Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

So I watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre…

I really do feel sorry for the horror/slasher genre because it’s often judged so harshly. It doesn’t do itself any favours because the plots are often cliche, unoriginal drivel and it can be difficult to manufacture real fear in an audience who’s been exposed to previous horrors. That being said, I really did enjoy watching this movie; don’t get me wrong, it’s garbage but it’s honestly one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.

Okay, basic plot: Dante (Jacob Latimore) and Melody (Sarah Yarkin) are influencers who are trying to persuade investors to buy property in the rural town of Harlow in an effort to kickstart the town’s gentrification. The local townspeople are far from impressed with their efforts and this leads to an altercation with an elderly woman who claims she is being illegally evicted from her land. The woman suffers a heart attack and has to be rushed to hospital with her son by her side. Unbeknownst to the would-be property developers, the woman’s son is Leatherface. After his mother dies, he goes on a fresh murdering spree, hellbent on seeking revenge.

My expectations for this film were set ridiculously low going in. I wasn’t expecting a stellar screenplay with award-winning dialogue. I wanted to see some gore and maybe experience something approaching fear. There was never a moment in this film where I felt fear, tension or even surprise. This is the inherent problem with so many horror/slasher films – they’ve lost the element of surprise. If the killer is seemingly far away from our characters and the camera zooms in on someone’s face, when it zooms out, the killer is going to be behind them. Think you’ve killed the killer and can take a moment to breathe? Surprise! He’s right behind you. There’s nothing intelligent or original about the way this movie tries to manufacture fear.

Now this is a slasher film so there might not be fear but there has to be gore right? Well, the film is called Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Leatherface does cut his way through a fair amount of people with a chainsaw but the violence isn’t satisfying at all. It doesn’t feel visceral enough. You never have the sense of dread that you’d expect watching a human being getting butchered. I must sound like a saddist but when you sit down to watch a comedy, you expect to laugh. When you watch a romcom, you expect some cheese AND when you watch a slasher, you expect some good old fashioned, non-family-friendly violence.

The movie fails miserably as a slasher but I think it’s actually quite a good spoof. The movie – while not intentionally – is hilarious. Characters in these types of movies are more often than not idiots who go into dark basements alone or think that the backdrop of a killer on the loose is a perfect time for sex but the characters in this movie take the cake. Leatherface is also such a non-threatening villain. Yes, he has a chainsaw but the man has the mobility of a built-in fridge. Run or better yet, gang up against him and survive. There’s just so many nonsensical moments that it felt like the movie was actually trying to make fun of the slasher movie genre instead of being an addition to it.

Overall, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is definitely the funniest movie I’ve seen this year. If I was judging it as a comedy, it would pass with flying colours but since I guess the filmmakers were actually trying to make it a honest-to-goodness slasher, it has to fail. Don’t watch this unless you’re in the mood for a chuckle 3/10

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