Why is this movie so polarising? On the one hand, it was so brutal and gory and had the hallmarks of a fun slasher film, but on the other hand, I just felt it lacked the tension of the older movies. While it had its fill in blood and gore and silly youngsters getting completely annihilated, that was about it. All gore and no actual sting. The movie tried to build tension, but it just fell a bit flat in my opinion. I could see what was coming a mile away and by the time the movie got to its halfway point, I was just there for the gore. I didn’t really care about the characters at all. I found them to be a bit obnoxious in all honesty. There is a scene where a guy threatens to ‘cancel’ Leatherface if he makes a move. I rolled my eyes at this and cheered when Leatherface went to town on the group. In fact, I think that is the thing with this movie. Leatherface was the good guy! Unlike the original, where I found myself biting my nails for the main characters, in this movie—the group of victims started the whole thing with their entitlement and attitude and, in all honesty, they just riled Leatherface up.
The opening of the movie made this clear when the one character confronted a local with her ideas and political views, which I’m all for open discourse but in a movie like this you’d want the main characters to be likable, not annoying and outright mean from the get-go. It was hard to resonate with characters who just impose themselves on everyone else then try to evade accountability for their actions. This is a trope for one kind of character in a slasher but most of the characters were written to fill that role and it made me not care about their survival. The movie lacked tension because I was rooting for Leatherface!
The gore was good though and, of course, the cast as well. Leatherface was manic and scary, like he should be, and the sets were really well done. The movie was dark and grim, and I felt a little hungry after all of that gore.
If you want to watch a fun, silly slasher, then give Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) a go on Netflix but don’t expect anything like the older movies.