We just got our first look in a while at a horror icon in the new poster for the upcoming Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Netflix is due to release their reboot of one of the original gore franchises soon, and they are finally showing some artwork. The new poster shows us a glimpse of Leatherface, the masked cannibal at the heart of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. He is standing behind a row of desiccated sunflowers, and the harsh orange Texas sunlight causes a lens flare across his legendary mask. It is a perfectly ominous image for what is hopefully a new start for the series. Check out the poster here:
Netflix’s upcoming installment of the franchise will simply be titled Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It is set to star Mark Burnham as Leatherface, the longtime villain/somewhat ambiguously sympathetic antihero of the franchise. It will be the ninth film in the series and the first since 2017’s Leatherface. That film functioned as a prequel to the original 1974 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, giving viewers an origin story for the traumatized and traumatizing murderer that initially butchered a bunch of teens.
In contrast, Texas Chainsaw Massacre will take the same approach as the seventh film, Texas Chainsaw 3D, which attempts to continue a continuity that has taken some weird turns over the decades. But perhaps taking inspiration from the critical and commercial success of David Gordon Green and Danny McBride’s Halloween reboot, this new film also appears to be attempting to reconcile some elements of the original
Texas Chainsaw Massacre will feature a new group of young people arriving in a desolate area of Texas that will shortly become a nightmarish hellscape of violence. In addition to Mark Burnham in his first appearance as Leatherface, the cast includes Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Jacob Latimore (The Maze Runner), and Sarah Yarkin (Happy Death Day 2U). The movie will also feature the return of the sole surviving character from the original film, Sally Hardesty. While that role was originally played by Marilyn Burns, her passing in 2014 led to the casting of Irish actor Olwen Fouéré in the part. Sally is presumably returning to take her vengeance on Leatherface and the rest of the Sawyer family, but given this is a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, it probably will not go well. Narrator John Larroquette will also return.
The original 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre is considered one of the most influential movies in modern horror. Along with John Carpenter’s 1978 film Halloween, it established a number of tropes that now commonly feature in slasher films, like a monstrous, silent killer and exceptionally gory deaths. Originally filmed on a minimal budget and using local actors by Tobe Hooper, the movie became an enormous financial success and put Leatherface in the pantheon of horror villains. As with many horror franchises, the quality of succeeding films has varied wildly, but much like a slasher themselves, it’s hard to ever get rid of them. Texas Chainsaw Massacre will be released streaming on Netflix on February 18.