Director David Blue Garcia
Screenplay Chris Thomas Devlin
Starring Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham, Jacob Latimore, Moe Dunford, Olwen Fouéré, Alice Krige, Jessica Allain, Nell Hudson

Never has so much been made out of such an average film. The original movie is more cult classic than actually a good film. There have been numerous sequels and a remake. Of these 2013’s Texas Chainsaw is the best. to now. This one may be better than that one, but not by much and not because it makes any more sense.

This reimagined direct sequel has a group of investors looking to gentrify the abandoned remote Texas town of Harlow. They are looking to udate the buildings a bit and have a bunch of new trendy place to live…several hours away from the closest populated area. When they get there, they find an orphanage that has not yet been vacated. One can pretty much guess what happens next, outside of one ill-fated trip to the hospital.

The primary protagonists of the story Melody and Lila, are sisters. Melody (Yarkin) is the source of the funds to buy the town. Lila (Fisher who was remarkable in Eigth Grade) is in a fragile state, having survived a school shooting and still living with the guilt of just surviving. She’s going to have to get over that soon.

Outside of town, the original survivor Sally Hardesty (recast Fouéré) has inexplicably become a hardened Texas Ranger, spending the decades since searching for Leatherface. She could have looked in Harlow, since it was in the area and not significantly populated obviously. This is not the only obvious thing that will go missed, so hold your frustrations.

If we discount the inanity of the story and the unlikely notiion of victims just making themselves handy for an incredibly old and gimpy chainsaw weilding maniac, we can settle in for the gore. At least in this respect there is no disappointment. There are shots that are respectfully brief, but there are also scenes of extreme brutality. If this is what you’re looking for in a TCM film, go for it.

It’s set up for a sequel, of course. Hardesty is not quite in the league of Laurie Strode, so subsequent entries won’t go the route of the current Halloween trilogy. Oh well. It is what it is: a slaughterfest with barely sketched out characters.

(** out of *****)

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