Writer: Seth M Sherwood (Screenplay) Kim Henkel, Tobe Hooper (Characters)
Starring: Finn Jones, Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor, Nicole Andrews, James Bloor, Sam Strike, Sam Coleman, Vanessa Grasse
Plot: 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 an equally deranged lawman out for revenge.
Tagline – Witness the beginning of your end
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Another Forgettable Prequel
Story: Leatherface starts as the Sawyer family get their children taken from them by Texas Ranger Hal Hartman (Dorff) after they kill his daughter. Ten years later we meet Lizzy (Grasse) a nurse in a mental home where she meets the different patients Jackson (Strike) the talker, Bud (Coleman) the quiet one that doesn’t talk, Ike (Bloor) the short tempered one and Clarice (Madsen) the bully of the female ward.
When Verna (Taylor) the mother of the Sawyer family breaks into the home in search for her son, she creates a mass escape where Ike, Clarice lead an escape with hostages Jackson and Lizzy with Bud along the way, but this gives Hal a chance to go on his own revenge mission to kill Jed who just so happens to be one of the escapees, but which one as Deputy Sorrel (Jones) must do the right thing.
Thoughts on Leatherface
Characters – Texas Ranger Hal Hartman has his daughter killed by the Sawyer family, he wants blood but knows he can’t so he takes the children away, but with the escape of one of the children he knows it is his chance to get the Sawyer’s where it hurts. Verna Sawyer wants her kid back and will go to any lengths to free him from the mental home. Lizzy is the new nurse to the home that is basically us joining the home being forced to meet the characters in the home, which she does, she does become a hostage when the escape happens. Jackson is the nice patient that makes sure Lizzy is safe during the escape where as Bud is the silent gentle giant with a mean streak that will kill anyone who pisses him off. This gives us a nice selection of who Jed could be and while I suspect it will be one, it doesn’t point any clear fingers at any of the three male escapees.
Performances – The performances are fine from the whole cast, the big names get there moments but the performances as a whole are just average at best offering nothing to make this the most unique film of the franchise.
Story – The story plays out to be an origin of Leatherface, who would have guessed that from the title? We get three main potential suspect to who could be the growing Jed which is about as much of the story we see, because we are trying to figure out which one is him. We do have a Texas Ranger out for blood but to make Leatherface the innocent victim sees strange for the most part. The big problem is the stakes are low and the focus on make the villainous family the characters we are meant to care about is poorly designed.
Horror – The horror is all blood and gore, just for the sake of giving us blood and gore, there is little reasoning behind it other than to try and shock like the film does.
Settings – None of the settings stand out to be original for the franchise which again leaves us wondering why this doesn’t feel like Texas anymore.
Special Effects – The effects do all look practical and for the most part they are the highlight of the film, it gives the artists a chance to show us just what they can do.
Chances of Sequel: A sequel or a reboot or a remake, take your pick.
Final Thoughts – This is another prequel or addition to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise we didn’t need, it offers little to the original and just falls into generic mistake after mistake.
Overall: Disappointing all around.