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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

tomatometer

36

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 155
Fresh: 56 | Rotten: 99

An unnecessary remake that's more gory and less scary than the original.

16

Average Rating: 4.1/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 31

An unnecessary remake that's more gory and less scary than the original.

audience

58

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 399,089

My Rating

Movie Info

One of the most infamous horror films of the 1970s is revisited in this remake produced by action-spectacle maven Michael Bay. In the summer of 1973, four teenagers -- Erin (Jessica Biel), Morgan (Jonathan Tucker), Kemper (Eric Balfour), and Andy (Mike Vogel) -- are driving through Texas on a road trip when they pick up a hitchhiker, Pepper (Erica Leerhsen), who is on her way to Mexico to score some dope. With Pepper adding to the party atmosphere, the other four decide to join her, but as

R,

Horror

Scott Kosar

Mar 30, 2004

$80.1M

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All Critics (161) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (99) | DVD (41)

An initially promising, but quickly disappointing retread of Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel's hugely influential horror classic.

April 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

'Inspired by a true story' presumably adds to the sordid thrills; maybe we should look forward to entertainments about Nazis torturing children.

April 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (3)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Here's a slice of advice: Go to the video store and rent the original.

October 3, 2006 | Comments (2)
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The best one can say is that his version is not slavishly in thrall to Hooper's: boring, fright-free and pointless, maybe, but not craven.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All the bad-rehash mojo from Friday the 13th to The Blair Witch Project has infected Scott Kosar's script.

January 15, 2004
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... a bloody good time of a B-movie.

October 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's R. Lee Ermey of Full Metal Jacket fame who deserves most of the credit for this remake earning its mutilated thumbs-up.

February 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Georgia Straight

Hard to do worse than this extremely gory mess.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

This poor mediocre remake brings nothing and adds nothing to an already classic film...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Even a paint-by-numbers slasher is a novelty in this decade.

June 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Inevitably, given a bigger budget, it lacks the cheap, raw quality of the earlier film that, along with George Romero's outfit in Pennsylvania, showed you could make profitable exploitation shockers on an independent basis far from Hollywood.

April 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Just needlessly ugly and unpleasant, not to mention Hollywoodized down to its muddy shoes.

August 3, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

You'll have to overcome resentment towards this unnecessary remake before you can be properly terrorised but, on its own terms, it plays well.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The biggest question for me is 'Why?'

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

It adheres to the Hollywood formula for horror remakes: Twice the gore, half the scares.

June 26, 2005 Full Review Source: FromTheBalcony

A little stylised, but still a genuinely creepy tale worth watching.

April 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

Além não gerar tensão alguma no espectador, ainda torna-se enfadonho a partir de sua metade.

February 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Gruesomeness and shock editing are different things from suspense... The Texas Chainsaw Massacre offers plenty of the first two but little of the latter.

March 19, 2004 Full Review Source: F5 (Wichita, KS)

[M]ay be the most literal example in movie history of squeezing blood from a stone.

February 28, 2004 Full Review

Another pointless remake, and it turns a horrific movie into generic slush.

February 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

It's horrible and explicitly violent, but never authentically scary.

