Exclusive: ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ filmmakers compare Netflix release to the VHS era

The theatrical industry is still struggling to overcome the long-lasting effects of the pandemic, but the horror genre has proven itself capable of putting butts in seats regardless of the circumstances.

Halloween Kills, A Quiet Place Part II, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Candyman, and The Forever Purge all performed admirably by the standards of the time, so it stands to reason that Texas Chainsaw Massacre would have been in with a decent shot at turning a tidy profit.

Instead, Netflix swooped in to scoop up the distribution rights to David Blue Garcia’s sequel to the 1974 original, which hits the platform tomorrow. Instead of playing on the big screen, Leatherface’s return will be instantly available to over 200 million subscribers at the push of a button, opening the movie up to a massive potential audience.

During a recent press event hosted by Netflix, We Got This Covered asked producer Fede Álvarez for his thoughts on Texas Chainsaw Massacre being open to such a huge number of viewers right from the outset, and he compared it to the golden age of firing up a VHS to watch a gory, blood-soaked film you weren’t supposed to be seeing at all.

“It’s great. I mean, I think there’s movies like this one that most of us discovered on VHS, right? Otherwise, unless you were a teenager at the time when the movie came out, or at some point, but most of us discovered it on VHS. So, there’s something kind of romantic about the act of just all of these people seeing it right away on TV.

And in a way as well, I think we shouldn’t say this, but I think there’s a part of the beautiful aspect of VHS, was that you could watch movies you were not supposed to watch. And you’ll watch it, and they regret it! And I think this has some of that magic as well.

I’m sure there must be some young kids that probably aren’t an age to watch, and they’ll definitely figure out ways to bypass their parents to watch, and definitely be scared sh*tless! It definitely has those elements, as back in the day of VHS.”

On the other side of the coin, Garcia would have loved for his latest feature to play to packed houses on the biggest screen possible, but he’s still hoping fans will get to experience the communal aspect of watching something like Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Netflix.

“I mean, this is a kind of movie, too, that I would love for people to experience at a big crowded theater. And it’s a lot of fun. We’ve tested it a few times. And you know, there’s a really great energy in the theater when the movie stops. But you know, people are going to be doing that same thing with Netflix. They’re going to be kind of crowded together in living rooms or bedrooms, and watching and experiencing it with their friends. So I mean, you kind of get the best of both worlds.”

Whether you’re watching it on your own or with a crowd, you’ll be able to stream Texas Chainsaw Massacre from tomorrow on Netflix, with the ninth installment in the iconic franchise poised to be one of the weekend’s biggest talking points.