The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Reviews
After a series of grave robberies, 2 siblings, Sally and Franklin, drive out to Texas to see if their Dad's grave was robbed along with 3 of their friends. Afterwards, they stay at their family Homestead where they get attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths. One of them named "Leatherface" has a mask on and is always silent.
The camerawork is well-done. The film is shot like a documentary. Several conversations throughout the film feel like a character was being interviewed. Since the film infamously called itself a true story (which it wasn't), the documentary style camerawork made it all the more believable. It gave the film an unsettling sense of realism. Also, there are other shots later in the film which provide feelings of desperation and hopelessness. There are several close-ups on a characters eyeballs where tears can be clearly seen. These shots are just disturbing. Also, there are a few close-ups on the antagonists' faces. If a movie overdoes this, it can be annoying after a while, but since the movie didn't abuse this, I found them to be disturbing as well. Finally, there's the impressive final shot which gives you a dazzling composition of the sun and some great lighting to go out on.
The acting is really good. I especially have to hand it to Marilyn Burns (Sally), because she gave the best performance in the film by far. Near the end of the film, there is a lot of screaming and crying. It's really hard to do this well. I bet that most other actresses wouldn't be able to play her part without sounding annoying or over-the-top. However, I can not think of a single time near the climax that I got annoyed with her. Her performance remained solid and convincing. Because her acting remained top notch, the climax continued to engage me. She helped the film to remain terrifying. The other 4 friends accompanying her gave great performances as well. Since Tobe Hooper directed this film to make it feel like a documentary, their acting helped to make the conversations feel like they were borrowed right out of one. Also, Edwin Neal gave a nice performance as the hitchhiker. His performance was really charismatic. Insanity can be a difficult emotion to pull off, because most of the time, actors sound over-the-top when they do it. However, he did a really good job at it.
Despite what the film's title might lead you to believe, there's actually a lot less blood and gore in this film than you'd likely expect. I heard that this is the least goriest film from the franchise. That's another reason why it's so scary. It's able to generate terror from the audience without resorting to excessive bloody violence like many other slasher films do. Near the beginning of the film, it relies on suspenseful buildup and unexpected moments which are very shocking. Also, Leatherfaces' house has really good set design. A lot of work clearly went into it. Near the end of the film, it relies on great acting and camerawork and claustrophobia. It feels highly unlikely that the movie will have a happy ending, and it's hard to watch the ending because of this. It disturbs the viewer greatly.
If you stop reading and look back at my review, you'd see that so far, just about everything which I've praised this film for all contributes to making it one of the scariest films ever made in one way or another. It masterfully utilized numerous horror techniques, and it combined them to make this film work so well.
You likely won't be forgetting your viewing experience with this film anytime soon. However, it takes a while to get to the good parts. This film has pacing issues which painfully slow this film down. These issues come in play for the first half of the film. The audience impatiently waits for the film to pick up as its first half feels very slow-moving. Since the film is barely over 80 minutes, it can be extra tedious for that reason. On my 2nd viewing, I had slightly less of an issue with the pacing, but it still exists for the film.
In conclusion, this is a really great film. It masterfully utilizes several horror techniques to make it one of the scariest films ever made. It's not perfect as its first half has pacing issues. However, it has accomplished a whole lot. I can appreciate it for being one of the main influences for slasher films. It set the standards very high, and it gave other slashers very big shoes to fill. I was originally going to add this film to my watchlist months ago. However, I completely forgot about it. It was only recently when I remembered it. Man, I was sure missing out.