TLDR: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
Another reset of the TCM timeline.
Plot: 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.
Direction: This is director David Blue Garcia’s first work with a real budget and he mixes those resources with his indie filmmaking roots in a really interesting way here. I would have liked to see that go a bit further, to feel a bit more of the original TCM documentary-like approach and a bit less of the CW-affect, but it works well enough.
Screenplay: The smart folks over on Film Twitter seem to really hate the real estate plot, but there has to be some reason to get these carpetbaggers into Texas and that reason is just as good as any. Otherwise, they set up some good kills while exploring the emotional side of the locals — which has you really torn on who to root for. I’m on the side of the surprisingly agile for an old man Leatherface.
Performances: Who cares! They did an excellent job getting killed and that’s really all that matters.
Cinematography: It would be pretty easy to not put some love and care into this aspect of the movie. We’ve definitely seen that with a number of legacy sequels over the past few years. DP Ricardo Diaz does some really fun work with colors when the sun goes down. We’re going to see some of his work on the upcoming season of Stranger Things and you can feel that vibe with the camera in this film during the second half particularly.
Best moment: I liked a lot of the kills, but the “putting on the face” scene was particularly creepy.
Imaginary accolade: Longest it has ever taken to show a chainsaw in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, (I have no idea if this is true or not — but it sure feels like it at over 60% of the runtime.)
Everything is too long. Is it too long? I will never complain about an 80-minute horror movie. That’s about as good as it gets.
Rating: Three Leatherfaces on Instagram Live out of five.
Credit: Plot synopsis from Letterboxd via TMDb.