As the world turns, another Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel arrives, doing its best to recapture the grim, grimy magic wrought by the 1974 horror classic. But the next entry in the series, which arrives on Netflix in February, borrows a page from the current Halloween films by billing itself as a direct sequel to Tobe Hooper’s original. It will also introduce a new kind of prey for Leatherface (Mark Burnham) and his cannibal family: hipsters!
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Fede Álvarez—aka the guy who did a pretty darn good job with that 2013 Evil Dead reboot; he also made 2016's Don’t Breathe—says 2022's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which he co-wrote and produced, is the product of people who are huge fans of the franchise, including himself. As such, it’ll attempt to do justice to the film that started it all. “We wanted to come up with a very simple premise [with] a powerful domino effect. Everything is set up in the right place—all you have to do is push the first domino and everything will happen effortlessly.”
Those dominos include, of course, young city folk, including Castle Rock’s Elsie Fisher, who cross paths with Texas Chainsaw’s backwoods killers, still lurking after 50 years. “I think the first movie really hit a nerve when portraying that culture clash between the countryside and the city. Back in the ‘70s, the hippies were representing the youth of the city,” Álvarez said. “This time, they’re more like millennial hipsters from Austin who are very entrepreneurial and have a dream of getting away from the city and back to the countryside. They’re trying to gentrify small-town America—and let’s just say they encounter some pushback.”
Sarah Yarkin, who plays Melody, elaborated a bit on her character’s role in all this: “Me and my business partner Dante [played by Jacob 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. Our fatal flaw is that we ignore the history that came before us.”
Here’s the official synopsis, since it includes some key information about a character we haven’t seen in decades: “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.”
Other Chainsaw sequels not titled Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 have failed in the past. However, that does sound like a potentially great set-up, and you know most of the movie will probably be running and screaming and chainsaws buzzing and guts flying everywhere—which would make us tune in no matter what. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (because that’s the title, of course) is directed by David Blue Garcia from a screenplay by Chris Thomas Devlin, with a story by Álvarez and Rodo Sayagues and a list of producers that includes original Chainsaw writer Kim Henkel. It arrives on Netflix on February 18.
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