In nature or in folklore, every monster has an origin story. It is in these stories where lie the important lessons for humans on why they shouldn’t fiddle with nature’s secrets or things they do not completely understand. But humans, either out of curiosity, ignorance or greed, unearths nature’s secret and wakes up sleeping spirits or the monsters inciting events that end up in a “Massacre.” In the 2022 film, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” the return of Leatherface is also the result of human greed and their ignorant intervention that compels a sleeping monster to come out of the shadows and take revenge for things he has lost.
Four townies, Dante, Ruth, Melody, and Lila, arrive in Harlow to evacuate an old lady, Mrs. Mc, from her house. Dante informs Mrs. Mc that the bank has seized her property as she has failed to repay the dues, and even though the old woman pleads that she has paid every penny, the town’s sheriff drags her out of the house, and suddenly the old woman suffers a stroke. It is at this moment when we first witness Leatherface, the last son of Mrs. Mc (probably the adopted son because the building was an orphanage).
It can be surmised that after the 1973 Massacre outside Austin, Leatherface became a stray monster who was harbored and loved by an old woman, Mrs. Mc, who hid the giant man in her orphanage until present times. The woman became Leatherface’s mother and filled the void of the trauma that he had been carrying for a long time, maybe. Mrs. Mc acted as the invisible thread between Leatherface and human civilization and silenced the demon inside him that helped him suppress his psychopathic tendencies, probably because of which Mrs. Mc was able to take Leatherface’s chainsaw from him and hid it behind the walls of her room.
Whether it is a human or a monster or any other being, we are looking for a sense of belonging and a home without which we often lose our way and end up doing the most barbaric acts or becoming our past that we all want to bury. Mrs. Mc’s death broke the cocoon that contained the monster Leatherface, and soon after it, Leatherface turns into the monster he once was, killing everyone in the vicinity to avenge the death of his so-called mother. But it was not only the police officers or the girl, Ruth, who killed Mrs. Mc, but the entire town that interfered with her peaceful life. Hence, Leatherface returns. He returns wearing the skin of his mother’s face because it acts as a symbol of justice for the feeble old woman who was kicked out of her own house by some fellow outsiders.
As soon as Leatherface comes back to the orphanage, he attacks the unknown man in the house because he doesn’t belong under the roof, and soon after the bloodshed, he goes straightaway into his mother’s room and breaks the wall to take out his ultimate weapon for revenge, the chainsaw that completes the demon’s attire.
After heavy bloodshed and brutal killings, Leatherface is able to exact revenge on all the wrong-doers and innocents who come in his path of vengeance, yet a girl named Lila manages to escape. Maybe in Leatherface’s court of justice, Lila is not the direct offender because she is just a visitor who came with her sister, Melody, who happened to be the main sinister in the eyes of the monster, and hence, he lets Lila escape.
The post-credits scene of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” reveals that Leatherface returns to the windmill house a few miles away from Austin, Texas, where the 1974 films and the original massacre took place. The act of returning back to the roots is in itself is a suggestion that even though civilization calls Leatherface a monster, the man concerned wants to rest peacefully under a roof where no one disturbs his eternal sleep. The monster may not return until and unless compelled by an outside force that will push him to pick up his chainsaw again and unleash his wrath on them because they invited their own doom by trespassing into the lion’s den. But even if he does, I hope he gets the necessary closure he deserves, either by death or any other means possible.