Anyone who hasn’t yet watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre will be slashed by spoilers upon reading further, so beware!
In the wake of the financial success that David Gordon Green’s Halloween requel series has enjoyed through recrafting Michael Myers and Laurie Strode’s shared story, the stage is set for other beloved franchises to step up with their own revisionist returns. One of the first to have come revving out of the gate is David Blue Garcia’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which debuted on Netflix (to not-altogether-positive reviews) on February 18. The film picks up threads from the original film with brutal force, predictably allows Leatherface to pile up bodies, and delivers a gut-punch of an ending punctuated by a particularly interesting post-credits scene that hinted at a sequel.
Considering we’re talking about a movie somewhat centered on an over-the-hill, skin-wearing behemoth who communicates more through grunts than words, Texas Chainsaw Massacre does not boast an unendingly paradoxical conclusion that would have Christopher Nolan salivating. Still, anyone who bungled things and managed to fall asleep or leave the room even 30 seconds before the credits rolled wouldn’t have any clue how the movie actually ended, such is its shocking intrusion. So let’s take a look at how things played out, and whether or not things could continue with another revival sequel.
People Came, Leatherface Saw, Leatherface Conquered
To say nothing critically of Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s overall plot (which is largely done in spoiler-free fashion in CinemaBlend’s review), four main characters anchored by sisters Melody (Sarah Yarkin) and Lila (Elise Fisher) arrive in Harlow with dreams of turning the ghost town, as it were, into an Instagram-worthy mecca for younger generations to flock to. And who knows how things might have gone had the group not immediately riled up Leatherface by literally stressing his mother to death, because they immediately riled up Leatherface by literally stressing his mother to death.
So no double-takes were required upon watching Ruth (Nell Hudson) and Dante (Jacob Latimore) getting their gentrification-colored glasses removed by Leatherface with a most fatal force. But maybe it’s not so bad, since their early-on deaths meant they (and Moe Dunford’s head-smooshed Richter) weren’t around to witness or take part in the gorehound-pleasing massacre within the investors’ party bus. With all of its effects mastery and horror homages, that sequence is worthy of frequent standalone rewatches, and it effectively killed off any characters who weren’t integral to the final act.
O.G. Final Girl Sally Hardesty Returned In Bloodthirsty Form
One of the bigger selling points for Netflix’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre was the return of the character Sally Hardesty, one of slasher horror’s most iconic survivors. Because the original actress, Marilyn Burns, died in 2014, the producers cast the prolific stage actress Olwen Fouéré in the role, and it’s just as well that it was played by someone new, because this version of Sally did not fit the traditional mold of a returning heroine.
In fact, Sally has spent the past untold number of years as a small town sheriff who never lost the urge to avenge her friends’ deaths that occurred in the 1974 original. And instead of being both inspirational and affirmational in the best of ways, Sally is almost the opposite, and essentially holds her long-sought revenge up as being the most important thing, even in the face of Mel and Lila’s danger.
Speaking with press about Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s unexpected vision for Sally, the story’s co-crafter Fede Álvarez explained that the character’s return wasn’t about catching fans back up with her story specifically, but rather to have Sally serve as a cautionary beacon of “What Could Be” for Lila after surviving this mess. In his words:
The Evil Dead director shared that it broke his heart to watch Sally realize her obsession was held onto in vain after Leatherface failed to recognize her, and it became clear he didn’t remember how he fucked her world up so completely. So rather than saving the day, Sally Hardesty came back into Harlow to potentially save someone from making the same mistakes she did, and she died for those efforts. But at least not before passing the metaphorical baton in the physical form of high-powered weaponry. R.I.P. Sally.
Lila Is The Lone (Protagonist) Survivor, Thanks To Last Second Surprise
As it usually goes in the world of slasher fiction, the big bad villain isn’t dead unless the camera makes it inarguably clear that death is the only outcome for that character. And so, a couple of slight tsk-tsks are in order for Lila and Melody, who walked away just a little too confidently after putting a few bullets into Leatherface, who then fell back into some water without anyone checking to make sure he was dead.
Just when it seemed as if the two characters had crossed the figurative finish line by surviving a night of Leatherface’s entrails-laced bedlam, Melody and Lila were gifted a quick lesson in how quickly one should speed away from the scene of a massacre before indulging in chitchat. The not-at-all-dead behemoth came out of nowhere and pulled Melody through the car’s passenger door window, shockingly decapitating her in the middle of the street to the horror of Lila as the slowly departing self-driving car rolled away.
For what it’s worth, Melody portrayer Sarah Yarkin told CinemaBlend that the moment’s shock value made it her favorite death of the entire project. And even though Leatherface has a ton of new victims to choose from, I have to think he’ll be keeping the skin from Melody’s pristine face as a special souvenir.
Does Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Post-Credits Scene Mean It’s Getting A Sequel On Netflix?
If that final-moments kill wasn’t enough for streaming audiences, Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s creative team set up the ultimate tease to fully conclude the film’s runtime. As the chainsaw-echoing score closed out the end credits, viewers were suddenly dropped back into a very familiar setting: the Sawyer family’s rural home.
Not that we got to see very much of it, as it only appeared for a few seconds on screen as the bullet-torn and limping Leatherface was making his way up the driveway. But it was more than enough to get fans speculating about how a follow-up Texas Chainsaw Massacre film could bring back some of the family members and backwoods quirks that make this franchise stand apart from other kill-by-numbers slashers. Especially the fact that someone has clearly been cutting the grass on most of this property. I suppose there could also be a new homeowner there, but they wouldn’t last very long.
In speaking with THR about the possibility of Texas Chainsaw Massacre getting a sequel with its studio Legendary, David Blue Garcia said:
It’s safe to say if the numbers come close to whatever the target audience was for Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s streaming debut, Legendary and Netflix will likely have a lot to talk about regarding what Leatherface may do next. And it’s even safer to say that Garcia will be waiting by the phone ready and willing to accept an offer to helm a second flick.
For those who want to relive the bloodshed in all its splattery glory, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is available to stream on Netflix now, with news about the franchise’s future presumably on the way after viewership data is figured out. Until then, check out how you can stream the rest of the Leatherface-fronted TCM movies and keep track of what other big and exciting features are hitting the streaming giant soon with our 2022 Netflix movie premiere schedule.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.