January 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Audience Reviews for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is yet another misfire in terms of a remake. Before I go any further, I do believe that there are some good remakes old and new, but with this one, the filmmakers failed to really create something good, instead giving horror fans a watered down film that lacks in terms of effective scares and memorable tense moments. The biggest problem with remaking classic horror films is that the studios go for style over substance, and they create something laughable in the process. This film has joined other remakes as one of the worst in the genres history, and it is just a poor attempt at making a quick buck. I think that the film felt rushed and there was no care at trying to create a worthwhile viewing experience. The film has a cast of horrible actors that will never have outstanding careers. Most of them will probably end up acting in critical bombs as they're not talented enough to make a good movie. R. Lee Ermey is the only one who shines here, however I found him to be wasted in such a lacking movie. The film's horrifying moments don't pay off, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre simply plays out like another run of the mill pointless remake that never should have seen the light of day. The cast make it significantly a worst movie, and you simply don't care about what happens to them. The gore elements are there, but what it lacks is the sheer genuine intensity that Tobe Hooper's original delivered so well. Don't expect much from this movie, and you definitely will be disappointed if you're looking for a truly good horror film to watch.
January 12, 2013
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Michael Bay's lot began their remake reign of "terror" with this completely unnecessary movie that I just stared at with complete weariness and annoyance. It's got more gore and aggresiveness in it than the 70's cult classic and what Bay doesn't realise is that blood and guts is not what made the original film absoultely terrifying. All of his horror remakes generally follow this formula. That it's primarily repulsive deaths that made his reimagining's inspirations scary. It's not. I have no problem with him remaking good horror films if they add something to the blender that works and also dont strip them entirely of their pride by doing something different for the better. Unfortunately, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre had it's skin ripped off by Michael Bay.
January 18, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Pepper: It just seems so wrong. 
Sheriff Hoyt: Don't give me any crap, young lady. Goddamn it, I got just as much respect for a dead body as anybody around here. 

"What you know about fear... doesn't even come close."

For a remake of a horror classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre isn't a complete piece of shit. Sure it makes many mistakes along the way. I understand that changes have to be made when remaking a movie, but a lot of what made the original so effective was lost in translation here. First off, the hitchhiker scene in this remake was stupid and I would have stuck with something much simpler like the original. After the initial setup the movie starts to get really silly, especially when we are introduced to the sheriff. 

We get basically the same start from the original here. Five friends, although one of them is not in a wheelchair, are cruising around in a van. Instead of the cool reason why from the original, checking on a grandparents dead body at a graveyard, we get five friends on their way to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. I don't know why this line in the movie pissed me off more than anything, but Jessica Biel's character says, "I hope they play Free Bird." It's fucking Lynyrd Skynyrd, of course their going to play Free Bird, but I digress. They pick up a hitchhiker and that's where the movie completely turns from the original.

Leatherface is bigger, but not as scary; most likely because the scenes aren't done as well and there is a much less talented director at the helm here. I do like that the movie didn't go over the top in the gore department. There was more than the original, but the original had virtually none. Like all remakes, when you love the original, it's going to be slightly disappointing. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it a little. Jessica Biel isn't a bad choice for the leading lady. I enjoyed watching her run around in a tight tank top. The rest of the cast wasn't too bad either. There's been much worse acting in recent horror films. 

Although this does have some annoying plot points, that's to be expected. It is still a fairly competent and respectable remake. But come on it really had no chance at topping the original in the scare or quality department. It did do an admirable job in trying and it also helped a lot of people revisit or watch for the first time, the original. That's enough in my book.
September 10, 2011
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

I'm really bad when it comes to horror films. They can be completely awful and I'll still shit myself. I don't think this was the worst horror film I've ever seen, it wasn't the best either. But, it gave me a good scare and that's what horror films intend on doing so it worked.
June 23, 2011
murphmann93
Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

    1. Sheriff Hoyt: I smell bullshit.
    – Submitted by Jimmy G (7 months ago)
    1. Erin Hardesty: I didn't go to Mexico to watch you get s**t-faced for four days.
    2. Kemper Hardesty: That's what you do in Mexico!
    – Submitted by Douglas J (22 months ago)
    1. Sheriff Hoyt: Lift her up and just kind of pull her over your way there. She ain't gonna bite you. She's deader than a goddamn doornail.
    – Submitted by Dan P (2 years ago)
    1. Erin Hardesty: What's wrong with you fu**ing people?
    2. Sheriff Hoyt: (smiles) Nothing wrong with us.
    – Submitted by Creep F (2 years ago)
    1. Erin Hardesty: (yells) THAT'S NOT YOUR BABY!
    – Submitted by Creep F (2 years ago)
    1. The Tea Lady: Oh, my. Oh, my, my, my, my, my.
    – Submitted by Creep F (2 years ago)
View all quotes (29)

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Foreign Titles

  • Massacre à la tronçonneuse (FR)
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (AU)
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