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. Álvarez and Sayagues serves as producers alongside Pat Cassidy, Ian Henkel, and Kim Henkel who co-wrote the original film.
It is a direct sequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and the ninth installment of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM) franchise.
The project is a joint-venture production between Legendary Pictures, Bad Hombre, and Exurbia Films. It stars Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham, Jacob Latimore, Moe Dunford, Olwen Fouéré, Alice Krige, Jessica Allain, and Nell Hudson.
“After nearly 50 years of hiding, Leatherface returns to terrorize a group of idealistic young friends who accidentally disrupt his carefully shielded world in a remote Texas town. Melody (Yarkin), her teenage sister Lila (Fisher), and their friends Dante (Latimore) and Ruth (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 (Fouéré), the sole survivor of his infamous 1973 massacre who’s hell-bent on seeking revenge.”
This new take on the iconic franchise see’s Leatherface living a relatively quiet life in an almost abandoned town until a group of millennial social media-centered gentrifiers arrive to try and take over the town and disturb the peace. The film follows mostly from the events of the original film; opening with a fun sequence (with voiceover from John Laroquette who also provided the voiceover for the original) that frames the Texas Chainsaw Murders in the context of a modern true crime docu-series. For all these years leatherface has been in care of a deranged orphanage owner (played wonderfully by Alice Krige). Noticeably absent is any discernible reference to the Sawyer family that had been a staple of the franchise and instead leaves leatherface going solo psycho.
In the vein of many modern horror films and reboots the film also brings is own angle on the Leatherface story with social commentary. At the centre of the film are two sisters one of whom survived a school shooting and is still living with the trauma of that which is cleverly and sensitively intertwined with the events of the film. More widely the film is a commentary on the modern gentrifier culture, social media influencers, race issues and the effects on small towns. These elements are used well but the plot in general feels rushed (with an all too brief run-time on 80mins) and character development is severely lacking aside from the main duo. A treat for fans is the return of Sally Hardesty who was the survivor of the original film (played in this installment by Olwen Fouéré) who has been hunting for Leatherface all these years whilst dealing with her own trauma.
David Blue Garcia certainly ramps up the gore for this installment with brutal kills and blood splattering from the off; perhaps a nod to the brutality and shock factor of Tobe Hopper’s original film and whilst it is well shot and features some visually creative compositions it never quite lives up to that that legacy. The film benefits from an exhilaratingly driven and screeching score from Colin Stretson (Hereditary)