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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo

Reviewer. Sarah Cook

LEATHERFACE tells the story of the events that led up to THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, one of the most notorious horror films of our generation. It begins eerily within the dark, disturbing interiors of a mental institution and follows the escape of four patients who take a nurse with them on the run. So begins a hellish road trip as not only are they trying to get far away from the authorities, they are also being pursued by a cop hell-bent on revenge after the death of his daughter some years ago – Stephen Dorff’s Texas Ranger Hal Hartmann.

That’s pretty much it as far as the plot goes but unfortunately being a prequel there is only so much surprise that can be had. You know where the story ends up and that all loose ends must be tied so it does get a tad predictable. The choice of camera work also gets a bit tedious after a while; constant shaky cam does begin to give one a headache and it would be much more effective if it could just stay fixed. However, that’s not to take away from the creepy, unnerving atmosphere that directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (INSIDE, LIVID) have created here.

The music score is sinister and the actors all give solid performances; especially Lili Taylor continuing her run in the horror genre, a place she clearly feels comfortable in and also Stephen Dorff, who’s gruff, moody exterior works well in a role which sees us divided as an audience because he’s not particularly likeable yet still manages to retain a shred of sympathy. The younger members of the cast are all also perfectly watchable.

This is a fitting film for this years FrightFest [2017] and even more poignant was that Tobe Hooper sadly passed away the day after this was shown, making it all the more important to celebrate one of the most iconic films in horror history.

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