JacobMaxKelly’s review published on Letterboxd:
The first 10 minutes were golden. Lions Gate and Bill Moseley is exactly what you wanna see. Flickers of the first film set it up and the way it follows on straight from there forgetting the sequels is almost admirable. The opening set piece was quite strong, its a well written shoot out. It was snappy and tense, suggesting something new while not just using the original story but almost commenting on other horror classics too like night of the living dead with the justice seeking mob group.
From then on it goes downhill. The plot holes are a little strange to say the least. Like if the original movie was 1974 and this bird is a baby in that. How is she only in her late teens/20s in the present day. That's pretty glaring.
There was a few promising moments with the parts blatantly done for 3D. I didn't even watch it in 3D but Im sure they'd have worked nicely and it was good to see some of the gore with the most recent effects. That's about all the good I can say about this.
What really annoyed me was the way the pacing slowed right down to add in the back story. There's literally a scene where she sits down reading old case files. It's fine to add more twists and turns in this world but it wasn't doing it using the originals style which was wrong. The opening set piece of this was doing it right. Expanding on the original material whilst being quite snappy and very visual. The case files added so very little that the first set piece wasn't doing in a bit a better manner. It was irritatingly slow and lazy. It's like everything they were trying to add just felt like some lazy attempt to weave it in to a generic horror. None of it felt like creative choices but ones to make it easier. Like attempts to retell the first films story but finding short cuts rather than clever modern solutions.
The beef with the police was fine but once again just awfully handled. That total sense of manic energy was completely missing. Once again just ok idea but not done right. Not used in the right manner at all.
That brings me to the very worst part. Making leatherface some antihero. The relative of the main character. This is an attempt to be bold and there's some part of me that goes yeah that ties in to the on going theme of family. Yet here it is again, just not done right. It comes off more as some cringey pathetic move used for sentimentality. Not what the franchise is about.
It pissed me off in the same way Terminator Genisys did. It showcases the very worst of franchises in that they can do this. Just play with the characters not even for the fans put purely for money reasons. Such is a consequence of late capitalism. It's disgraceful. It simply does not work at all. They know it doesn't work and they don't care. It's about making wild changes to make a few million more. You hate to see it. The next generation is a much better film than this, leatherface and those other two from the 2000s. I'll stick up for the next generation til death.