Is Netflix’s original sequel Texas Chainsaw Massacre worth watching?

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE Cr. Yana Blajeva / ©2021 Legendary, Courtesy of Netflix
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE Cr. Yana Blajeva / ©2021 Legendary, Courtesy of Netflix /

The horror world is approaching the Netflix Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel with great interest, judging by the reactions to the trailer.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre has some pretty strong horror cred, to start with. Co-writer Fede Alvarez is well respected among horror fans due to his writing and direction of the 2013 Evil Dead remake, and the super-intense Don’t Breathe.

Add tp that the enduring love of the gritty 1974 original (titled The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), the return of that film’s final girl Sally, and the success of 2018’s Halloween, last year’s Halloween Kills, and the recent Scream sequel, and you have what could be a recipe for great success.

Sadly, Marilyn Burns, who gave a killer performance as Sally in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, passed away in 2014, so we missed out on seeing her reprise the role. But the actress taking over the reigns is Olwen Fouere, who played Mother Marlene in Mandy, and she does a fine job portraying a mature woman who is still fixated on the man who killed her friends.

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE Elsie Fisher as Lila, Sarah Yarkin as Melody, Nell Hudson as Ruth and Jacob Latimore as Dante. Cr. Yana Blajeva / ©2021 Legendary, Courtesy of Netflix /

Also gone is the original Leatherface, actor Gunnar Hansen, who passed away in 2015. He is replaced by Mark Burnham, with Leatherface ostensibly now in his late 60s or 70s.

NOTE: The following is a spoiler free review of Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Much like the recent Halloween sequels, Texas Chainsaw Massacre picks up in real time, nearly 50 years after Leatherface and his murderous family robbed graves and killed people, and Sally rode off in the back of a truck, laughing hysterically and covered in blood. A group of social media savvy young people have purchased the deed to a home in a small Texas town, and are travelling to check it out, unaware that they will not all be making it out alive.

Upon arriving at the home, they find an ill elderly woman there, and she is insistent that this is HER house. When she collapses, Leatherface makes himself known, and bloody chaos ensues. When Sally finds out her nemesis has shown himself, she jumps into action; this is something she has been waiting for since she escaped him all those years ago.

Most of the horror in Texas Chainsaw Massacre is seen through the eyes of sisters Lila and Melody (Elsie Fisher and Sarah Yarkin), who are well played. Lila in particular has an interesting back story. She survived a school shooting that has left her with some trauma, and we get to observe how the killing rampage affects her.

Yes, there is indeed a killing rampage, as anyone who has viewed the trailer will know. And therein lies my biggest problem with this film: Leatherface was never portrayed as anything other than human, particularly in the original flick. He is a crazed killer, yes, but he’s also a man most likely in his 70s, and he is not possessed by an exceptionally strong demon or other supernatural entity. So, I don’t really see how he could single-handedly lay waste to all of those people on the party bus, even with a chain saw.

Since I am not giving any spoilers, I can’t even say what the other superhuman strength he shows is, but I just didn’t buy it. I also didn’t feel like Sally has enough screen time. Fouere does the character justice, and I really wanted to see more of her. Sally has some really compelling interactions with Leatherface; she just wants to make sure that she had as much of an impact on his life as he had on hers.

That said, I mostly liked this sequel. It was over-the-top bloody, and the cinematography and setting were great. It had that gritty feel that I remembered from the original, and it was definitely suspenseful. The last part of the film is set in a rainstorm, which makes for very effective atmosphere.

The actors are mostly very good. In addition to Fouere, Alice Krige gives an intense performance as the old woman, and Moe Dunford is intriguing as Richter, a mechanic in the town. He’s one of those characters that you are not sure whether or not you should trust, and he has a terrifying scene with Leatherface.

With the exception of the two sisters, most of the other out-of-towner characters were pretty annoying, but the good characters make up for that. My final recommendation is yes, if you are a fan of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, you should by all means watch this sequel as well. Is it as good as the ground-breaking original? No, did you really think it would be? But it’s still a fun, bloody, more than decent watch.

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Are you a fan of the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre? We want to know what you think of this sequel, leave your mini-review in the comments section.