Double Film Review: LEATHERFACE and JIGSAW…aka First remakes, now Useless Sequels (2018)

As an unofficial follow-up to my super-official series of commentary relating to remakes, I will be talking about the never-ending string of sequels in the horror world.

I recently watched Leatherface and Jigsaw, despite the numerous online complaints about both films. Luckily enough, I don’t care about other peoples’ opinions. I tell all of my fifteen readers, on a regular basis, not to even listen to my opinion. So take my commentary as you will. Films for me are for escape and entertainment. I like and dislike aspects of pretty much every movie. All I want people to do is start to look at films with an open mind and quit being dicks to each other online. So with that being said, I’ll tell you what I liked about my two recent sequel views and what I could have done without. By the end, I think the reason that so many of these sequels are being made will be more clear to all sixteen of us.

I recently picked up Leatherface for three bucks on BD from a second hand store. Used media stores are the best way to find great deals and find a variety that you can’t find in the dwindling stocks of Best Buy and Target. It’s also much more strategic for collectors who want to put their money into higher quality rare releases.

So anyway, despite the loads of hatred thrown at this sequel I didn’t completely hate it. I thought the twisty origin reveal was pretty cool. I thought the kills were brutal as hell as well, reminiscent of way Rob Zombie upped the ante of realistic brutality in his Halloween remake. I know that just mentioning that film may shut down some readers, but I didn’t hate that one either. In fact, the only things that make the string of Hollywood remakes and sequels tolerable for me are the modernization of gore effects and brutal originality in the kills. It’s the overall feeling, of course, that usually becomes more negative. You see, this movie doesn’t do a whole lot for me outside of great gore effects. All it manages to be is an overall sub-par combination of The Devil’s Rejects and Rob Zombie’s Halloween.

I’m not sure why this film and story-line is really needed in the franchise. This, of course, is the bottom line issue that most people have with these pointless sequels. It’s just that. They are pointless. I have a theory that if they just gave the films original titles and changed some character names, more people would be forgiving of the film’s flaws. So maybe if Leatherface was just called Insane Asylum Murder Spree, people would see it for what it is and not attach instant resentment to the defilement of one of their favorite franchises. Sadly, of course, is that very thing, the franchise title, that gets the big studios to put up money for the production of film. If it was called Insane Asylum Murder Spree, it would have been made by some underground guy for a few thousand dollars and no one would have seen it. It’s a sad truth, surrounded by double edged swords, greed, and hypocrisy.

So with all of that being said, I don’t think I have to say much more about Jigsaw. It’s just another Saw, following the same format as all of the others. So while the first film was groundbreaking and mind-blowing, all it did was create another formula for the studios. So while we watched the second and third films with a little interest, mostly just trying to see what disturbing torture method came next, we found ourselves incredibly bored when the next three just did the same damn thing. Sometimes I think the studios are just doing this to force the last few dollars out of collectors of physical media when they release a new box set. So in the end, unless you are completing a collection neither of these is worth more than a cheap rental or pawn shop purchase.

 

 

Author: Steven Paul

Born and raised in Michigan, slowly dying in Florida. I'm here to keep you informed about everything in the world of indie horror. I also specialize in all genres of exploitation, cult, and extreme cinema. As part owner and Editor of Film and Television for Beneath the Underground, it is my responsibility to provide vast amounts of information for the horror fan and an outlet for the filmmaker.

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