There are only a handful of horror movies so terrifying I can’t bring myself to rewatch them no matter how much I might try to talk myself into it. The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most terrifying films I have ever seen. While not too scary to not rewatch at all, it is gruesome enough to savor my viewings so not to become spoiled. It is surely a classic.
That is not the case with the Netflix sequel. This movie demanded immediate reviewings from myself upon completion of the first watch. I watched it four times in one day. I am likely to enter it into my horror canon. But does it hold up or was it just the shock of it all?
The plot is paper thin as to be expected. Hell there is barely a plot to the original as it is. These movies are not known for their award-winning story-telling but for their shock value. It’s all about the gore baby. We all know the original kept the kills to a minimalist approach. Many were shown off camera only implied. The gore was left up to the imagination of the viewer. Its immediate sequels threw caution to the wind and doubled down on the gore. The Netflix film carries on that tradition of delivering the gore fans have come to expect.
I was trying to keep a running tally of the body count. By the time Leatherface gets to the bus I lost count. That is exactly what I wanted from this movie. My first viewing I expected the silent girl with the gunshot wound would be the final girl. I didn’t expect the magnitude of the violence this film would show me. I was quite impressed. If shock value is the bread and butter of these films then this one is a 4 course meal.
The acting is sub par as expected. The characters barely convey the emotions they are meant to demonstrate. You kind of have to fill in the blanks with your imagination. They demonstrate terror well enough but you could see multiple examples of the actors trying not to laugh on camera. I wouldn’t expect anyone finding themselves with a role in this film to take it too seriously. But who cares about acting as long as the girls can scream am I right?
The movie is a decent enough flick. I found myself wanting to see it over and over again to study it. I was enamored by the kills. It’s rare for a slasher to go all out with the kills. Often you get through the main course of teenagers and leave the adults alone. This was a rare example where everybody was fair game.
The movie leaves me with plenty of questions none of which I will examine here. What I will say is that I was quite entertained with this movie. It was well enough acted for a slasher film. The plot at least made enough sense to justify the bloodbath. The kills were the main draw and they certainly delivered on the goods here. All in all if you are looking for a bloodbath this is your movie. If you are looking for a love letter to the original film this might leave you wanting more. While it does a good enough job hearkening back to the classic original it does stand mostly on its own. It draws inspiration from the original but it leaves its own mark on the horror ethos.
I wanna say this was the most fun watching a horror movie I have had all year. After the disappointing affair that was the Hulu Hellraiser debacle I went into this hesitant to find anything I would enjoy out of it. Instead I discovered an instant classic I will revisit quite regularly. In fact I imaging this will become my regular fix for all things Texas Chainsaw.
4 out of 5 stars.