The Ending of Netflix’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Explained

The film ends with a shocking twist.

Elsie Fisher as Lila in Netflix's 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'
Cr. Yana Blajeva / ©2022 Legendary, Courtesy of Netflix

Last week, a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre premiered on Netflix. The franchise has been rebooted and reinvented multiple times in the past, but this most recent installment, titled simply Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is billed as a direct sequel to the original 1974 film. Set in the present day, TCM checks in with characters from the classic movie — including the infamous villain Leatherface — and introduces new faces. Like the original, this TCM is full of sensational violence — including a last-minute twist that has viewers buzzing. Spoilers for Netflix’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre below.

TCM follows Melody (Sarah Yarkin) and her business partner Dante (Jacob Latimore), as they travel from California to the abandoned town of Harlow, Texas, which Melody plans to buy out in its entirety, with the aim of gentrifying it and turn into a hipster destination. They’re accompanied by Dante’s girlfriend and Melody’s traumatized younger sister Lila (Elsie Fisher), who has survived a school shooting. Unbeknownst to them, however, they’ve stumbled into the exact spot of 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which saw Leatherface take over the town and murder everyone in sight. Turns out he’s still around, and he’s pissed off that they’ve wrongfully evicted (and caused the death of) an old woman whom he was close to.

How do they take on Leatherface?

Although they wind up teaming up with Sally Hardesty, the original film’s final girl (played by Marilyn Burns in the 1974 film and recast here with Olwen Fouéré), Melody and her crew are initially ill-equipped to go up against Leatherface, who kills Dante and his girlfriend along with plenty of locals. Melody and Lila fight back, with Lila even overcoming her fear of guns to go up against the villain. It seems like they’ve killed Leatherface and escaped.

But what about that twist?

Leatherface appears at the last minute as they’re driving out of Harlow, pulls Melody out of the car, and decapitates her in the last moments of the film, leaving Lila speechless as she drives away.

Although this means Yarkin won’t be returning for any sequels, the actor has been enthusiastic about her character’s shocking death in interviews, telling CinemaBlend, “I think my death is the best part of the movie. So of course, I was disappointed when I read the script and learned my fate. But I think it's a much better movie that I die, because it's shocking. I mean, it happens in the last, like, 10 seconds in the movie. It was shocking to me, and I knew I died when I was watching it. So no, I don’t wish I lived. I love it.”

Others have been more critical. Den of Geek, for instance (which reviewed the movie negatively), points out that Leatherface isn’t a supernatural entity, like the Halloween franchise’s otherworldly Michael Myers, and should therefore be a senior citizen by now, making his feats of violence in this film implausible at best. But though Leatherface may be old, he’s still plenty popular: The film was Netflix’s number one movie last week, and there’s already talk of a sequel.