Leatherface is a bloody treat for Texas Chainsaw Massacre fans


Today we’re reviewing Leatherface, the prequel to Tobe Hooper’s classic horror flick The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which shows how Leatherface came to be.

Leatherface, the new flick from the directing duo of Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, sets out to answer one question: how does one go from being a fairly functional human being to a chainsaw-wielding psychopath wearing dead people’s faces?

Set in the mid 1960s, Leatherface takes place nearly a decade before the events of the 1974 original. An amazing opening scene with Jed Sawyer as a child first sets the stage for how he winds up in a mental institution as a teen. Dangerously understaffed and full of lunatics, future-Leatherface and two other teens winds up escaping — taking a horrified nurse Lizzy (Vanessa Grasse) with them as a hostage.

Right away, one thing I can tell you I love about this movie is its boldness in taking the story out of the farm. From the looney bin to the open roads, we’re exploring all new territory with the franchise. Yet it still very much has that grimy Texas Chainsaw Massacre feel throughout. At many points in the film, Lizzy very much reminded me of Marilyn Burns‘ portrayal of Sally Hardesty. And even Stephen Dorff’s fringe lawman character, hellbent on a mission to destroy the Sawyers, seemed to be a nice throwback to Dennis Hopper’s Lefty from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

via Lionsgate

Though this guy’s somehow even crazier than Lefty.

Longtime Texas Chainsaw Massacre fans should also get a kick out of the references to the original film. Leatherface’s brothers, Nubbins (the hitchhiker) and Drayton can be spotted in the film, as is a rather familiar house. You may only notice these things if you’ve seen (and loved) the 1974 classic, as their attention to detail was spot on.

I found this film to be very entertaining, though it wasn’t completely fault-free. There were a few unnecessary moments, including a lovemaking scene that goes just a little bit too far. But others might find it funny. I won’t say what it is, but you’ll certainly know it when you see it. It’s never cheesy where it counts, though — the FX and the acting left me with no complaints. The opening and epilogue scenes of the film are absolutely outstanding, but the road in between is just a little bit bumpy.

Ultimately, I found Leatherface to be a solid entry to the series, ranking it high above a lot of the other sequels in the franchise. And I say that as a huge fan of the series that’s gone on record to say the 74 classic is the scariest movie of all time. Leatherface probably won’t horrify you in that same way, but if you’re a fan of the Leatherface character, I think you’ll still dig the flick.

All in all, I’d probably end up giving this film 3.5 out of 5 chainsaw revs.

Next: Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie timeline explained

Leatherface is available as of TODAY exclusively on DirecTV. The film will also be shown in limited theaters and on VOD outlets on Oct. 20, 2017. One of its 10 screenings will take place at the Nightmares Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio.