Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) review – all gore, nothing more, and that’s okay

February 19, 2022
Kira Comerford 0
Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service
3

Summary

I was intrigued to see what would happen with this installment — aptly named Texas Chainsaw Massacre — for better or worse. Dare I say curiosity didn’t kill the cat here?

3

Summary

I was intrigued to see what would happen with this installment — aptly named Texas Chainsaw Massacre — for better or worse. Dare I say curiosity didn’t kill the cat here?

This review of the Netflix film Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) does not contain spoilers. 

Set in the present day, almost 50 years after the original killings, Texas Chainsaw Massacre follows a group of idealistic young friends who, in pursuit of creating something better for themselves, accidentally upset the carefully managed existence of Leatherface, much to their own detriment.

Straight off, it’s worth pointing out that this is a film that looks to be to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise what Halloween is to Halloween, but is more Halloween Kills in its execution (promise that pun wasn’t intended). That is to say, if gore p**n is for you, you’ll be a somewhat happy camper. Luckily for me, I’m one of those people, and I can confirm that this film is gore-geous. Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s iteration of Leatherface is probably the most creatively brutal one to date, with an absolutely cracking arm to boot. This meant that there were some properly messy kills, and the mind boggles at the sheer amount of fake blood that must’ve been used in the shooting of one sequence in particular.

Of course, for anyone who paid attention to the end credits, and before that the buzz that this film generated whilst in pre-production, the generosity with the corn syrup probably wasn’t that much of a shock. Fede Alvarez — who helmed 2013’s Evil Dead and certainly put on a show there — produced and also co-wrote the screenplay for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. His involvement was something I’d been quite excited about at the time of learning about it, as it almost guaranteed that any kills would be plentiful and proper, and it 100% delivered.

So, whilst Leatherface in all his glory was an absolute gift — and I’d argue perhaps the most terrifying he’s ever been — the same couldn’t really be said for just about everyone else in the film. They were paper thin and ultimately very boring, meaning I didn’t care one bit about what happened to them. In fact, I think I cheered on a few occasions when someone met their end. I think the direction the writers decided to take when bringing back Sally Hardesty (played here by Olwen Fouéré owing to original actress Marilyn Burns passing away in 2014) was one of the hardest things to stomach as far as Texas Chainsaw Massacre is concerned. She was clearly modeled ENTIRELY on Jamie Lee Curtis’ return as Laurie Strode, and it’s just a bit like… really? I get reboots and sequels are doing well for a lot of franchises right now, so I accept that as the model that a lot of films are following, but copy/pasting an entire character is a bit much.

More to that point, I don’t like it when franchises try to crowbar themselves into the 21st Century with cringe-worthy modern stereotypes. I don’t need live streams and ‘cancel culture’ slapping me around the face to remind me that a film is taking place in the present day; everyone having iPhones is enough for me to catch myself on there. That being said, subtlety isn’t exactly the first word that springs to mind upon watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so it’s probably best to align all expectations with that.

However, despite the issues I did take with the film, no one can argue that the sheer amount of kills and action in such a very tidy runtime does even the poorest writing a lot of favors. Texas Chainsaw Massacre gets down to business quickly as opposed to teasing its audience with a train that never quite makes it into the station, and I do kind of appreciate such a no-nonsense approach.

It’s an interesting relationship we have with later installments of franchises. On the one hand, you swear you’ll never watch another after each bad film, and yet, when the next one comes along and will most likely be considerably worse than its predecessor, it’s impossible to say no. There is nothing that could sum up my feelings towards The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise more accurately. And yet, I was intrigued to see what would happen with this installment — aptly named Texas Chainsaw Massacre — for better or worse. Dare I say curiosity didn’t kill the cat here?

Overall, I had a good time. Don’t get me wrong, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is not in any danger of venturing into the realms of high art, but if you’re a bit of a sick puppy, there is definitely something to look at here.

What did you think of the Netflix film Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)? Comment below.

You can watch this film with a subscription to Netflix.

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