The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is back, baby! After the disaster known as Texas Chainsaw 3D that tried to reboot the franchise and Leatherface failed to reinvigorate the series, David Blue Garcia steps into the director’s chair for another remake. This time, Netflix’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre will forget all of the sequels following the original film like Texas Chainsaw 3D, but since that movie turned out horribly then that route is a bust. This time, the events will come squarely after the horrific crime scene of the 1974 film where influencers are looking to breathe new life into a Texas ghost town encounter with Leatherface. The latest chapter is set to be released on February 18 exclusively on the streaming site. For over 40 years, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre has been a staple in horror and the film remains relevant in pop culture. However, there are too many clunkers that have derailed the series for so long. This article will address the issues that the Netflix exclusive needs to avoid in order for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre to live up to the original feature.
Please, No More Sympathetic Backstories on Leatherface
Imagine making a sympathetic backstory for Freddy Kreuger, you know, the guy who’s a child murderer (or pedophile in the reboot). Some people are just vile humans being in this world and no matter how sympathetic a character is written; audiences simply can’t connect to them. I get that Leatherface was trying to get you to understand the man behind the human mask even more, but Leatherface is a monstrous brute who kills people for sport basically. He’s not Freddy Kreuger bad, but he’s still a deplorable human. This is horror, not a character-driven drama that needs to understand the roots of both the hero and villain. We do not need a sympathetic backstory for Leatherface. This actually undermines the protagonists that he’s trying to kill. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn’t particularly have a strong cast of well-developed and multi-layered characters. By giving Leatherface more dimension than your protagonists, the filmmakers are telling the audiences to care more about the villain than the heroes. In theory, there’s nothing wrong with exploring Leatherface’s past; however, the filmmakers would be wise to make him more of a vile human being instead of a sympathetic figure. Say what you will about the reboot changing Kreuger to a straight-up pedophile, but it does guarantee that audiences won’t side with such a disgusting human being. Make audiences hate Leatherface even more, so it won’t be an uphill battle to root for the protagonists.
Please, Make Us Care About The Protagonists
Speaking of protagonists, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre does not have a good history when it comes to them. Even the original film lacks a group of compelling characters. Again, this is horror, not a character driven drama so we don’t need to be deeply rooted into lives of our main heroes. Keep it simple. The reason it was so easy to root for all the characters in The Cabin in the Woods because they’re genuinely good and fun people. Simple scenes like Holden informing Dana about the see-through mirror to the truth or dare game helped establish characters and showcase their likeability. This is all that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre has to do. If the film wants to dive deeper into these people, then that’s great as it’s important to root your characters with some personality. Going back to A Nightmare on Elm Street reboot, since the filmmakers took out the fun of Freddy’s charming serial killer in the Wes Craven original, we needed to rely on the characters to carry the film. They don’t. Everyone is extremely bland and boring. It’s a shame because the writers made it easy to root against Freddy Kreuger. In the original, Nancy Thompson is a likeable protagonist to root for. There’s nothing complex about her character, but her presence and charisma give the spark that her role needed. The other characters aren’t too bad as well. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre needs to give us decent characters. That’s it. I know it’s not easy topping the Sawyer family onscreen, but characters need to be more than hot and young in order for audiences to get invested.
Deviate From the Usual Formula
One of the main reasons that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has grown some tiresome is due to the repeated formula of hot young adults screaming, running, and being sliced in half by Leatherface. Hopefully, the latest chapter deviates from the formula a bit, like Halloween managed to do by bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode. I know the franchise’s bread and butter is Leatherface killing stupid teens but based on the box office performance of the last two features, audiences are clearly not that interested in seeing a retread of the same plot from 1974.
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