US, 2017, Horror
90 min.
Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Cast: Stephen Dorff (Hal Hartman), Lili Taylor (Verna)

In 1974 Tobe Hooper filmed «The Texas Massacre» which would end up being his most successful film, there are things that no one could imagine at that time; Nobody could imagine that he would transform horror cinema forever by creating an icon of Leatherface’s transcendence, nor that he would found one of the most lucrative franchises in history, and of course, that from that moment on, it would be born -or would gain real strength- the Slasher genre that would flood screens for the next 20 years. Today, 43 years later, Leatherface arrives in the eighth installment of the «Texas Massacre» franchise.


After the great commercial success of «Texas Massacre 3D» it was confirmed that there would be a new installment in the franchise, however, the producers decided that continuing the story would be too problematic due to the reboots and failed sagas that had already been tried, so who decided that the new installment would work as a prequel to the 1974 film and thus explain the origin of its icon: Leatherface.


Leatherface is called to be one of the most important films of the franchise, I can assure you that it will not leave any of the followers indifferent, probably many will hate it and there will be others who consider it among the best, the only thing we can assure you is that it is the bloodiest of the eight, from the first sequence to practically the last scene the film exudes blood, excesses, and madness.

* From this moment we will discuss what happens in the film, there are things that some might consider spoilers but don’t worry, they will be the least possible.

It’s 1955 in the lone star state and the Sawyer family celebrates the birthday of the smallest Jedidiah member, Jed – it’s no coincidence that the name sounds practically like Ed, you have to remember that Leatherface’s character is heavily inspired by the serial killer. Ed Gein-, as part of their celebration, they try to convince him to start in the macabre customs of the family, gagged and tied next to the table is a man who they accuse of trying to steal pigs, Jed must kill him to be one more of the family, at least that’s what your family expects you to do.


Shortly after the Sawyer family ambush a young couple, using Jed as bait they lure the girl to an old barn where they kill her, the girl is the daughter of a policeman, Hal Hartman who swears revenge against the clan and as The first measure against him takes Jed, whom he hands over to the state to be sent to live in correctional facilities. Ten years later, Jed will leave correctional facilities to end up in a mental hospital where he is subjected – like his companions – to the director’s torture and experiments.


Very soon the film becomes an avalanche of insane violence, killings, torture, sex, even fragments of necrophilia, in Leatherface there are no good guys and bad guys, there are bad guys, very bad guys, and the worst, all pitted against each other.


The pace of the film is frenetic, excessive at times, but never boring, the violence is in crescendo and although some narrative resources such as the red herrings are obvious, and perhaps a bit crude, it is much better than some of its predecessors within the Same franchise, maybe betting a little more on the visceral than on building terror, but at least it doesn’t fall for the easy scare and high volume jump scare.


Leatherface works as a prequel to the original film, and in that sense, it really works, it helps to understand a little better how this family of insane murderers and cannibals became the family that horrified the 1974 screens, but above all, it helps to understand How is it that a boy like Jed, who seemed to be the only one who did not have the murderous instinct of his family, became the fearsome killer of the chainsaw, also shows us the reason that leads Jed to hide behind the skin mask, the mask made with the pieces of the face of his victims.


One of the aspects that attract the most attention is that it is the only film in the entire history of the franchise that does not focus on the Sawyer family, nor does it take place on the farm, what it focuses on, and where it takes place we will leave that in suspense so as not to ruin the movie-

Whether it is good or bad is a matter of taste and each one will decide for himself, the only thing I can assure you is that those who are looking for blood and gore will find it to a much greater extent than in any of the previous films of the massacre of Texas.

*Leatherface premiered on select Video On Demand platforms on September 21 and will hit theaters – at least in the US – from October 20.

Written by Alex De Saro