Slasher Hunt 2018: You Messed With The Wrong Family! Leatherface (2017) Blu-ray Review + Screenshots

So how does this prequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre hold up?

woman asks herself if it is really worth being in another Texas Chainsaw movie. It is.

Play Feature with Alternate Ending (1h 28m, HD)

There are two options for watching the film: the theatrical version and this alternate ending version. Without going into too much detail, the theatrical ending is a quick release type of ending. Something that happens and then it is over. The Alternate Ending version feels more in line with the series. It is really well paced and has a last-second image that fits with the film more than the theatrical ending does. I would recommend watching both endings as I feel they are both worth the time.

Behind the Bloody Mask: Making Leatherface (13m 24s, HD)

Pretty standard making of where the producers call the film a “reinvention”. One of the actors says that the film “is a mix of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Virgin Suicides”. Outside of comments like these, the film seems like it was fun to make.

Deleted Scenes (21m 4s, HD)

By far the meatiest of the special features:

  • Alternate Opening 
  • Betty
  • Clothes
  • The Pit
  • Trailer Confession
  • Alternate Ending (can also be played with the film. See above for details)
These scenes can be played individually or with the Play All feature.

There are also a few trailers that play before the menu

  • Jigsaw
  • The Hatred
  • Blair Witch
  • The Devil’s Rejects
  • The Vatican Tapes

The disc is REGION A (locked)

man receives electro shock while others look on.

Leatherface (2017) looks amazing. The film was shot in a very stylized way and that feeling and look are captured incredibly well. The film was shot digitally so there is no loss of information here. The film has a very yellow look to it and even when it gets into the night scenes, everything just looks so great. Also, the blood. The blood looks so good in the film. There are very few films that have captured blood the way that it is captured here. I wanted there to be more film just so I could look at it. It sounds weird, but that is how beautiful this transfer is.

man shoots something that contains blood.

The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is fantastic. In my other Leatherface review (the third film in the series) I talked about how the sound of the chainsaw sounded so great and here is no different. We are fully immersed in this world and the chainsaw is the thing that takes us there. Of course, the chainsaw is hardly used in the film, but everything sounds great here. The gunshots, the gore effects, everything sounds great. The dialogue is also clear as is the film’s music score.

'a man sees his fate coming to him in the form of a chainsaw

A violent teen and three others kidnap a young nurse while escaping from a Texas mental institution. Pursued by a vengeful sheriff, the disturbed young man embarks on a murderous rampage that shapes him into a legendary killer known as Leatherface.

As I was watching Leatherface, a question kept popping into my head: Why is this film a mystery? I completely understand that when a screenwriter goes into a producer’s office to pitch an idea for a film that the screenwriter sometimes has to come up with outlandish ideas just to snag the job. Doing a prequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre isn’t a bad idea. There have been a few prequels (The Thing 2011, Tremors 4, Prometheus) have been successful in their attempt to tell us where their main antagonist comes from. While many will disagree with me, I think that these films are good films, I don’t really care. If you like a film good if you don’t good. But why make this film a “who’s Leatherface?” mystery film?

The screenwriter, Seth M. Sherwood, wanted to do something different with the franchise, and he does, but it doesn’t make for a good angle for the film. In fact, this is the least appealing aspect of the film. It is something that is not needed and any viewer will be able to pick out who is supposed to become Leatherface pretty easily. It is hard to believe that anyone thought that this was a good idea especially coming from a “die-hard fan since the age of ten”.

By insisting that the film be a mystery, of sorts anyway, the filmmakers are forced to go outside of what we know a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film to be and turn it into a road film. After the group escapes from the crazy house, they are trying to make it out of Texas. The group needs money so they go to a restaurant with the intention of stealing from the patrons and getting something to eat. Of course, this goes to shit and the lead couple of the group end up killing everyone in the restaurant in a very bloody scene.

Leatherface is an incredibly gory film. I was actually surprised that the film passed the ratings board with an R rating. The film begins with a man, who is tied up, being sliced with a chainsaw before having his head smashed in with a mallet. The film then goes on to give us even gorier scenes involving gunshots, slashing, whacking people in the head, and hiding inside of a dead animal. When a character dies, they don’t get a nice death. They are destroyed with a weapon to the point that I am sure that families wouldn’t be able to make positive id’s.

The film comes to us from Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury who gave us the film Inside, a French new wave horror film where a pregnant woman is tormented by a woman during Christmas. The film is disturbing and very graphic, so when it was announced that Bustillo and Maury were taking on the prequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, I was excited. These guys have a great eye for shot composition and how to make everything looks rather pretty. If nothing else, this film is beautiful to look at. Every shot seems like it took forever to capture and it is well worth it.

Whenever I watch a sequel, prequel, or remake I am able to separate the film from the series that it belongs to. When A Good Day to Die Hard was released I thought that the film was an awful sequel to Die Hard, but as an action film, it isn’t too bad. The Friday the 13th remake isn’t that great of a Friday the 13th remake, but it is a pretty good slasher film. Because Leatherface has so little to do with the rest of the series, it is actually really easy to look at the film as a regular horror film, and as such, it is pretty good. The gore effects are amazing, the film is gorgeous, and a lot of the acting is pretty good. The film hits enough buttons as a horror film to be considered good.

As a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, though, it is pretty bad. I find it hard to believe that the screenwriter is a fan of this series at all. It seems that all he knows about the series is that the film takes place in Texas, there is a crazy family, and there is a chainsaw involved in some sort of massacre. The revelation of who Leatherface is goes against everything that is set up in the original film. I find it funny that anyone involved with this film thought that the Leatherface at the end of this film is in any way the same Leatherface in the original film. Leatherface would have been a much better film had the terrible ideas brought on by an awful script been chucked out the window and a new script be written. There is enough here to like. you just have to look past all of the chainsaw massacre stuff.

The blu-ray, from Lionsgate, is nice. The picture and sound are, of course, top notch. The special features are good, but I think that we all wanted to hear about why the film was shelved for two years. That being said, I think that if you like the film, this release is a no-brainer. If you just want to complete your Texas Chainsaw Massacre collection then wait for a lower price.

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