Film Review: Leatherface

Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s Leatherface certainly offers the gore viewers may expect. However, the film fails to match the terror of its progenitor.

Young Jed Sawyer is taken away from his deranged family and placed in an institution. Years later, he comes back into contact with the Sawyer clan…

A prequel to Tobe Hooper’s genre seminal The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface endeavours to tell the story of the title character’s origins. Directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury seek to capture the shock and gore of the 1974 film. Whilst the film does offer plenty of gore, there is little more to it.

Based on a screenplay by Seth M. Sherwood, Leatherface concentrates on two periods in the antagonist’s life. Firstly, the audience is offered a glimpse into the Sawyer family and Jed’s role in this. The majority of the film, however, concentrates on a teenage Leatherface. The film is an origins story undoubtedly, yet viewers may feel they do not have any more context regarding the character after the film ends. The film works more as a series of events to display violence, than it does as a portrait of a protagonist.

The Sawyer family, the perhaps the most interesting aspect of the earlier films, are given little depth or background. Meanwhile, the film seems to be going through the motions to show the protagonist is deranged. An exploration of the protagonist’s motivations and struggle would have given the film more meaning.

The film is effectively gory, with several sequences attempting to recreate the torture of the original film. Yet for all the gore, Leatherface is never terrifying. The shock may be present, but the terror is lacking. Stephen Dorff and Lili Taylor offer the best performances in the film. The gore is well executed by Bustillo and Maury; it is just a shame that Leatherface lacks the fright which would have made the film memorable.

Leatherface is being released on DVD on 8th January 2018.

Previews: Lady Macbeth trailer, Raw, More!

This week’s preview of coming attractions include the Lady Macbeth trailer, RawLogan, The Founder and more…

Lady Macbeth Trailer

This Lady Macbeth trailer is most striking. Based on a nineteenth-century novella, the film is about a young woman stifled by her loveless marriage to a much older man. Starring Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, and Paul Hilton, Lady Macbeth will be released in UK cinemas on 28th April 2017.

Raw Trailer

Raw is about a vegetarian student who is forced to eat meat during hazing rituals at veterinary college. So far so strange, but the coming-of-age film takes a darker turn. Julia Ducournau’s debut film was screened at last year’s BFI London Film Festival. Raw will hit UK screens on 7th April 2017.

Logan Poster

This new poster for the upcoming Wolverine movie Logan evokes The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ever so slightly. With director James Mangold at the helm, this latest X-Men film sees a weathered Logan and a fading Professor Xavier trying to stop the destruction of the world. Starring Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, Logan bounds on to UK screens on 1st March 2017.

Viceroy’s House Clip

Here is a clip from the upcoming Viceroy’s House. I was thinking ‘this is a bit Downton in India’ then Hugh Bonneville popped up. Set during the final months of British rule in India, the film also stars Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, and Michael Gabon. Directed by Gurinder Chadha, Viceroy’s House will be released in UK cinemas on 3rd March 2017.

The Founder Trailer

You could probably sell most film’s on the charisma of Michael Keaton alone. The Founder, however, seems to offer more than this. Focusing on the salesman who turned McDonald’s into a international franchise, the film also stars Laura Dern and Nick Offerman. The Founder hits UK screens on 10th February 2017.