Movie Review: Leatherface (2017)

Starring: Sam Strike, Vanessa Grasse and Stephen Dorff

Directed by: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury

A group of teenagers escape from a mental hospital with a hostage in tow as they are being pursued by a vengeful sheriff. They start to run rampage through Texas as we bare witness to the origins of the legendary killer known as Leatherface.

I’m not the biggest fan of horror/slasher movies as they all tend be quite similar and usually quite poor to watch. I’ve seen a few of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies in the past and while they were all watchable I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of franchise but I was intrigued by this latest reboot of the Leatherface character and was keen to watch the origins story of the deranged serial killer. With the exception of Stephen Dorff the cast was relatively unknown to me but even Stephen isn’t the high flying Hollywood star I thought he was going to be after appearing in the first Blade movie. He seems to feature in mostly B movies these days with very little mainstream exposure so seeing him in the reboot of Leatherface wasn’t too surprising.

The movie started off strange but in a good way as the tone of the movie is set right from the off and the craziness of the Sawyer family is clear for all to see. The goriness and gruesome nature of some of the deaths was thrilling to watch and really fitting with the psychotic nature of the characters within the story. All of the young actors who were playing the teenage escapees from the mental institution were all terrific in their own unique way and the chemistry and bond between Jackson (Sam Strike) and Bud (Sam Coleman) felt genuine and real which is something you don’t find a lot of in slasher movies. Sam Strike in particular was the star of the movie as he put on a sensational performance that showcased everything from raw emotion to psychopath crazy and each scene he was a part of was made better by his presence.

This movie seems to get a lot of hate online from fans of the Leatherface character but I think I was able to enjoy this movie more than most as I don’t care for the character or previous movies much so I could sit down and watch this unfold without bias. The cinematography is surprisingly good and the make up and effects were also of a surprising high standard which is quite unusual for a low budget slasher movie. Obviously there were going to be some flaws within this type of movie and the outrageous over the top bloody scenes were one as was the use of quite a lot of slasher cliche’s but because this movie had great performances from an unknown group of actors who came together to tell a fascinating yet chaotic origins story it was easy to look past a large portion of the errors.

Overall, Leatherface acts as a great origins story to the famed character and this movie kept me entertained throughout. The movie manages to combine the right amount of gore and violence with storytelling and it’s a shame that the movie studios that made this movie lost the rights to continue it as I would have liked to have seen the continuation of this particular story.

7/10

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