The Horror Honeys: 'Leatherface' is… is a Film

'Leatherface' is… is a Film

All photos courtesy of Lionsgate

A New Release Review with Musical Horror Honey Brittany

Leatherface (2017)

Leatherface, the newest installment in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre canon, is dropping just in time for Halloween. The most important questions you will probably be asking yourself as you watch this film from Alexandre Bustillo and Julie Maury is... how? What? And why is this film even being made?

Mostly because the studio could.

Leatherface tells the story of how the iconic butcher out of BFE Texas became the ruthless, twisted killer we know and love to be afraid of. Growing up in a house that encourages violence and murder, Verna Sawyer’s (Lili Taylor) youngest... something or other, Jed, is taken from her by the police she so feverishly hates. Fast forward several years, Verna visits an asylum with a lawyer demanding to see her son, only to find out that he has been renamed to disassociate him from his family and likely won’t remember her. Crazy with rage, Verna tries to break into the asylum to find Jed, only to cause complete havoc, letting the inmates free.

One plot “twist” that Leatherface relies on (and that we won’t spoil here!) is the question of which inmate is actually Jed, the one who is destined to become the iconic, titular character. This particular mystery is mildly engaging for a portion of the film, however, is fairly obvious from early on and made apparent about halfway through the film. That sort-of-mystery aside, there’s not much original plot left to the film. For the first half, avid horror fans will be unimpressed with the obvious parallels to The Devil’s Rejects. The second half of the film more directly leads to the origin of Leatherface, but clearly, there wasn’t enough material to make a complete original backstory for him. What’s even more disappointing is there is still very little insight into why Leatherface’s personality evolved the way it did. Things just sort of happen around him, and he inevitably ends up the way we expect. But the “why” is never really answered.

This scene was charted on Day of the Animals
The production quality of Leatherface is also extremely disappointing. While there’s gore, as to be expected, the special effects makeup and film tricks are so glaringly apparent it takes viewers out of the film. The most “shocking” scenes take special effect design cues from the radio station haunted houses we’re all used to walking through, and end up looking cheap. For a man expected to gruesomely torture and kill with a chainsaw, you’d think special attention would have been paid to the effects.

Overall, while it’s uninspired, Leatherface is ultimately watchable. Is it worth going to the theatres and spending your money on? No; not when there are other, better horror options in the theaters this Halloween season. Definitely stay home and rent this one. Your brain will need to multi-task in order to stay engaged.

Musical Horror Honey Rating: 2 Fake Chainsaws out of 5

Did you see Leatherface
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