Words By @lolajosephine
When it comes to intense, gut curdling, skin squirming horror the French are fucking smashing it! Titles like Martyrs (2008,) which is honestly the most uncomfortable 1h-39m you could spend in front of a screen, show us what kind of goregasmic (but still philosophically profound) flicks our frog-leg-munching friends are capable of.
The French directing duo Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo – who are most well known for titles like the chilling Livid (2011) or the disturbing and ultraviolent pregnancy flick Inside (2007) – are currently taking on a prequel to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series entitled Leatherface, set for release later this year.
“It’s a brutal and nihilistic road movie that we hope will surprise and delight the fans…”
The storyline to this prequel takes us back to Leatherface’s teen years, as he and three other inmates escape from an asylum, taking captive a young nurse (Verna Sawyer, played by actress Lili Taylor,) for the road-trip/kidnap from hell. Hot on their tail is Texas Ranger Hal Hartman (Stephen Dorf,) who is just as deranged, disturbed and dangerous as those he pursues.
In terms of placing this film within the Texas Chainsaw franchise series this film aims to be the prequel to silence any other Texas Chainsaw prequel. As the tagline puts it: ‘Witness the beginning of your end.’ Its predecessor Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006) was widely panned by audiences and critics alike (IMDb: 5.9, Rotten Tomatoes: 12%, Metacritic: 29%) leaving this film without much to contend with. But can it live up to the original Tobe Hooper 1974 cut?
Maury & Bustillo have walked out on two major projects (Halloween II, a sequel to the Rob Zombie remake of John Carpenter’s classic, and a remake of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser,) this film will hopefully make it to box-office. It should also eradicate any doubts you have over the failure of other films in the series ‘The Beginning’, or the crappy, gimmicky, ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D’ – 2013 for example.
‘Leatherface’ is rumoured to be in post-production stages, though there are claims on twitter that shooting is ongoing or that reshoots are in progress by actresses Vanessa Grasse (plays Lizzy,) and Jessica Madsen (plays Clarice) late last month.
Lionsgate Studios are producing the film, and have promised an ‘unknown’ horror for Halloween weekend this year, you can wager this’ll be it!
Until then, the film is under lock and key. As yet NO TRAILER! But that makes the eventual prospect all the more enticing, don’t you think?
Looking at Maury and Bustillo’s roster we can expect something with the no apologies style gore, and claustrophobic psychological atmosphere of Inside. But that doesn’t out-and-out rely on shock value, and still generates a good level of creepy thrills with interesting European nuances that steer away from the usual formula of the majority of Hollywood horror blockbusters.