Typically speaking remakes and sequels to nearly 50 year old franchises don’t match the audience expectation of the fans. Sure there are exceptions like the new Halloween, but then there is always the Nightmare on Elm Streets and Friday the 13ths that just leave the audiences screaming WHY. Unfortunately, David Blue Garcia’s sequel/remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre falls into the latter category as he doesn’t modernize the Texas Chainsaw Massacre but makes a sequel that would’ve worked in 1976.
The biggest problem with this new imagining of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the lack of characterization and interesting story. The characters lack any form of depth and sort of just play rich elitists looking to make a quick buck as they’re trying to gentrify this Texas town. It also doesn’t work because that’s the entire story and awakening of Leatheface (Mark Burnham). The only interesting part that will resonate with passionate fans of the franchise, and those who are die-hard of at least installment one, will be the continuation of Sally (Olwen Fouere). As the group of gentrifying investors, played by Melody (Sarah Yarkin), Dante (Jacob Latimore), Lila (Elsie Fisher), and Ruth (Nell Hudson) investigate the now ghost town, they stumble across a resident who refuses to leave and sell the deed to her house. As they finally get things taken care of and can start prepping the deserted town for their investors to visit, things take an unexpected turn as the return of Leatherface and his killings have begun again.
The biggest problem within Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the entire cast. Not a single one of them has an ounce of energy, charisma or even shock to their characters. All the actors are notoriously better than the performances they give in this sequel/reboot but somehow just decided to coast throughout the movie. There truly is nothing more disappointing than seeing a cast who, as an audience, we know is better than what they’re delivering underdeliver. It is possible that they were just having a hard time acting with the script they were given, because their motivation and eventually cause of why Leatherface returns is sort of ridiculous and unbelievable. There is nothing leading up to their decisions that makes the audience think any of them would have compassion or any care about their decision to gentrify this town and make their money. If they just let the police handle the situation, showed up early, and dealt with the situation slightly more professionally, then Leatherface wouldn’t have re-emerged, and we wouldn’t have a movie.
The one thing that Texas Chainsaw Massacre should’ve done absolutely right and would’ve redeemed itself by is the kills and the kill count. Unfortunately, it also fails in this regard. There is nothing shocking about almost all of the kills, nothing excessively gory, nothing interesting that hasn’t been shown before. For a movie that is relying on fans of a nearly 50 year old movie to tune in and care about, with the original actress dying in real life, and rebooting with such an indifference to what is happening is sort of terrible. This could’ve worked better as its entirely own thing, that could’ve ramped up the kills and gore to 11 and provided something truly enjoyable instead of what was received. With a lack of character development and chemistry, boring kills, and logic missing, the revitalization of a dead franchise continues to flatline.