Here’s a tip: Don’t try to ‘revive’ any Old West ghost towns without doing your research. If they’re known for harboring sadistic killers, maybe move on to the next one instead of stepping directly into its murderous history. And if they ask you to leave, leave quickly. Characters in horror movies are stubborn beasts, though, especially overconfident father figures.
“Try anything and you’re canceled, bro,” is advice that does not translate to a man holding a chainsaw and wearing a human skin mask.
At least the comment leaves Leatherface a wonderfully wide opening to mark his 2022 return in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, posting the smart-ass dad who won’t leave his abandoned town on his rumbling rotating blade.
“After nearly 50 years of hiding,” Netflix informs us in a plot description. “Leatherface returns to terrorize a group of idealistic young friends who accidentally disrupt his carefully shielded world in a remote Texas town.”
It’s a good sign that the makers are capturing a modern idiom in concert with the grisly action that characterized the original Chainsaw Massacre. This shouldn’t be a surprise seeing as Kim Henkel, director Tobe Hooper’s co-writer in the first film, was part of the team behind the new streaming version. Director David Blue Garcia steps behind the camera for the new version. His first feature film, Tejano in 2018, is a wicked shoot-em-up about a white boy on the run for the American border that won the 2018 Dallas International Film Festival’s audience award for its narrative competition. It also helps that Garcia is from Texas himself.
Why the kids feel like they have to stick around in Harlow while a killer hunts them is the question.
“I don’t want to live here,” Lila (Elsie Fisher) pipes in — the voice of reason.
“This is a place for people to start fresh somewhere,” Melody (Sarah Yarkin) responds, offering a better reason. But what are they starting fresh from?
Netflix describes the group’s move to the isolated Texas town as an “idealistic new business venture.” It also seems to come down to a naive group who won’t recognize a demonic presence in a human body until it’s hitting them in the head with a sledgehammer. Lila and Sarah are the main targets. They eventually join forces with Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouéré), “the sole survivor of the infamous 1974 massacre who’s hell-bent on seeking revenge.”
Hardesty finds her way back to Harlow after a telephone call informs her that her “old friend” is back.
“50 years I been waitin’ on this night,” she says. “Just to see him again.”
The OG psycho who kicked off eight sequels and an entire generation of waking nightmares.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the second 2022 film to take on the same name as its first film, following the return of Scream’s original cast members to fight for the lives of a new generation.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre arrives on Netflix on Feb. 18.
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