I Wrote my First Movie Review While Giving Birth to a Camera. It has followed me ever since. Please don't mind the Mess.
David Blue Garcia
Chris Thomas Devlin
The latest entry in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre multiverse is coming straight to Netflix. If that doesn’t tell you the quality of this motion picture (it fits all the legal requirements), then I hope you enjoy the next 70 minutes of your life sitting through this.
The best thing you can say is that it’s a very short movie, and you can be sure I will be repeating these exact same words to pad the word count in the “What Works” section of the review.
We’ve all seen TCM entries of varying quality, even ones starring future Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger and that one from 2017 starring no one you remember.
I can say definitively that the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a direct sequel to the 70s original is definitely the most recent. Not to be confused with the other direct sequel that was released 9 years ago.
Or just watch Squid Game again.
When it rains it saws.
Completely Necessary Synopsis
Because if you’re watching something like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you really give a f*ck about story.
As do we all…
TCM’ 22 opens 90 years after the events of the original TCM. I’m sure that math is off but if you’re watching something called Texas Chainsaw Massacre you don’t give a f*ck about math.
There’s a bunch of people in a vehicle heading towards Harlow, Texas. Most if not all of these “people” will be dead.
Because they barely register as characters.
Let’s meet these well drawn characters filled with depth before they’re gutted by some sort of gas powered implement.
- Dead White Girl 1 (Sarah Yarkin)- DWG 1 is here with her sister. They’re moving to Texas for a fresh start. She’s part of an exciting new gentrification crew.
- Dead White Girl 2 (Elsie Fisher)- DWG 2 is DWG 1’s sister. DWG has suffered some trauma that won’t be revealed until about 15 minutes from the opening scene.
- Black Guy (Jacob Latimore)- He’s a black guy…in Texas…in a horror movie. Since he’s no longer the first to die in horror movies anymore, he’ll probably be second or third or you really don’t care. Black Guy is buying properties all over Harlow and auctioning them off. He sees a golden opportunity to start fresh and make a large profit raising property values and driving off lower income families. This might be important if we knew he would be living in 20 minutes.
- Dead White Girl 3 (Nell Hudson)- She’s business partners with Black Guy.
They’re off to Harlow for a giant auction. Nothing will screw that up.
But Black Guy sees a confederate flag hanging from one of the houses. A giant no-no for the woke gentrifiers that will be coming in by the busload to participate in the auction and get brutally killed.
Black Guy and Dead White Girl 1 storm into the house and demand the old woman Karen (Alice Krige- Gretel and Hansel) who’s been living there to immediately stop squatting. Old Woman Karen says it’s her house and it’s been in her family for generations. Black Guy calls the authorities to boot the old lady out.
Old lady Karen gets sick and has a stroke or something. She also has a giant hulk of a son (Bradley Cooper). He looks to be in his 60s. Still living with his mother. No red flags there. The authorities rush to take Old Karen to the hospital.
Dead White Girl 1 feels kind of guilty about kicking an old woman out of her house and then seeing her have heart attack. Black Guy has more important things to think about because a bus full of bidders is pulling up.
On their way to the hospital Old Karen dies.
Her son is very upset. So upset he kills everyone around him, the cops, even Dead White Girl 3. He’s very shy about his face so he carves his mother’s face skin and puts it over his own face.
Karen’s son doesn’t have a name that we know of, but you might know him (if you’ve seen the previous movies) as Peeled Skin Face.
Seth Green's finest onscreen moment.
Peeled Skin Face is really upset about his mom dying. And even though he’s really strong for a guy his age he needs a very special tool he can kill with, preferably something involving a saw and a chain and a never ending supply of gas.
Oh yeah, and you might remember Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouere), the girl from the first movie that didn’t die and is a female character that is alive by the end of the movie.
Yes, a Remaining Female Adolescent Woman. Sally’s been waiting over 200 years to get her revenge on Peeled Skin Face, and now only 60 or 70 more people may die before she gets her chance. #nailedit
What Works With Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- Like last October’s Halloween Kills, TCM ’22 is a gore-gy of violence. You’ve got blood and guts permeating nearly every frame. So many squishy moments. Were you expecting anything less?
- It’s barely 70 minutes long as the credits are a whopping 9 minutes including a random credit cookie. You’ll be glad the movie’s barely longer than the prologue to Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
What Doesn’t Work With Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- Every frame of the movie not involving the kills. The characters barely register as anything other than future victims and the “plot” limps along until someone gets killed. It’s got “Massacre” in the title and in that respect the movie delivers. But do you *really* care about anything else?
- One of horror cinema’s iconic Final Girls is treated as an afterthought. Why bring back Sally Hardesty if you weren’t going to do anything interesting with her?
Your expectations were already lowered. Lower them a little more. A violent sequel that offers little more than an unsatisfying buffet of carnage. If that’s all you care about then you will have a wonderful time watching cardboard cutouts get sawed into pieces. If story mattered to you then just watch Scream again or even Marry Me even though it has a slightly lower body count.
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© 2022 Noel Penaflor