Leatherface (2017) (Movie Review)
Directed By: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Starring: Finn Jones, Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor
Look For it Demand from Lionsgate
A teenage Leatherface escapes from a mental hospital with three other inmates, kidnapping a young nurse and taking her on a road trip from hell, while being pursued by a lawman out for revenge.
Apparently, the hardest thing in the world to do these days is make another entry into some of the most iconic horror franchises we know. Friday the 13th can’t get off the ground, Halloween just now seems to have the ball rolling, and I haven’t heard anything new about A Nightmare on Elm Street in a long time. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise was a different story. Turns out a prequel to the original film simply titled “Leatherface” (not to be confused with the original Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre part III from back in the day) has been finished for a while now but was shelved. Having now seen it for myself, I can see why. Leatherface may perhaps top “Cuz” and the crew from Texas Chainsaw 3D as the worst Chainsaw film made and that says a lot when you look at how awful 3D was. We have a plot that tries to make us feel sorry for Leatherface a bit. Heck, half the plot seems to be influenced by The Devil’s Rejects. Seeing as how we have a cop set on revenge against Leatherface and his family. A still reluctant to kill child Leatherface (then called Jed) helps the family kill a teen. He gets sent away for ten years and now here we are with a group of crazies from that nut house he’s sent to on the run and on a rampage with him and a nurse in tow. That nurse is our final girl, so to speak, but I can’t find a thing about her smart or enduring besides her looks. I guess all in all characters shouldn’t be much of an issue seeing how even the fact that the cook/old man in the original Chainsaw didn’t really feel right about killing but here he is young and more than happy to in this movie. It makes me wonder if the directors (the same guys who did Inside, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury) had even paid attention to the original this is a prequel to. The late Tobe Hooper was a producer as well. Did he even bother to ask details?
I expected more from these directors and I expected more a prequel to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The gore is about all this one gets right but that can only do so much. The final act of this film is one for the books and I mean that in a very bad way. Like I said in a recent tweet after seeing the film, I believe the final act here might have even been written in crayon. It might actually make sense if a kid had written it. What’s so awful about it? Well, where do I start? There’s a lot I’d like to say that I can’t because it would spoil this awful movie for you. I almost feel like doing it to save you from yourself, but I’ll play nice. Let’s just say something character-wise that we assume all along turns out to be false and when the other foot drops on that mess it doesn’t really make sense for the movies later on or seem much logical. We also get more than one situation and twist that just comes from nowhere and never adds up if you dare take a moment to think about it. I went back and forth while watching on if the movie even felt like something ever intended for a theatrical release. The movie looks nice and has the above mention gore (the ONLY good thing here) but it kind of has that straight to disc feel. Something I’d not be against in franchise horror if only the plot, characters, or anything else important about it made sense. If the film didn’t have Iron Fist himself, Finn Jones, and Lili Taylor in it I might even suspect this to be a bad rip-off. Instead, Leatherface is just a bad movie. I think it might be time to hit the reboot button again on this one or just hang the ol’ saw up for a while. From 3D to this, things just keep getting worse.