Directed by David Blue Garcia, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is the ninth installment of the franchise. The film stars Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Jacob Latimore, Mark Burnham, and Nell Hudson in prominent roles. The franchise has so many reboots and remakes that it is hard to keep track of the timelines.
“Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” though, could be said to be a direct continuation of the original one that was released in 1974. Almost 50 years have passed since Leatherface made that visceral sound of death through his chainsaw. Nobody knows what happened to him after that. Harlow, Texas, stayed tainted forever. The screams, the crimson splatter, and the gory past stayed fresh in the memories of those few who survived the massacre.
Dante, Ruth, Melody, and Lila visit the abandoned town of as they see an investment opportunity. They want to capitalize on the very aspect of the town’s history that led to its abandonment. Dante, Ruth, and Melody are entrepreneurs from Austin, and Lila is Melody’s younger sister, who accompanies them on this exciting adventure. They enter a general store, and Lila sees a snippet playing on television about the infamous chainsaw murder case of Texas, giving us a background that, after 50 years, things that shouldn’t have been forgotten were buried under the sands of time. But for these new-age entrepreneurs it was nothing more than a folklore.
The owner of the store also sells merchandise inspired by the Chainsaw Murderer. Lila sees a newspaper cutting stuck on the wall that talks about an interview with the only survivor of the 1974 massacre, Sally Hardesty. The store owner, named Herb, tells Lila that Sally never talked about that accident and became a ranger in Texas. Sally looked for the Leatherface, who wore people’s skin as masks, for many years, but later gave up, unable to find any lead. Herb scorns the wealthy urban entrepreneurs looking to gentrify the town of Harlow.
Melody enters into a pejorative argument with Richter, whom she meets just outside the store. Richter was a resident of Harlow, who later the group came to know was also the contractor for their project. Dante sees a Confederate battle flag hanging from one of the buildings. The building was an orphanage that had no residents apart from an old lady, Mrs. Mc, who proclaimed to be the lawful owner of the building. Dante is a bit irked after seeing the Confederate flag and tells the lady that he was given the rightful possession by the bank. The lady pleads that she had cleared all her dues and that the property belonged to her alone. But Dante is in no mood to listen. Melody asks Dante to confirm the fact, as she was feeling a bit sympathetic towards the old lady. Dante storms out of the house and calls the police to get the property vacated. The woman gets a heart attack. She calls her son, whose face we are not shown. They go in an ambulance to the hospital, and Ruth decides to accompany them.
On the way, the woman loses her life. A demonic fervor seeps inside her son and he snaps the police officer’s hand into two pieces with the bare minimum effort, telling us that he was a man of brute strength. He is, in fact, the fabled Leatherface. In the scuffle, he shoots the police official who was driving the car. The vehicle goes haywire and eventually crashes. Ruth is still alive. In the side mirror, Ruth sees probably the grisliest act of her life. Leatherface cuts the skin of her mother’s face and puts it on his face. He then moves in and kills Ruth in the most gruesome fashion.
Ruth, before dying, had texted Melody that the lady did not survive the heart attack. Dante and Melody go inside the orphanage to determine whether the lady was saying the truth about being in lawful possession of the house. What follows is bloody carnage and dismemberment in a graphical slicing and dicing manner that somehow leads to the dissolution of the trepidation that made you uneasy, which was a characteristic feature of the original 1974 film.
‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Ending Explained – What Happens To Leatherface?
Dante and Melody are inside the orphanage when Leatherface comes back. He heavily injures Dante while Melody hides beneath the bed. Dante somehow manages to move outside the house, and Richter comes to know that something is not right in the orphanage. He takes a gun and enters the orphanage, only to be brutally slaughtered by Leatherface.
Melody attempts to flee until he repairs his infamous tool, which has become synonymous with monstrosity over the years. Melody escapes and enters the caravan-like bus in which all the investors and other people who had come for the auction are having a party. Leatherface enters the bus and, in a video game-like, slice-and-dice action sequence, performs sanguinary gyrations, killing everyone on board. The makers of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” refrain from opting for a subjective treatment, opting for a more lurid approach that dilutes the vehemence that we associate with the character of Leatherface.
Sally Hardesty comes back to the rescue, as she is informed by the general store owner, who heard Ruth’s voice when she was calling for help using the police radio. Sally isn’t able to do much, and Leatherface lifts her up by piercing his chainsaw inside her belly. Melody and Lila try to run him over with their vehicle. But Leatherface seems to be quite agile for a man of his age and throws his chainsaw on the windshield of the car, making it off balance before it finally crashes. Melody is heavily injured, and Lila goes out to hunt the murderer down once and for all. She finds that her gun has no bullet, but Sally becomes her saving grace.
A barely alive Sally shoots at Leatherface while he scampers once again inside the orphanage. Sally tells Lila not to run away because then he would haunt her forever. She gives her mantle to Lila and takes her last breath.
Lila had PTSD, and she knew what Sally had told her. She was still haunted by the killings in her school. She was saved that day, but could not save herself from the recurring nightmares that she used to get. She decides that she is not going to run anymore. She goes inside the building and finds Leatherface. An injured Melody also enters the scene, and together they put several bullets inside Leatherface and smear his face with the same chainsaw that had made so many innocent people its victims.
Leatherface falls into a pool, and they see his body floating. The sisters decide to go back, but guess what? Even after getting shot multiple times, Leatherface survives. He pulls Melody out of the car and beheads her. Lila watches this gruesome sight and leaves Harlow while seeing Leatherface holding her sister’s head as a trophy, signifying that he had won once again. Once again, history repeats itself, and we see another Sally Hardesty in the making.
“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” streaming on Netflix is a huge letdown. It banks upon nostalgia and has little to no authenticity of its own. Moreover, it often spoils the ominosity of its 1974 prequel that redefined the genre with bare minimum resources.
“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is a 2022 Horror Thriller film directed by David Blue Garcia.