleasure and increases the tension of the film. Another plus is the high level of violence. For horror fans who love mindless violence This will therefore be the only reason why people watch the movie with a bowl of popcorn and a Diet Coke. All for the entertainment value.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a predictable horror film with a simple plot and brutal murder scenes. For lovers of sadistic violence, this is a movie to put on the list. However, for those seeking a little more intelligence in the storyline, where the horror aspect is secondary to the plot, this film is not a significant addition to the film repertoire. The villain is a runaway murder train and the rest are just trying to survive.