WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Texas Chainsaw Massacre, streaming now on Netflix.

Horror comes in many forms, but some of the most famous often dwell in the realm of slasher, thriller or supernatural. In the case of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the slasher genre is where it’s most at home. That said, even though the series has made its mark as a grimy and violent franchise that loves to torture its victims, it isn’t afraid to homage other classic horror subgenres. The 2022 sequel perfectly captures this by calling back to the Stephen King classic, The Shining.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre follows up the 1974 original and sees Leatherface return in a terrifying fashion by slaughtering a group of young adults and investors set to revitalize a ghost town he has called home. While the premise has nothing to do with the supernatural film about a man slowly losing his sanity in a haunted hotel, it does have a moment that reminds viewers of the most iconic scene from Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation. But rather than the moment be the culmination of a harrowing chase, Texas Chainsaw Massacre instead leads into the scene after a bloody massacre on a bus at the hands of Leatherface.

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In the film, final girls Mel (Sarah Yarkin) and Lila (Elsie Fisher) try to escape the lumbering Leatherface and enter the double-decker party bus housing the young adults and investors. As they try to escape, Leatherface slices the tires, leaving the vehicle stranded. As the two girls seek refuge, it doesn’t take long for Leatherface to resort to dismemberment to reach his targets. Before he can make it to them, the two girls hide in the bathroom and nearly give up hope before noticing an opening at the roof. But as they try to escape, Leatherface discovers their hiding spot.

The camera frames the scene similar to when Jack Torrance hacks his way into the bathroom to kill his wife, Wendy. But instead of an axe, a chainsaw cuts a hole into the door instead. Nevertheless, Mel’s terror feels as real as Wendy’s, even though the latter never witnessed a gruesome massacre beforehand. After Leatherface cuts a hole through, he uses his hand to try to reach in. But, rather than accept her fate, Mel stabs him in the arm with a bottle opener. Leatherface, distracted, looks in and sees how they got out. But the framing shows him peering through the hole in a manner similar to Jack Nicholson’s famous “Here’s Johnny!” line.

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The Shining‘s iconic scene is terrifying due to the suspense that’s built upon throughout the film. Jack’s twisted rage feels like a believable breakdown after days of isolation affecting his mind. While Texas Chainsaw Massacre has its own suspense, it can’t compare to The Shining. Instead, it focuses on the trauma that Leatherface stokes within the two girls and capitalizes on the anxiety he creates because of his relentless drive.

Horror is no stranger to honoring past classics or being inspired by what’s come before. But Texas Chainsaw Massacre takes things to another level by letting audiences know exactly what the end result was. While its impact is subject to the viewer, there’s no denying that the fans who have become creators themselves know exactly what’s scary in horror and aren’t afraid to show their appreciation to its contributions through clever nods.

To see Leatherface do his best Nicholson impression, watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre, streaming now on Netflix.

KEEP READING: Texas Chainsaw Massacre Commits Horror’s Biggest Sin – And Fans Won’t Be Happy



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