As I have pointed out each time I do a movie review, I am not a professional movie critic. I am just a guy who happens to love watching movies. So, the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre was recommended to me by a friend. Let me preface this critique with the fact that the original movie was special to me because of my opportunity in the 90’s of working with Gunnar Hanson (original Leatherface) on another film. The man was brilliant and a lot of fun to talk to about life,, politics, science, movies – whatever subject came up. So, here we go.
First of all, why? Why remake this movie, especially as they did? I mean, the other spin offs were different stories but this one was like a sequel picking up on the same story decades after the original events. Sound familiar? The Halloween franchise was successful at this in 2018 and even again this past year. But this movie? Not so much. First of all, the story was really lame as it follows two social media food sensations moving to a ghost town in Texas to open up a restaurant and renovate the dilapidated town into a destination. The writing was bad and the acting was less than stellar and even less than mediocre for much of the movie. I’m not sure if the actine was bad BECAUSE of the bad script or just bad talent. The characters were weak. The killings happened so quickly that there was no time for character development. Sarah Yarkin, who played Melody, created one of the most annoying characters I’ve seen in while in a horror movie. That said, she is a subtly attractive actress, though my buddy, Mean Joe Grizzly disagrees with me on that point. If you don’t know him, check out his Podcasts on horror movies.
Mark Burnham did a fair job as Leatherface. But how difficult is it to run around wielding a chainsaw? I will say that while the kills in this film were gory and exciting if you like that type of thing, Leatherface was not menacing to me. In the original, Gunnar Hanson scared the hell out of you. His quick twitch movements and sounds were scary as hell. This Leatherface? Not so much.
And finally, this is a horror movie. This is about meaningly, senseless killings and blood and gore and scaring people. So why the need to try to write social commentary into the script? It was a laughable- or nauseating – attempt at political commentary in an already bad script.
There are folks out there who are going to like this film because they love slasher and gore movies. But if you’re looking for any kind of sustenance from the story and writing, you’re going to wish you had your 85 minutes back when the ending, which was terrible, is done. This movie could have been made better by ending it at 80 minutes and cutting out the final Jason Vorhees-like scene.