Let’s beat a dead horse.

I believe this is the tenth installment in the Chainsaw series, the third (or fourth) that is simply named Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The original is great. It completely changed the trajectory of horror in the United States and is a legacy film. The sequels… not so much.

Is it beating a dead horse when the horse has been dead for so long it has turned to dust? There is no horse left anymore. We’re just beating the dirt, which is about as exciting as this movie.

The premise of this one is that we follow a bunch of obnoxious dicks (I think the technical term is influencer?) who are purchasing land in Texas to gentrify it. I’m not entirely sure if I have aged out of standard horror or if this one just doesn’t work. The overengineered character plotting pulled me right the hell out of the film almost immediately.

The representation of Texas in this film is uh… problematic? I lived in Texas for quite a while, and yes you have obnoxious coal rollers, but not everyone is a creepy psychopath. What made the original so frightening is that the murderous family was the abnormality in an isolated area. If all of Texas is so absurdly vile then why would anyone go? Further, the original followed a group of wanderers who didn’t have resources or opportunity. Here, we have people who seem to have a nearly endless amount of money and opportunity who come to Texas for… reasons.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much out of a Netflix rehashing of a cult classic, but this one still managed to astonish me with how ineptly made it is. I’m not sure who the film is trying to insult more—conservative Texans or stereotypical liberals. I guess we should give it credit for being equally insulting? Maybe it is just crappy writing?

The whole thing turns into a slasher film where our superhuman Leatherface targets investors looking to buy a town. Here’s the thing I want the writers of this to understand: THE ORIGINAL WASN’T A SLASHER FILM. There are very few kills in the first one. It is the nature of killings and the insanity of the family that make it this bizarre (and oddly beautiful) nightmare. There are only five deaths in the original. The sequels seem to think that ramping up the kill count is the solution to not bothering to recreate the feel or tone of the original.

We get so much heavy-handed nonsense here that it can’t recreate the tone even if it wanted to. The unbridled stupidity of the characters will hurt your head. Sure, it is bloody, and the gore effects are great, but it is all just meaningless—and not in the nihilistic way that made the first one fun.

I don’t understand what they were thinking here. The characters, the story, the attempts to make it a legacy horror, and everything else is just bad. How much lower can the bar go for Netflix originals? I’m not being cute when asking this question. This is one of the worst horror movies I have seen in a while (and we watch a lot of bad horror). Shit like this makes me wonder if Netflix is even worth having anymore. Don’t waste your time.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up on the worst of the year list.

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