Leatherface (2017) Movie Review

Posted December 30, 2017 by in Horror

Rating

Our Score
 
 
 
 
 

1.5/ 5

Length: 88 minutes
 
Release Date: 2017
 
Studio: Lionsgate
 
Genre:
 
 
MPAA Rating:
 
 

Pros:

It has energy, and it's slickly produced. Texas Chainsaw fans MIGHT like it.
 

Cons:

Tiresome, ugly, and pointless from the start.
 
Verdict

Synopsis: 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. Review: The despicable, backwoods Sawyer family is known in those cursed parts of Texas as being degenerates and quite possibly […]

by david j. moore
Full Article

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

The despicable, backwoods Sawyer family is known in those cursed parts of Texas as being degenerates and quite possibly murderers and cannibals, but only the local Sheriff (played by a whiskery Stephen Dorff) seems to think that they’re up to no good, as his daughter was found killed in a horrible “accident” in the Sawyer barn some ten years ago. Somehow, by a movie miracle, the Sawyers are able to keep going with their unspeakable acts of terror, murder, mutilation, and abuse for over a decade, but the Sheriff has a bit of a revenge: He has the youngest member of the Sawyer family – a little boy clearly on the fast track for serial slayings and destined to become the Leatherface of lore – interred in a home for troubled children in the next county, locked up for what he assumes will be for good. Years later, when mama Sawyer (played by Lili Taylor in a thankless performance) marries up and has some money to throw around, she hires herself an attorney to push against the system so that her son can be released. When that plan backfires, she causes a riot in the detention center where her son is held captive, and suddenly the lunatics have taken over the asylum and escape. Her son (we don’t know exactly which character he is; his identity is kept a secret for most of the film, but we’re given three guesses, and it’s not the character I thought it would be) escapes with three other bad eggs and a hostage nurse, and proceeds to carve a path of collateral damage as they kill innocents in a diner and move forward in what can only be described as a push toward doom. Finally, when the scruffy Sheriff catches up to them, it’s a collision of bad vs worse as both sides do whatever they please to END IT ALL.

Leatherface is the latest entry in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre saga, and the second to be produced by Millennium Films. It’s slickly produced and directed with a modicum of energy by French filmmakers Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, who have been lauded for their earlier work in the French New Wave of horror. I found their work here pretty brainless and unimaginative. The Texas Chainsaw movies were never my thing, aside from the original by Tobe Hooper simply because of the radically raw way with which he presented the story. It was shocking without being terrifically gory, unexpectedly hilarious, and unnerving. All of the sequels, remakes, and spinoffs have been depressingly violent, heartless, and trashy. Leatherface purports to be being an origin story of the infamous movie monster, but as that, it’s disappointing. The movie’s choice for that character is all wrong, and by not giving us an appropriate hero to go up against the Sawyer clan, we’re left to root for a helpless nurse character whose grisly demise is a foregone conclusion. So what’s the point of all this? It’s an efficient exercise in morbidity and horrific excess. It’s a freakshow without reprieve. It’s for rabid fans of the franchise, but everyone else need not put themselves through such a tortuous experience.

Lionsgate recently released a blu ray / digital HD package, and special features include deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and a special feature entitled “Behind the Bloody Mask: Making Leatherface.

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About the Author

david j. moore

david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor's Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars.