The new version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre is currently getting a lot of negative reviews. Being a modern-day horror film, a soft reboot, and a product of Netflix in one package I was determined to pass on it.
All of those things usually indicate a certain… tone. Or… a certain message. I decided it was a hard pass for me. Until I heard about it from my friend, Dean.
Dean is a friend whose opinion on film matters to me. If you saw last week’s LMO Livestream you would have heard Dean talk about the movie a bit. With what he said in mind, I watched it a few hours ago. I have to say Dean was right.
First, let me say this. Unlike the original masterpiece, this time around the title delivers. We do get a glorious chainsaw massacre rendered in beautiful, state-of-the-art 2022 gore effects. The main slaughter is everything I always wanted in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie. I just wanted to get that out of the way.
Now, why are so many people wrong about this movie? Here is why. It is stunningly anti-woke. I have no idea if it was done on purpose. It’s hard to believe it wasn’t done on purpose, but Hollywood is completely without self-awareness, so who can tell?
All of the victims are revolting San Francisco types with money and smugness, all ready to explain late-stage capitalism to you. TikTok influencer types, ready to cancel you on Twitter. That even plays into the best scene in the movie.
They are without redeeming qualities and are even the low-key villains of the story. They set the entire thing in motion because they self righteously believe they own the deed to an old sick woman’s home when they really don’t.
Through that lens, Leatherface can be seen as the hero of the movie. It’s pretty awesome. Almost every single one of the victims gets exactly what you hope they get. Much better than the old “sex and drugs” trope.
Speaking of tropes, Sally Hardesty comes back for the movie. Much like the new Halloween films, the “Final Girl” is back for revenge. But it is subverted satisfyingly. The usual, predictable tropes are all in the movie, and all get tossed in the trash with glee.
Is the movie a masterpiece? No. But it does have several things going for it that make it worth a watch.
The gore is great. We get a very high body count. It is anti-woke. It annoys Big Tech Zoomers. It is a very counter-culture film for 2022 and also a very solid low-budget slasher film. The tone is more in line with recent Blumhouse films in a lot of ways.
It’s not perfect, and it’s not on the same level as the original film, obviously. However, it is better than most of the sequels. Admittedly, I like it probably because of the type of people the victims are. Doesn’t matter, I had fun.