Review: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

Netflix just dropped its reboot/sequel of Texas Chainsaw Massacre onto its platform this past weekend, so, obviously, I watched a new horror film because it is a day that ends in ‘Y’. I will get this out of the way to begin: it is not a good movie. I am sure there will be fans of this film (hell some people genuinely enjoyed Cats and the new Cinderella movies, so anything is possible), but it really is just not a good film by any legitimate metric. The story is a mish mash of differing plots that do not come together in any meaningful way. The characters are all so annoying that you are actively rooting for Leatherface to murder them. With the exception of one who is unceremoniously killed off early in the film. On top of which, the characters are also all idiots for no real reason other than to continue the plot. And, frankly, its only supposedly redeeming quality, the kills, are not interesting or well done enough to justify the rest of the film.

I know it seems like I am being unfair or overtly harsh on this film, but it is mostly in response to the timid reviews by some fans arguing how this is basically what the film should have been and what could be expected from a slasher film. Well, a coherent plot, interesting characters, actually inventive kills, and someone to root for would be a starting point; you know like the original slasher films. Do slasher films get kind of ridiculous? Absolutely, but there is an understanding with the audience when that is the expectation. Plus, it usually takes a few films to get to that point. However, before then the lower budgets tend to force directors and crew to be creative with the gore and kills since that is the selling point. And, this version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre did not deliver on that end. Basically, if you saw the bus scene in the trailer then you already saw the best kill of the whole movie.

Grainy, low quality image? Yeah, but the actual film did not look much better.

And outside of the bus slaughter, the gore and kills were pretty straight forward. Leatherface would take a chainsaw to people and fake blood would spurt out. The first one or two were pretty good, but as the movie continued, the repetitive nature of the kills was just kind of boring. This was further aggravated by the fact that I legitimately wanted every single character to die and found their demises rather unsatisfactory. Add to this the utterly stupid and ridiculous choices and actions that nearly every single character performs throughout the film and I felt every single one of the film’s, surprisingly low runtime, hour and twenty one minutes.

As well, the film seemed unsure of what it was trying to say or be outside of a few solid kills. There were plot threads that ended up going nowhere, like Lila’s school shooting survivor backstory, and were at times in conflict. The movie seemed like it wanted to be satire at some points while being social commentary in others but not developing or executing either well or fully. Ultimately, the film was simply an underdeveloped mish mash of various plot points, character motivations and backgrounds, and horror tropes without a clear identity or vision tied together by nostalgia and, like, three solid kill scenes. T

he music and sound were pretty good and the movie looked like it had a budget, so it has that going for it, at least.

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