Slashers. The dominant Horror films of the 70's and 80's and arguably the most influential genre in horror of all time. What other genre manages to give people goosebumps over hockey masks and children's dolls? Despite it's decline in the 90's however, Scream in particular was able to show that people still had some undying love for the genre. The following decade showed a small return to the genre when 'Saw' incorporated some minor slasher elements to one of the world's most profitable horror franchises. But Leatherface has been absent from the big screen for a while; his last appearance was in 2013 and he hasn't had a well received film since 1986 though personally I find all of the film's relatively interesting, and this next installment is no exception.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has been subject to various failures, most of which involve some sort of reboot-remake-prequel-sequel complicated and frankly quite boring storyline. However, with the success of the Paranormal Activity franchise I personally struggle to see why the latter hasn't led to at least some commercial success within the franchise.
So why is 'Leatherface' so important?
First of all, 2016 has already had some pretty big names thrown out there. Chucky, Krueger, Myers and of course Mr. Vorhees are all set to come back soon. (Moviepilot had an article on this in June which you cam find here: https://moviepilot.com/posts/3314698) But we know more about Leatherface than any of the others, with the directors announcing the plot synopsis and confirming that it won't be light on the gore (*Internally screaming yay*).
Possibly the most significant thing is that it was originally announced as Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4 all the way back in January 2013. This obviously got many fans excited as it seemed to indicate the film would follow on from the original trilogy. However the plot's synopsis later showed that Leatherface would be a teen in this film, showing more of the characters backstory. Yes, this is another Leatherface origin. But it is showing a younger character, meaning the audience should be able to empathise with him more because we are more likely to see a face, a rarity in the slasher genre I know but it does happen. This origin should, if done well, therefore regain interest in the Texas Chainsaw franchise as a whole which hopefully will create a ripple effect and give the likes of Halloween and Friday the 13th equally good films providing us with a new age of slashers!
Another thing thing 'Leatherface' will be crucial to is the future of horror on television and/or streaming services. MTV's Scream has already experienced some moderate success and hit Netflix in a dozen countries last month. A series based on Friday the 13th is also currently in development at the CW, though it's so far uncertain whether they shall be using any streaming services for the series' distribution. Netflix (and other streaming services) essentially takes advantage of binge-watching which enables the producers to, in essence, make a 14+ hour movie. So if Leatherface and its friends are successful I shouldn't imagine it will be too long before Netflix begins to explore the genre further. What do you think? What's your favourite Slasher franchise and which will you be waiting in line for next year? Let me know below.