There’s such an enormous selection of movies on Netflix that it’s often impossible to know what to watch, but sometimes a surprising movie will suddenly catch fire and shoot up the Netflix charts. That is exactly what has happened to a terrible horror prequel in recent weeks, with viewers flocking to it in their millions.
In fact, just shy of three million viewers chose to visit Netflix in the week up to September 17 and opted to watch the 2017 movie Leatherface. It’s a prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – a horror masterpiece and one of the best movies of all time – and, with the best will in the world, Leatherface won’t trouble any list of the best horror movies ever made.
It’s essentially a twisted road movie following several teenagers from a mental institution who find themselves on the run in the company of criminals. Eventually, one of the characters is revealed to be the guy who would go on to wield cinema’s most famous chainsaw.
The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a bona fide work of genius, but attempts to turn it into a franchise have largely fallen flat. Leatherface was another bum note, released quietly on VOD and in limited cinemas after it was initially shelved by its distributor.
But it seems to have found a new lease of life on Netflix, where it has recently become available in many South American countries. In the US, Leatherface is not part of what’s new on Netflix, but can be streamed via Max.
While Netflix audiences seem to be having a great time with Leatherface, it earned some pretty grotesque critical reviews on its original release. Via the aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, just 27% of its reviewers gave it a positive score. Unfortunately, we have to agree with those withering assessments.
If there’s any other Texas Chainsaw movie watching beyond the original (and there is, just about), it’s the 2022 Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which stands among the best Netflix movies. It’s not a patch on the ’70s classic, but it’s the closest the world has come since to capturing that brilliance.
For more great horror, check out our picks for the best slasher movies and the best zombie movies. We’ve also explored how to be a final girl in 2023 and explained the Texas Chainsaw Massacre tineline, as well as looking at why even Winnie the Pooh is doing the Texas Chainsaw Massacre now.
You can also find out about new movies in the genre with our guides to the Saw X release date and the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie release date. And on the small screen, prepare for Wednesday season 2.