A nice slice of life!
This prequel to the 2003 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre remake by the same name, and to the franchise to some extent, revisits some concepts we're now taking for granted. We watch just how Leatherface came to be. As we learn, abortion, bad parenthood, poverty, mental illness and working in a slaughterhouse made him the sociopath we know. It's easy to buy. The script makes its point then moves on.
The backstory covers mostly Leatherface and his father, the impostor sheriff the film really revolves around. The character of Jessica Biel not returning, by default, more screen time is given to R. Lee Ermey. Every line he delivers is either insulting or terrifying, yet he can make audiences burst in nervous laughs, protected by the screen. He contributes to a highly immersing torture thriller.
It's one thing to build a large franchise around a resilient family of maniacs; another to tell its prequel while making sense of it all, considering all sequels were actually remakes, not continuity. The photography, the action scenes and the visceral gore are a cookie-cut of the last movie, but the film deliberately give us more of what we expected the first time around, almost as an apology...