What do you hope for when they announce a new Texas Chainsaw film? What’s on your list of essential inclusions, new directions, good choices? I think we each have our own checklists, and that those checklists are as unique and as wonderful as each of us. One man’s peak is another man’s gutter.
Today we must once again ask ourselves that question as Netflix drops the full trailer for its ninth Leatherface to-do, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Is it everything you dreamed, or everything you dreaded? Let’s take a look.
There are pros and cons in here.
We start with standard-issue slasher protagonists — a bunch of young people about whom I will almost certainly not care when their time comes. A TIME-HONORED TRADITION. So far, so good.
If Texas Chainsaw 3D can reproduce the original house exactly, why fudge it here? Points off on the pedantry scale.
I am weirdly on board with the “Sally Hardesty in 2018 Jamie Lee Curtis drag but add a cowboy hat” presented by Olwen Fouéré. It’s perhaps a little “we have Laurie Strode at home,” but Sally’s the OG, legacy sequels are in right now, and it’d be foolish for this production to not capitalize on that trend, despite just about everyone from the original film being dead. I’m calling this a Good Move.
Have movies ever presented a normal person with newspaper clippings glued to a wall? Lotta scrapbooking slander in cinema.
Bulgaria looks enough like Texas, I suppose. Is that due to Texan director David Blue Garcia? Possibly! (But that shot of Leatherface in the field of sunflowers flirts with some kinda ersatz A24 energy; careful…)
And is that Alice Krige I spy as a heretofore unseen member of the Slaughter/Sawyer/Whoever family? I’ll be honest, it used to irk me how every film seemed to introduce more and more family members — after 1986, it’s never been (Chop) topped, so why bother? — but I’ve come to look forward to finding those weird new colors in the crayon box. You never know when you’ll get a Viggo Mortensen or Tonie Perensky in the mix. Looking forward to Ms. Krige’s work here.
A bus full of tourists attempting to stop a chainsaw-wielding Leatherface by… filming them with their iPhones is perhaps an easy layup, but I’m an easy lay. Sorry! (Didn’t these people see the Texas Chainsaw 3D reshoots? iPhones can’t stop Leatherface!)
I still don’t love that Leatherface is wearing someone’s sopping wet face. Would you put on a wet t-shirt fresh from the laundry? Leatherface is many things, but he’s always struck me as practical.
There you have it! Will “Try anything and you’re canceled, bro” join the hallowed Chainsaw sequel lexicon next to “Do your thing, cuz”? Stranger things have happened.
I’ll be in front of my TV at midnight when Texas Chainsaw Massacre hits Netflix on February 18th.