Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) - Lots of Gore But Ultimately Disappointing

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2022 Horror Movie Review

The Texas Chainsaw Massacare (2022) is a horror movie directed by David Blue Garcia and starring Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham, Moe Dunford, Nell Hudson, Jessica Allain, Olwen Fouéré, Jacob Latimore and Alice Krige. It is the ninth installment in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise and serves as a ''direct sequel'' to the original 1974 film.

I should add that even though it is listed as a ''direct sequel'', the producer of the movie, Fede Alvarez, said it is only being referred to as a "direct sequel" to the original and clarified that this term means the movie will continue the story fifty years after the events of the original film, rather than erasing the previous sequels. It isn't a direct follow on sequel.

The Plot

Dante and Melody are social media stars trying to convince people to buy land in Harlow, a small town, to make it fancier. But the locals aren't happy about it. They get into a fight with an old lady who says she's being kicked out of her home who has a heart attack and ends up in the hospital with her son. But here's the twist: her son is Leatherface. When his mom dies, he goes on a killing spree as an act of revenge.

What I Liked

To be fair, nothing too much.  My expectations were very low going into it, and I was still disappointed. I will mention the visuals and some of the stunning shots you see throughout the film. From the opening scene to the climactic moments, the cinematography is pretty good. One standout moment is when Leatherface emerges from the sunflower field, creating a visually striking image that perfectly captures the character's menacing presence. 

And the direction by David Blue Garcia isn't too shabby either. He handles the violent and deadly scenes pretty well overall. The movie doesn't hold back on the blood and guts, especially when Leatherface goes wild (literally!) attacking a bus full of possible investors. Instead of running away from a guy with a chainsaw, they choose to livestream it on their phones. (More on that below).

Some of the kills were enjoyable it has to be said, I think they did a good job with that! It satisfied my gore houndary. (Is that even a word?)

What I Disliked

Well, firstly it has a heavy-handed script and some excessive exposition. The dialogue feels clunky and preachy, often telling rather than showing and the characters' motivations and interactions just feel forced and pretty unnatural to the viewer.

There are also inconsistencies and oddities in the script that are distracting. From changing floorboards that only creak when seemingly convenient to characters making illogical decisions, these inconsistencies don't help with the immersion side of things for those watching it.

Certain character choices, particularly those of Sally, the returning final girl, deserve criticism too. Despite being portrayed as a seasoned survivor, she makes some questionable decisions throughout the film to say the least...

The movie also attempts to contrast rural and city life, with characters from the city judging the locals and vice versa but this plot point doesn't seem to go anywhere and lacks development and is all a bit pointless.

Overall I felt it was all just clunky and not put together very well at all. I just didn't about much of what was going on.

It's also worth noting and mentioning how the movie aimed to include meta and social commentary throughout the film, attempting to emulate the original's layers of messages and themes. References to cancel culture, brutality, and late-stage capitalism are incorporated into the storyline, providing social commentary on contemporary issues.

One notable scene, as mentioned above, is when the people on the bus live stream Leatherface, with one individual threatening him with cancel culture. 

The film attempts to make a connection between the horrors of Leatherface and the real-world horrors we face in society. But, the effectiveness of the social commentary is poor in my opinion for a movie like this, but of course that is debatable. Some of you may appreciate the attempt to address these issues, while others may feel that it is heavy-handed and just not needed. (Like me)

Do I Recommend The Movie?

Well, I would give the movie 4/10, so not really. BUT if you're familiar with the franchise and love some gore, then it is watchable. But if I was watching it as a standalone I am not sure I would have made it through.

Check out Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2022 on IMDB.

Also have a read of my horror movie review of Lake Mungo!