The chilling new “Massaching in Texas” looks at school shootings
The latest film in the saga hit Netflix this Friday. It’s a continuation of the original story.
The film is 1h23 long.
After the new Halloween, which premiered in October 2021, was a direct sequel to the original film, the same formula is used for another iconic ’70s horror saga: Massacre in Texas. A total of eight films were made, but the ninth is a sequel to the 1974 original.
It arrived on Netflix this Friday, February 18th and was directed by David Blue Garcia and produced by Fede Alvarez (“Don’t Breathe”). As always, it revolves around a group of protagonists who unknowingly prepare to be slaughtered by a chainsaw in Texas, thanks to the psychopath known as Leatherface.
In this new tale, Melody (Sarah Yarkin) and Dante (Jacob Latimore) are two digital influencers who specialize in cooking and relocate to a remote — and practically abandoned — Texas village. The goal is to revitalize the location, but the party (which includes more characters) isn’t exactly well received.
One of the remaining characters in this group of protagonists is Lila (Elsie Fisher), Melody’s younger sister. Inspired by the way Tobe Hooper’s original film drew an analogy to the devastating war in Vietnam, David Blue Garcia wanted to speak about social issues to make Massacre in Texas more relevant than just a film exploring fear and violence.
Therefore, this film focuses on the mass shootings that have taken place across the United States over the years – namely in schools. Lila is a survivor of one of these attacks, and the incident affected her deeply and caused her to lose her life goals. So she goes along with her sister’s (sometimes ill-conceived) ideas.
The film is not openly opposed to arms liberalization in the US. On the one hand, it shows how disastrous easy access to firearms can be. On the other hand, this approach could be decisive for the fate of the protagonists when they are put in a life and death situation with a madman on the other side.
“I didn’t want to approach Texas that way, but everything is right in the script,” says the director of “Polygon”, who has lived in this American state for many years. “There are guys like that walking around with machine guns and pistols. I know you. The characters in this film may be anti-guns, and for good reason – all of Lila’s friends were killed by a gun in a school shootout. But I don’t know if they will be against guns for long if an insane killer with a chainsaw is chasing after them. That’s one of the interesting parts of the movie: she ends up having to use the gun when she’s there. It has many nuances, it is complicated.”
Adding to Lila’s dilemma, “She now finds herself in an even more traumatic event with Leatherface. And you have to choose between running away again or getting up and fighting.”
The screenplay was written after many discussions between David Blue Garcia, Fede Alvarez and the original film’s screenwriter Kim Henkel, who is credited as producing this sequel. One of the questions raised was how the public will deal with the killer.
“It was important not to humanize him too much. Because it’s a monster, and we need it to be monstrous. But it happens. We sympathize with him. We sympathize with the villain and why this film is starting a murderous series,” adds Garcia.
Of course, it was also about the more conventional elements of horror cinema. “Fede taught me to be creative in killing and to use more blood than you thought you would need. If you haven’t done it, even if it takes an hour, you start over and record again because people came to see it.”
The cast of the new “Massacre in Texas” also includes Mark Burnham, Moe Dunford, Olwen Fouéré, Jessica Allain, Nell Hudson and Alice Krige.
Click on the gallery to discover more of the key films set to premiere in Portugal by the end of the year.