‘Leatherface,’ the Surprise ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Prequel, Looks Gruesome as Hell

Even more than sequels, prequels have a tendency to fall flat with audiences.  Although people are pre-wired to want more of anything they like — a character, a story, a concept — most movies simply are built to support a protracted look at their own internal mythology.

Add to that the tendency of talented creators— the hard-working men and women whose dedication made the original so worthwhile in the first place — to move on to bigger and better things, and it’s no wonder they invariably fail to connect with audiences.  It’s nothing short of a miracle that the Child’s Play franchise has survived as long as it has — and remained as good as it has — and they were forced to abandon any semblance of seriousness long ago.

And let me tell you, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise is no Child’s Play.  Sure, the original is an unquestioned masterpiece in the horror genre, but it is absolutely the only good film in it.  Writer-Director Tobe Hooper himself couldn’t recapture the first film’s magic in its immediate sequel, and the franchise nosedived immediately after he moved on to other projects.

They rebooted the franchise in 2003 to less than stellar results and tried continuing the original’s story with the somehow even worse Teas Chainsaw 3D.  But horror movies are so cheap to make, and thus so easy to turn a profit, that it was inevitable for the studio to eventually make another one of these things, and this Leatherface-centric prequel is what we’re getting saddled with.

In the vein of the rebooted Halloween and Friday the 13th, the thrust of this new film is that we get to sink our teeth into the meat of Leatherface.  What transformed him from an otherwise ordinary child into a face-wearing, chainsaw-wielding cannibal?  As anybody who’s actually seen a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film can tell you, it’s his family, but that’s not why people are going to pay upwards of $10 a ticket to see this in theaters.

People come in to these movies wanting a lot of gore.  It’s right there in the title.  They want to see people getting ripped apart by chainsaws, and this is exactly what the movie promises with its newly released, Red Band trailer.

Nobody expects this movie to be any good: not the people paying to see it and certainly not anybody involved in its production.  But with an R-rating and its place within an iconic horror franchise, it will doubtless prove to be profitable.  And as long as they can fit in a few memorable kills, it might just be worth looking into down the line.  Until then, I’ll stick with Cult of Chucky.

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