Netflix Leatherface?

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies

Yep, that is what I said. We have known for a few months that we would get a new upcoming Fede Alvarez-produced TCM, and it would follow the same formula as Halloween(which is a huge mistake in my opinion). Instead of a reboot or God forbid, an actual continuation with an original story; we get a direct sequel from the original 1974 and make all other films null and void. Instead of getting a new Leatherface persona, we get a geriatric with a chainsaw. And before you scoff, he was born in 1938, and this year he would be 83 years old. This is why direct sequels from original films are beyond moronic. Well, that and naming the new movies the same as the originals. Sorry about that, I don’t mind reboots, but I hate direct sequels that destroy all the sequels and creates a grandpa killer.  

Back to Netflix.  Texas Chainsaw Massacre – a decades-later sequel to Tobe Hooper’s original classic, is not being released in theaters by Legendary as planned. Rather the film is bringing Leatherface exclusively to Netflix. Why they did this is shrouded in mystery. Is it because of Covid and limited theaters? Is it so bad that the studio has no faith in the product? Some fans think this is the equivalent of direct to video?

I’m betting it is because of Covid. Other horror franchises are going straight to streaming.  Evil Dead Rise, is going to HBO Max, Hellraiser movie for Hulu. Paranormal Activity and Pet Sematary franchises are both being made for Paramount Plus. And we learned this week Rob Zombie’s spin on The Munsters is going to the Peacock. This has me wondering if streaming is the future.


I am forever hurt by franchises like Pumpkinhead, Return of the Living Dead, Hellraiser, and Puppet Master to name just a few, being completely killed off by low-budget direct-to-video sequels that were never able to even approach the quality of the theatrical offerings. But can we really say at a time when some of the best horror films are being released not in theaters, but at home? Life evolves, it’s only natural that we’re going to have to start looking at things in a different way. 

I agree some horror icons belong on the big screen. But the reality is that most of them haven’t been up there in a very long time. Studios have to spend a lot of money to make a lot of money at the box office. However, most don’t have an interest in spending a lot of money on the horror franchises that have proven quite successful in the past. Aside from the Halloween franchise, most of the horror icons have been lying dormant for years.

Let's look at Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this new film is the third direct sequel to the original. Add in a remake and two different prequels. TCM is not much of a franchise, but more of a trilogy. A movie with a sequel and a prequel. I guess the days of the horror franchise with Parts higher than 3 are behind us. Studios are constantly having to hit the “refresh” and “reboot” buttons to continue pulling in new audiences since it’s their ultimate goal is to turn a profit with these properties.

Hopefully, streaming will open another door for horror franchises like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, allowing new movies to be released, free of the risk of the huge production budgets and marketing spends inherent to theatrical releases.  If the studios play their cards right, streaming could even result in a new golden age. Most horror icons haven’t been seen on the big screen in many years. Maybe it’s time they give the small screen a try.

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