Horror Prequels Have No Suspense For One Specific Reason

I’ve been approaching horror prequels with guarded enthusiasm ever since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning saw its 2006 release. I remember sitting in the theater, deflated and despondent because it was the first time I fully realized that this kind of movie didn’t need to exist. My friend sitting next to me was shocked that nobody survived and said something along the lines of “Wow! I didn’t see that coming!,” to which I replied, “are you an idiot?”

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise works on so many levels, but the most important reason it works is because you’re rooting for a daring escape while watching most of these films. If there’s no hope, or even a “last girl” defying all odds and surviving a harrowing ordeal, then you’re going into the viewing experience knowing that there’s really nothing at stake. Adding a The Beginning addendum to the title basically suggests that the events in the film take place long before anybody escapes from Leatherface’s wrath, meaning that there’s no other logical outcome to the horror prequel.

While it was interesting to see some lore added to the franchise’s canon, it really doesn’t offer anything new that you couldn’t piece together through context clues found in the other films, making it a useless movie all around.

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