ST. LOUIS — Why do people think every single film franchise needs more sequels or reincarnations? Sometimes, believe it or not, the end of a movie should just be the final wrap on that story. The slasher genre is often guilty of this method.
While 2021's "Halloween Kills" was unexpectedly solid, the entry that came before it in 2018 wasn't exactly a delight. David Gordon Green is making another film for that series, and I can assure you it will be better than the latest "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" sequel. After all the different variations of this old school tale-crazy dude kills teens, cuts off and wears faces-one thought audiences would be done dealing with another slow-moving yet methodically killing mad man. Wrong!
This time, it's Austin influencers who drift into the ghost town where the murders from the original film happened, looking to build the community and bring more positive notoriety to the region. Wise idea, kids. There's absolutely no chance that won't turn into a bad experience for Lila (Elsie Fisher), Dante (Jacob Latimore), Melody (Sarah Yarkin), and Ruth (Nell Hudson). The imagination doesn't need to be severely stretched in order to realize that they aren't going to be seeing much new in this installment.
While the Michael Myers saga always carried more juice-due in large part to a worthy protagonist in Jamie Lee Curtis' heroine-than Leatherface. He never gets to build much more of a personality, only giving the viewer passing glances of the childlike monster behind the killer's "borrowed" skin. There's no mystery or intrigue there; just another messed-up soul with a need to kill teenagers who he never met before. There's no motive here and little surprise.
Outside of a couple inventive kills, the rest of the movie falls flat for relevancy or enjoyment. The final scare could have been a real shocker if the characters had any depth outside of their skin color and age. That's all you get here. The screenplay features every item in the kitchen sink thrown at the wall, literally every woke topic currently raging through the world. School shootings? Check. Racism and role tropes? Check. Tired commentaries on real subjects come off as lazy work from the filmmakers here.
Director David Blue Garcia fails to do what David Gordon Green did with a slasher series (also seen in last month's "Scream" sequel: shove some new life into it along with the gruesome kills.
This "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" only destroys one's precious time. Skip it and catch "The Nightingale" instead. That one will scare and shock you.