“Leatherface” Review ✦✦✧✧✧

4 October, 2017

Directors: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Screenwriter: Seth M. Sherwood
Director of Photography: Antoine Sanier
Sam Strike, Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor

Synopsis: Prequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in which the youngest member of a murderous family is sent to a mental institution where his kind-hearted nature is severely tested by a prison break.

Leatherface Review:

Another unnecessary addition to the already exhausted TCM universe but a fitting way to end the career of the man who produced six out of eight of the “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” movies, “Leatherface” provides an unsurprising final executive producer credit for cult filmmaker Tobe Hooper but sadly has nothing new to offer outside of a creepy cow head and a diner massacre. Scouring religiously through the horror handbook and throwing everything from “Friday the 13th” to “Natural Born Killers” in the direction of ravenous fans, the movie bleeds and licks its lips, pushing the limits with trigger-happy cops and necrophiliacs but avoiding the true pain, sweat, and suffering of the original.

Homogeneous yet missing out on the mania of raw low budget filmmaking, “Leatherface” is never disturbed or crazy enough to legitimise its supposed terror, revealing a sensitive interpretation of a classic horror character along with a succession of rather meaningless guts and gore. Switching from boy-next-door to serial slaughterer at the smack of a bullet, Sam Strike’s on-screen alter ego adds to the body count in an unexpected turn, eradicating room for believability as a young man comes of age behind the whir of a chainsaw yet destroys his entire backstory in the process.

Swallowed up by his environment, maimed by the law of the land, and sewn back together by a vengeful matriarch, “Leatherface wears the face of contemporary horror, lost behind a mask of poorly stitched references, struggling to find a place to call home as it hacks away at a slew of screaming victims. Fashioned like an “American Horror Story” episode with a fondness for Rob Zombie road movies, “Leatherface” is built on pure pastiche, relying on graphic images and brainless references to trick horror fans into thinking they’re having fun while they actually pine for a grittier time lost behind the gloss of a VOD finish.


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