Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
I'm not to constantly complain about the lack of ideas in Hollywood. Even Shakespeare who still gets praised to the high heavens today borrowed some of his most famous stuff from myths of the past. What I'm trying to say is mankind has been telling stories for a long, long time and things just have a way of coming back. An example would be the revival of an iconic, and influential horror movie...
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
Much like the Halloween franchise, they're getting back to basics and instead of just taking the same name of the movie you're continuing, like Halloween, this time they dropped the "The" in the title. In this movie we're given a quick refresher of the terrible events of the first movie and meet a group of influencers looking to buy up and gentrify the abandoned town of Harlow where Leatherface did his thing. As far as ideas go, I liked this one a lot. I've always had a fascination with ghost towns and it makes sense that a town truly terrified of a serial killer would pack up and leave instead of living in fear 40 years after a man killed less than a handful of people and has been locked away since. Sorry! Anyways, one mark in this movie's favor is that there is no repeating of the phrase, "Evil dies tonight!" 1,000 times. While they're touring the abandoned town they come across an orphanage with a sweet older lady running it. After some unpleasantness the old woman has a heart attack. Her "son," two officers and a member of the group go off to get her help. The older woman dies on the way, and I'm guessing you know who the "son" is and I think you know where it goes from here. For as terrible as some reviews were, and my friend Nichole hated it, I... liked it. I didn't care for the original, I know, I'm sorry, so I don't hold it in the same esteem that I do Halloween. I think that's why I didn't care that this baddie didn't feel like Leatherface. For one, in the original, Leatherface was just as scared of the kids as they were of him. He was attacking them because he thought they were attacking him. In this one, he's just pissed off that his mom died. Like you replace Leatherface and put in a generic villain with a chainsaw and you wouldn't lose anything. This movie is a paint-by-the-numbers cash grab kind of like a different horror franchise relaunch except with less delusion from the filmmakers. Sorry! That's the last time, most likely!
I think one of the reasons it got such terrible reviews is the movie clearly takes aim at a certain group of people that don't have a sense of humor about themselves. It's clear this movie revels in its gore while cutting up young, good looking people who are more obsessed with "likes" than anything else. The biggest shot across the bow and my absolute favorite scene is wonderful in its ridiculousness. The group of influencers are all huddled on the bus, not exactly sure what's going on. Suddenly Leatherface waltzes on board covered in blood and all of them pull out their phones and go live. One of them tells him, "Try anything and you're canceled, bro." It's so stupid and ridiculous that I love it.
I even liked the main group of characters and made one stand out in a way I really didn't see coming. Lila was a survivor of a school shooting and has a real bad case of survivor's guilt. It still haunts her and it's been the defining moment of her life. I also like the contrast of the more liberal-minded group and the stereotypical Texan, Richter who works for them. I actually really like their interactions because it helps you understand the influencers a bit more and it doesn't seem like the director is using one to talk down to a particular side. They disagree, but each does state their cases plainly. I do wish we would have seen more of Lila and Richter because I liked their little friendship. Some other things I like, Leatherface is handy and creative with his chainsaw. He uses it for offense, of course, but he also has some really creative defense that showed you need more than distance to escape him. Sure this movie has some head scratching moments so the movie can get from point A to point B, but for the most part I was really entertained by it. I watched the original just a few years ago so it doesn't hold a sacred place in my heart so changes to the formula don't bother me that much, especially considering how wildly different the second move is to the first. One last good thing about the movie, it's a shade over 80 minutes long so it doesn't drag. In fact it gets to the action quite early and once it gets there, the movie doesn't let up. I liked it a lot. It's not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it was very entertaining. I enjoyed pretty much every moment... except for the ending. Look, I get that it's a horror movie, but it was so telegraphed and so cliche that I rolled my eyes. I get people want to milk this franchise for as much money as they can get, but surely there's a better way than what they went with. It just puts a bad taste in your mouth after such a fun 80 minutes. I toyed with giving it an 8 or 8.5, but that ending was stupid. Well. at least there wasn't a subplot about how much Leatherface likes to stare out of his sister's bedroom window.