Even today, the original 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre is utterly horrifying – because its monster, Leatherface, is so abruptly introduced and so little explained.
The gang of hippies who accidentally fall into his demented redneck lair don't learn a thing about him beside the terror of what he looks like and the obscene things he does, and crucially, nor do we.
Which is precisely what makes us cautious about Leatherfac', the new instalment of the franchise that seeks to uncover the 'origins' of the man originally based on real life serial killer Ed Gein by looking at his teenage years. Even forgetting the fact we've already had a uniformly awful reboot, a prequel and a sequel to Tobe Hooper's original masterpiece, origin stories tend to rob great horror characters the mystery that made them so good in the first place.
Check out this trailer, though, and there's some cause for cautious optimism, particularly when a man emerges wearing a cow head - a scene about as demented enough to have come from Hooper himself. Overall it looks in fairly good shape, and the directors - Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury – produced a genuinely memorable work in the shape of 2007's art house pregnancy horror Inside.
Which brings us to the question of why they haven't just been allowed to produce another original film rather than play with the legacy of a horror that, for many fans, will never be matched? They're almost facing an impossible task, but we'll be watching anyway when Leatherface comes out on 20 October, which probably answers our question.