I'll be completely honest: I found this movie to be pretty mediocre when it comes to the story department. I mean, this "road trip from Hell" plot is something that we've seen done a thousand times before; it's nothing original. However, the outstanding acting from every single character in this film elevated this movie for me; the acting is truly better than it had any right to be.
Sam Strike and Vanessa Grasse gave powerhouse performances. Seriously, they had scenes that were truly Oscar-worthy. Sam has one scene in a car where he loses his god da*n mind and it's riveting and fantastic to witness, and Vanessa builds up such a sympathetic and likable character that you can't help but hope she escapes her tormentors. Also, there's another scene with Sam at a diner where he's sitting with Vanessa, basically explaining to her how much he hates his life; his mannerisms and facial expressions are so subtle, and his words are so powerful, that he is absolutely magnetizing to watch.
And also, towards the end of this film there is a surprisingly emotional moment; I'm not ashamed to say that I actually had some tears running down my face. Of course this moment is brought to an end by a moment of cheap gore (like literally cheap, the effect looked like utter sh*t), but I didn't expect to have my mother walk in on me dabbing my eyes with a pillow, ask me, "what are you watching that's making you cry so much?" and then threaten to 302 me when I responded, "Leatherface."
Now, when it comes to cheap gore, this film does have its fair share of bloody violence. This movie is definitely more bloody then it is gory, but it's almost bloody to an absurd degree. The blood is too red and watery, and there's always fountains of it every time someone gets shot or stabbed or hurt in any way. I don't mind blood in movies at all, but I can't help but wish that they would've cooled it a bit. There is just too much blood and it cheapens the scares, cheapens the experience as a whole, and adds a layer of ridiculousness to the entire film. Yes, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" definitely has tons of blood and gore, and so does "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (2003), but those films showed restraint, sometimes showing the violence, and sometimes leaving it up to the imagination of the viewers, and that made these movies absolutely disturbing and terrifying. Because "Leatherface" never misses an opportunity to revel in its bloodlust, the movie becomes less scary and more campy, especially when you see blood squirt 20 feet in the air when someone gets shot in the face with a shotgun. Plus, the blood looks super fake.
Like I said, the road trip storyline is nothing we haven't seen before, but I would recommend seeing this movie solely because of the acting; it's just that terrific. "Leatherface" may not be a fantastic film, but it for sure is a well-acted one.