film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2022 * * 1/2 Stars


"Are you okay? No". Makes sense. You've just been hounded by a dude with a contorted mask, a quick first step, and a chainsaw. Said dude has killed just about everybody and you're about the only one left. Yeesh.

Anywho, 2022's Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a sequel to 1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. "Massacre" doesn't feel like it's part of the 9-flick franchise. I'm not saying it's awful but who thought it was a fresh idea to make this new installment a Michael Myers movie with social media quirks and a little bit of House of Wax thrown in. I mean is Netflix that hard up to reinvent (or change) the wheel?

Reboots and follow-ups begot, Texas Chainsaw Massacre has few main characters in it and they are barely established. All we know is that they're just four people who happen to want to fix up some property in Harlow, Texas (the spot where the killings took place in the original from 48 years ago). You have the token African American, the token hottie damsel in distress, and two sisters (one of which looks like a young Winona Ryder). These people aren't bad actors but their personalities are meh. They are the equivalent of petrified rocks.

"Massacre" is what you expect. It's bloody, overkill-ed, and well, horrific. Is it scary? Kind of towards the last half hour (that's when Leatherface finally yields his tool). Is it well-directed by the unseasoned David Blue Garcia? To a point. Except for some familiar tracking shots by cinematographer Ricardo Diaz, Texas Chainsaw Massacre has very little connection to what made '74's version so effectively limited and so psychologically disturbing.

"Massacre" is not a horror film per se, it's more of a slasher pic (there is a difference). There's no torture or will holding, just kills (and lots of them). Added to that, there's too many people around and it doesn't feel like the victims are in the middle of nowhere. That's not as foreboding. A modern-day take (such as this one) on the Texas Chainsaw fondue might give fright fans their cinematic, heroin fix. Not me mind you. I'm just a purist who's still stuck in the glorious graininess of 1974 (so sue me).

Written by Jesse Burleson

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