Director: David Blue Garcia
Starring: Mark Burnham, Elsie Fisher, Owlen Fouere, Neil Hudson Sarah Yarkin, Jacob Latiore, Moe Dunford. USA. 1h 21m
I wasn’t aware that we needed another addition to this blood soaked series but it seems that coming out of a pandemic we just might need some fun chainsaw fun time again. The brilliance is that this isn’t a remake, a reboot or a re-imagined mish mash of horror pulp and a genuine attempt to revisit a dusty town has been achieved although with all the tropes, cliches and homages, was it really worth the effort?
In this new “nightmare” 50 years after the original massacre, a new group of hipsters attempt to gentrify an old ghost town of Harlow, and the movie is more about gentrification and anti gun violence than anything else, which is really od as guns were never a part of the CHAINSAW massacre in the first place. Nevertheless the gun hating liberal kids and a bus load of new hopeful property buyer kids land on an abandoned town with hopes of turning it into a modern new haven of opportunity. But one property is occupied by a elderly woman and her devoted giant adopted son. After an altercation she’s taken to the hospital and passes away, her death awakens the beast within the orphaned man she once called son and pretty soon he’s skinning a face and picking up his chainsaw. Also meanwhile the 50 year older Sally Hardesty (Fouere) is preparing to take out the man who she once escaped from in the back of a pick up truck.
There won’t be any surprises for seasoned horror fans, the movie is littered with homages to the original movie, and other little quips and jokes will keep a keen eyed audience entertained, a chainsaw keyring and a mad man swinging a chainsaw wildly in the streets, and a young man being pulled through a huge doorway to his impending doom, but it feels very nouveau, this modern world has Tesla cars and neon lights, the victims don’t feel so lonely as they are tweeting and instagramming all throughout the movie, but despite the larger crowd there doesn’t seem like more blood and guts, there’s a few ultraviolet kills and one spree killing scene on a party bus, but no attempt to make a movie likely to be banned due to its content, much like the original film, but maybe that’s not a benchmark for horror directors these days.
Say my name!-Sally
Mark Burnham, who in my opinion is already a classic bad guy and played an amazing slimeball Teddy in Lowlife. His portrayal of a less complicated Leatherface is apt, obviously die hards may bare a grudge but Burnham is an imposing character but with all the other politics going on in the film it’s hard for the skin gimp to really impose his fear on the hipsters who are more interested in likes, comments and subscriptions.
It’s alright entertainment, the most you can ask for from a modern slasher is an impressive killer and lots of mindless victims and Texas Chainsaw delivers just that and a little more. There are giant plot holes and some silliness with the script but above all that are some brilliant neon lit slasher killing scenes and a genuine sense of trying to pay homage to one of the greatest movies of all time. I dare say it’s going to divide horror fans, it doesn’t have the stark nature of the original movie but that time has passed and this is the new flesh.
Related: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)