It’s an understatement to say that it was expected with suspicion, this ninth (!) opus in the saga at The Chainsaw Massacre , which fell into the hands of Legendary and Netflix after the post-production debacle of Leatherface . The presence in the production and script of Fede Alvarez was not enough to make people forget some unattractive hiccups, including the resignation of the first directors hired, the Tohill brothers. In the end, although he doesn’t skimp on the gore, the result is less eyeing his Evil Dead remake than the old-school political redneck movie. And maybe that’s his problem.
nodes and chronologies, it’s no surprise that we see her give in to the temptation of “requel”, an ugly neologism popularized by the latest Scream . Like Halloween , this new opus intends to take over from the initial masterpiece . Like Halloween , it takes the opportunity to pull the original characters out of the closet, starting with the first leatherface and the alpha survivor, Sally, camped not by Marilyn Burns , unfortunately deceased, but by Olwen Fouere (soon to feature in The Northman ).
However, he remains aware of the untouchable character of the 1974 classic, and even if he vaguely mimics his photography, he avoids copying Hooper’s stifling minimalism (remember that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre owes its brutality only to a montage sadistic, noisy music and an arid staging) and assumes to draw from its suites a fierce graphic violence .
17 windows in less than an hour and a half), but catches up when he s It’s about dissecting the brainless teenager .
The set includes some amusing bloody flashes, some very brutal killings, culminating in a sequence of carnage added to the script at the last minute, for lack of a large enough bodycount, compiling the best and the worst of the film.
Because if the dose of gore does not prevent it from placing itself in the wake of its illustrious elder, the feature film is obliged to perpetuate its gimmicks, exactly like the opportunistic B series which it pretends to ignore, to the point to inflict on us once again a pump of his end. The character of Leatherface is still abused . over the malaise of the original: the family.
But it fails to perpetuate its themes and visceral terror , unable to summon its crappy, stale Texas and corrupt antagonists, or at least actualize them.
This is all the more problematic since he claims to reconnect with the political fiber of his elder , a more than welcome proposition after years of blind exploitation of the brand. Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel , who are also producers here, sent a youth still imbued with the hippie ideal into the depths of gloomy and deep America, freezing
David Blue Garcia , also a Texan native (like Hooper in his time), Chris Thomas Devlin , Alvarez and his friend Rodo Sayagues intend, very seriously, to bring this confrontation up to date. Not that they misunderstand the symbolic significance of their story: the ghost town bought by this band of young idealistic entrepreneurs echoes the remnants of the western that still haunt this land fantasized by decades of Hollywood cinema. Like the author of The Crocodile of Death unveiled the reverse shot of a fake American dream.
Except that where he took the side of his protagonists, the team of Bad Hombre chooses to make fun of a youth that it certainly does not understand , and that it claims – wrongly – to see through rather than send them stupidly to the slaughterhouse. This gives some very embarrassing scenes, like when one of these dirty bobo threatens to “cancel” Leatherface before being gutted live on Facebook or of course when our heroine reveals to have been traumatized by a school shooting, flashback in support , then fricots without transition with a pro-weapon and anti-hipster Texan.
On paper, these crude narrative shortcuts seek to unravel the Manichaeism that haunts the genre and denounce the prevailing contempt for these presumedly abandoned spaces (neo-rural brunch and comic-book store enthusiasts do not hesitate to use forced expropriation). Still it would have been necessary that they are not satisfied with aligning the caricatures (condescending bobo versus conservative boor, roughly) and that they go to the end of their remarks, cut short by the massacre of Leatherface.
All that remains at the end is a heartbreaking disdain for almost all the characters and the certainty that we would have been perfectly satisfied with a joyful killing game . Given the social ambitions of a film that doesn’t hesitate to take on very sensitive subjects in the United States, that’s never enough for it and that’s a shame.