The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Reviews

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September 19, 2017
it got everything you would want for a great horror movie!
September 10, 2017
Having rewatched the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre after the unfortunate passing of its visionary director, Tobe Hooper, I had forgotten how unsettling this is, even after dozens of viewings. It starts as a relatively slow burn, but once the horror truly gets going, it does not let up until the credits roll. With a few exceptions (i.e., Grandpa), I believe this film is truly underrated for its realism. If a story that deals with characters who are murderers and grave robbers who decorate their house with the remains of people and animals seems unlikely to you, I would suggest you read up on Ed Gein. The villains, headlined by Leatherface, are not unkillable (Michael Myers), a resurrected menace (Jason Voorhees), or some supernatural force (Freddy Kruger). Rather, these are simply deranged human beings, and that is probably the scariest element of the movie. Additionally, the cinematography and score combined with the subject matter give a raw feel that was never replicated in any of the sequels/reboots. If you are worried about seeing extensive gore, don't. Though what happens is extreme, we see minimal blood and no guts, which is great (theater of the mind, imagination is scarier is seeing, all those clichés). Overall, if you are in the mood not just for a good scare but to be left rattled, treat yourself to Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
August 29, 2017
Surprisingly well-shot, well-acted, and well-dressed, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre manages to be more than just an excellent textbook on low-budget filmmaking.
½ August 28, 2017
Every time I meet a contemporary horror fan that thinks this movie is subpar I'm perplexed.
August 20, 2017
Tense, gory, and scary, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre give you an uneasy feeling from start to finish. The acting is good, the story is unnerving and scary, and the action and kills are horrifyingly great, making this a horror movie that still holds up today.
August 15, 2017
The cruel and realistic way in which it is filmed, make the Tobe Hooper's terrifying film a work of cult in the horror genre.
August 11, 2017
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre feels a bit too long at parts but it doesn't take away the overall effect of the classic scares.
½ July 30, 2017
Has some intense terrifying moments, but I'm going to be honest... I prefer the remake over this one.
July 25, 2017
This and the original Halloween movie are great examples at how to make a Slasher/Horror movie. Great Cinematography, great acting, great surroundings and some of the best scares in any 70s horror flick. A must watch and must own!
July 7, 2017
This movie is horrifying. Full of gore, suspense, and some jump scares, this is nightmare fuel and what horror movies should be made of. I'm not scared easily but this really over did it. I live in Texas and love it. I'm sure am just glad this movie is just a movie and isn't real. This is a true horror movie. What makes this movie scary is just the thought of cannibals. It truly is scary seeing this. Then the family is psychotic. Overall this is just a horrifying movie. It's so scary. This is what a horror movie should be. Nightmare fuel. Although the story and characters don't feel very important and are kinda paper thin, the horror is just holding it all up very well. It suddenly just doesn't matter that much. A+
June 29, 2017
Disturbingly realistic and great direction and camera work by Tobe Hooper. Even after over 40 years, this movie is still unsettling. One of the best low-budget horror movies of all-time.
June 24, 2017
I can appreciate that this film an ultimate classic that defined the horror genre for many years to come; but if you take it for what it is it's actually in my opinion not that great. I love it for what it's done for movies, what it stands for & what it represents.. but not for it being that amazing.
June 14, 2017
one of the most rewatchable films i've ever seen
June 10, 2017
A classic horror film that excels at creating a surreal nightmare world where escape from the carnage that awaits seems futile. 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' is a raw documentary-like look at a cannibalistic family hunting down a group of unfortunate road tripping teenagers. Director Tobe Hooper leaves just enough of the gore to the audience's imagination, making the film all the more suspenseful and horrifically nauseating. This is not the kind of movie where you will be comfortable eating anything afterwards. Speaking of eating, this film also features one of the most twisted and visually disturbing dinner scenes I have ever seen in any movie. Enjoy the ride because it's worth it by the end!
½ May 7, 2017
The cold-blooded, unsympathetic direction of how Leatherface and his crew torments and butchers their victims should work, as director Tobe Hooper succeeds on his intentions to shoot The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in a way that gives no cause for why everything happens. Hooper's version of the homicidal maniac sees everything in flashes. One image provokes, another image provokes, provoke provoke provoke -- AHA, I found this cool thing! The closer we get to understanding the horror, the more demented the cinematography becomes. In that sense, there are cinematic merits to this movie. This is not strictly torture porn. Having said that, I never cared that much for the characters, as harmlessly carefree as they are. One could argue that they were intentionally made to be faceless, as a matter of heightening the cold-bloodedness of it all; I call it carelessness. Additionally, while I am fascinated by how self-destructive a group of homicidal maniacs can be, the last 20 minutes or so are dreadfully campy. Recommended only to the curious and fans of low-budget slasher films.
½ May 1, 2017
This is a heavy load for a horror movie way even to this day. If you knew the environment of its release, you'll only cringe at its horrifying realism, which means it's achieved its goal. It's well-shot, well-acted, and effective in its design to shock because of it. And the worst part is due to news reports we know these kinds of people exist, so it makes it all the more appalling. It's not just another exploitative flick that's meant to show off the blood and sex appeal, at least not subtly. It's there to bring to light the real horrors we as a species seem to turn the other cheek towards as it happens.
April 16, 2017
Quite atmospherical, very violent and surprisingly funny, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is a fully captivating film, entertaining and meaningful at the same time. This is how you make a proper horror film.
April 10, 2017
One of the most brutal, visceral, intelligent horror movies I've ever seen. The last 15 minutes will blow you away.
½ April 9, 2017
I was really harsh on this film when I saw it as a young boy, however, seeing it for what it is now I have learned to like it a lot more! It was an original piece of horror cinema that has such a style to it, it has been redone and copied so many times because of its effectiveness. The cannibalistic family is great, because they all work together to "feed the family." I am glad I re-watched this, because I appreciate it a lot more now!
½ April 4, 2017
"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is often seen as one of the prime influences of slasher films. It popularized slasher films, and it is often used as a reference point for horror film directors. It's also a really good one at that. Tobe Hooper was able to make one of the scariest films of all time for several reasons. It's one of the biggest must-see films from the genre.

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.
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