5. Leatherface – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
Netflix’s legacy sequel/soft reboot Texas Chainsaw Massacre is not a particularly good film, and it certainly doesn’t live up to the original despite its attempts to expand upon its legacy. It disregards the events of all the other films in the franchise and is instead a sequel to Tobe Hooper’s original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre alone, with its story set 50 years after the events of the first film. It treads familiar territory, with the imposing Leatherface exacting violent and bloody deaths upon everyone in his path.
Putting Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘s low quality aside, it does do one unexpected thing: it makes Leatherface somewhat sympathetic. Yes, he may peel off his adopted mother’s face and proceed to wear it as a mask while slaughtering over 20 people, but he’s not entirely in the wrong. Okay, the murder is wrong, but the outrage that leads him to it is entirely justified.
After the events of the first film, Ginny takes in the troubled young Leatherface, offering him sanctuary in her orphanage. 50 years later, young out-of-towners roll into Harlow, laying claim to Ginny’s orphanage and triggering the heart attack that kills her. It’s Leatherface’s grief that fuels his killing frenzy, but a second-act twist reveals that Ginny was still the rightful owner of the orphanage, meaning that her death was caused by her wrongful eviction. Though Leatherface’s killing spree is a bit of an overreaction, his world had been unfairly turned upside down by a group of clueless entitled city folk, and it’s hard to consider his anger as anything other than righteous.