Leatherface And His Favorite Toy Return In First Look At Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Leatherface is back, and he's ready to remind us all that the saw is family with the upcoming "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." This isn't yet another remake, either. Instead, this new film, which is headed straight to Netflix early next year, is meant to be a direct sequel to the original film, and will introduce us to an older Leatherface. That sounds a lot like the approach to David Gordon Green's "Halloween," but producer Fede Álvarez insists that "Texas Chainsaw" won't exactly be ignoring all the other sequels the way Green's "Halloween" did. 

"When I say 'direct sequel' I wouldn't say it skips everything," Álvarez told EW, adding: 

"When movies do that, sometimes it feels a bit disrespectful to all the other films. Some people love Texas Chainsaw 2. I love a lot of things about that movie — it's so wacky and of its time. But the rest is such a mess canon-wise. I think it's up to you to decide when and how the events of the other movies happen."

Álvarez's quotes in the EW article also come with the first official images from the film, which has actor Mark Burnham taking up Leatherface's chainsaw. 

Remember Leatherface? He's Back, In Netflix Form

Gosh, am I such a horror simp that this simple photo of Leatherface in the rain is all it takes to get me excited about the new "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"? Yes, yes I am. Look: I know this franchise is all over the place. I know that none of the sequels come close to touching the gnarly, nasty brilliance of the original. And yet, I enjoy almost all of these movies, with the notable exception of "Texas Chainsaw 3D," which was too terrible even for me.

So with all that in mind, I was already interested in the new "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," which comes from director David Blue Garcia and producer Fede Álvarez. And now I'm even more interested, having seen that image, and read more about the movie from EW. The film stars Nell Hudson, Elsie Fisher, Jacob Latimore, Moe Dunford, Mark Burnham, Alice Krige, Sarah Yarkin, Jessica Allain, Sam Douglas, William Hope, Jolyon Coy, and Olwen Fouéré, and serves as a direct sequel to the original movie. 

"Me and my business partner Dante [played by Latimore] are these young hip people that come to this ghost town in Texas and try to get other people to come there and make it the next hip place to be," said Sarah Yarkin. "Our fatal flaw is that we ignore the history that came before us."

Elsie Fisher, who plays Yarkin's sister, added: "The film takes place a long time after the original Texas Chainsaw. It's about a group of people who come to this town and things don't quite go as planned. It mixes a lot of important real-life issues with horror themes, which is always something I love."

That premise – a group of people on a road trip end up in a bad, bad place – is pretty much the set-up for every other "Texas Chainsaw" film, so that makes sense. And what of Leatherface? According to Álvarez, he's still around, and has been living off the grid: 

"It's basically the same character, who is still alive. Our take on it was this guy probably disappeared after everything he's done. You know, how do you catch a guy who has a mask? Once he removes the mask and runs away, it's very easy for him to hide somewhere. This story will pick it up many, many years after the original story. He's been in hiding for a long, long time, trying to be a good person. These people arriving in this town are going to awaken the giant."

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the "Leatherface has been trying to be a good person" idea, but I guess I'll wait to see how that all plays out. 

Practical, Practical, Practical

The quote that will probably most excite horror fans is the confirmation that the new "Texas Chainsaw" is keeping things practical. "Fede hammered, 'Practical, practical, practical,'" said director David Blue Garcia. "He was really adamant about capturing as much in camera as possible, and that's something we strove to achieve on set. It takes discipline and a bit more time and patience, but it really pays off in the end."

All of this sounds great, but the film has not been without problems. Ryan and Andy Tohill, the filmmakers behind the 2018 British-Irish film "The Dig," were initially brought in to direct the feature. However, after one week of filming, the Tohills ended up walking off the project due to creative differences. They were then replaced by Garcia. Here's hoping that the behind-the-scenes issues don't result in a lackluster film, because it would be nice to have an enjoyable new "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" film again. 

Leatherface and his chainsaw will rip through some unlucky folks when "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" hits Netflix on February 18, 2022. Here's a synopsis:

Melody (Sarah Yarkin), her teenage sister Lila (Elsie Fisher), and their friends Dante (Jacob Latimore) and Ruth (Nell Hudson), head to the remote town of Harlow, Texas to start an idealistic new business venture. But their dream soon turns into a waking nightmare when they accidentally disrupt the home of Leatherface, the deranged serial killer whose blood-soaked legacy continues to haunt the area's residents — including Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouéré), the sole survivor of his infamous 1973 massacre who's hell-bent on seeking revenge.