Review: ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ is far from capturing successor’s charm

Another failed attempt at reviving a horror franchise


Courtesy of Netflix.

In the era of rebooting horror franchises, it was only a matter of time for the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” to fall in this period. The film has taken a lot of inspiration from 2018’s “Halloween” as the story continues after the original, completely forgetting about the other sequels. “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” shows the 50 years that have passed after the original events with a group of young people who disrupt a remote Texas town that leads to the reawakening of Leatherface. 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is as iconic as it is flawed. Many of the characters aren’t interesting because they mostly serve as more victims. But the film mostly achieved at creating an unsettling and disturbing atmosphere. This mostly has to do with the $140,000 budget the film worked with at the time. The film’s look is meant to be seen as exhaustingly bleak and that adds even more to the tone. There’s more to appreciate along with the chilling idea of Leatherface. Now with an obvious bigger budget, a lot of the appreciation is drained out. All the filmmakers have left is to mimic the elements along with creating interesting characters, but “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” completely and utterly fails horribly. 

The characters of Melody (Sarah Yarkin) and Lila (Elsie Fisher) are established as having been victims of violence but ended up being one note. They’re more annoying than likable. Never in a single scene was there a sense of suspense because the audience couldn’t care less about the characters. 

The cinematography by Ricardo Diaz didn’t feel appropriate for the movie as instead of building up an eeriness vibe to what it was presenting, it instead felt a need to add neon colors. Sure it could have been a creative choice to do something different with the cinematography, but it still doesn’t work at all. 

There was an unnecessary element to add a lot of gore and over-the-top deaths. The exaggeration deteriorated from the seriousness that the film was trying to shove in. There really wasn’t a way to tell whether the film was trying to pull off a comedic shift or a serious shift. The R rating is really justified, but even in the original, there wasn’t such a “Friday the 13th” style of grotesque deaths. 

One of the main elements that made the movie stand out was the fact that the character of Sally Hardesty from the first installment returns to take down Leatherface. She’s now played by Olwen Fouéré as the original actress, Marilyn Burns, sadly passed away. Audiences can predict the revengeful element was inspired by “Halloween.” As a whole, her character didn’t fit and was completely wasted. She’s briefly introduced then comes back in the third act conveniently. Her motivation doesn’t feel powerful enough to justify her actions and the presence feels overall goofy. 

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was a complete dumpster fire of an attempt to recreate the charm of its original predecessor. The film deserves a 2/10 as it has next to no redeeming qualities.