When it's announced that a classic horror franchise will be rebooted, there are endless possibilities as to how that could happen. The ways of bringing back a classic franchise could either be by revamping it with a remake, stringing it along with a sequel/prequel, or twisting it around with a reboot.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one horror franchise that has suffered from all of these options. Unfortunately, it doesn't look as though it's entirely over since a prequel to Tobe Hooper's original film has been in the works and is scheduled for a 2016 release. This announcement got me thinking, "is there anything left for this horror legacy? Have we already seen the worst and the best of him? And if so, then what else is there to offer?" With the endless sequels, remakes and reboots, it's difficult to come up with reasons as to why this horror icon needs to come back on screen. As I continued to think about this, as well as the little info we have on the prequel, I decided to give my top 3 reasons why our chainsaw wielding friend doesn't need to make a comeback.
1. If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
Although there have been many times where some things aren't necessarily damaged, the human race has always found it interesting to dismember things and then put them back together. Curiosity is a typical reason for this. What can we take that is already great and turn it into something better? Here's something some don't notice; when you dismember a toy, you only have those parts. Everything was designed to fit perfectly in place with one another. So how can you put another piece of plastic in between the screw and battery operation? You can't because if you do that, the toy won't work.
The original Texas Chainsaw film had a good balance of story and characters. There didn't need to be backstory on chainsaw-wielding Leatherface and his cannibalistic family. They are the way they are. No reason, no backstory. This is a similar take on Michael Myers from Halloween. Michael Myers was simply evil. It wasn't until Curse of Michael Myers that studios felt it was necessary to ignore what the Doctor Loomis character had been stating in the past four sequels about evil just being present. When things are answered, the mystery is over and the intriguing part of it is gone.
2. Running So Fast That Your Feet Disintegrate
You know that really cheesy pick-up line "do your feet hurt? because you've been running through my mind all day"? If this was asked to the Texas Chainsaw franchise it would immediately say yes. I completely understand a studio's reason for wanting to continue a story that did well financially. Aside from the idea of making more money, a creative team puts a lot of time and effort into creating new continuations and takes on a piece of horror history. Unfortunately, the creative team on each Chainsaw film had some difficulty expanding on each sequel. Every sequel (aside from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Texas Chainsaw 3D) has been produced as more of a reboot than an actual sequel. In complete honesty, we all know some of them weren't that great... *cough* Next Generation *cough*. The problem with this is that with every new reboot, there are similar elements in every one. This leads into the fact that we can only watch Leatherface chainsaw people to death so many times. Although the movies weren't pumped out as fast as the Friday the 13th films, it was still fast enough that fans of Leatherface were getting tired of his antics.
3. What Can You Do When You've Done It All?
Reboot, sequel, remake, prequel...all of these words can already be used when talking about the Texas Chainsaw franchise. I will, however, give credit to the writers and studio for knowing that it was a good idea to bring the franchise back to the basics of the original with 2013's Texas Chainsaw, but we all know how it performed. The story was interesting from the early stages, but once it was presented on screen, there were numerous problems with it, particularly the time frame. The scary thing about this is that as long as the new installments perform well at the box office, up to 6 films could be made. Without diving into all of the issues and crazy antics of that film, it was the last thing that was possible to revive the franchise. There are only so many things you can do with a franchise. Let me list them for you in the words of a possible writer/creator/studio;
1. Sequel because the story must continue.
2. Endless sequels because audiences are still flocking to the theater.
3. Remake because we can re-introduce the story to a new audience.
4. Sequel/Prequel to the remake because 85% of audience today need backstory.
5. Reboot of franchise because maybe the original had something the endless sequels and remakes didn't.
6. Direct Sequel to original because we should get the original storyline back on track.
7. Prequel to original because we need to go all the way back to the origin so there is reasoning for all the sequels we have planned!
Am I wrong? Throughout the underwhelming reboots and sequels, the question is beginning to show up in factual form. When you fail at bringing back something great over numerous attempts, what else is there to do? It makes sense that the obvious answer would be to not give up and try again, BUT eventually you have to realize that it just won't work.
Go home Leatherface...just go home...
Before I end this discussion, I would like to say that being a fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I'm very interested in the new prequel set for 2016. Leatherface has been through much worse in his history of movies, so what exactly does he have left to lose? I don't think it can get much worse, but you know what they say; never say never. With that, I want to leave you with this question: