The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

1974

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Critics Consensus

Thanks to a smart script and documentary-style camerawork, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre achieves start-to-finish suspense, making it a classic in low-budget exploitation cinema.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 59

82%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 202,355

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

82%
Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

Just as Hitchcock's Psycho was based on the life of deeply disturbed farmer Ed Gein, so is this little story of depravity and dementia. When a sister and her brother take a group of friends to visit the farmhouse of their deceased grandfather, they discover that just next door lives a whole family of repugnant psycho killers. Most noteworthy is "Leatherface" who is the bloke who wields the power saw and has a penchant for human flesh. Though the film did not enjoy immediate success at the box office, it has since gathered a hefty cult following. Directed by Tobe Hooper, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is considered by many to be groundbreaking work in the genre of horror.

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Critic Reviews for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (5)

  • Morally retrograde it may be, but then so are nightmares. The point is that this one, though often crude and raw, really leads the imagination. What also works in its favour is that it doesn't pretend to do anything more than scare the pants off you.

    Apr 7, 2015 | Full Review…

    Derek Malcolm

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • This abattoir of a movie boasts sledgehammers, meathooks and chainsaws, and the result, though not especially visceral, is noisy, relentless, and about as subtle as having your leg sawed off without anaesthetic.

    Oct 14, 2014 | Full Review…
  • The picture gets to you more through its intensity than its craft, but Hooper does have a talent.

    Sep 19, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Despite the heavy doses of gore in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Tobe Hooper's pic is well-made for an exploiter of its type.

    Sep 19, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The movie is some kind of weird, off-the-wall achievement. I can't imagine why anyone would want to make a movie like this, and yet it's well-made, well-acted, and all too effective.

    Oct 3, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A movie that goes a lot deeper than just a maniac with a chainsaw, and more political than many may realize.

    Dec 3, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

An unforgettable horror classic that proved low budget can be terrifying when done right, taking a careful time to build up its tension to an almost unbearable degree before fraying our nerves to pieces with its horrendous sadism, hysterical editing and documentary-style camerawork.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Unlikable characters and amateur acting makes it hard to get into this. But once the really horrible slaughtering starts you can't help but shift uncomfortably in your seat. Especially the last twenty minutes are really creepy, albeit unintentionally funny at times. But you can imagine what an impact the film must have had in its time.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Tobe Hooper's controversial classic is a landmark stamp in the genre of horror and a step towards the slasher sub genre. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a rare low-budget overnight sensation that produced hysteria and is still a disturbingly entertaining film for audiences then and now. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

½

While groundbreaking for its time and responsible for establishing many elements of B movie horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn't hold up as well as I had hoped. The acting is over the top and as bad as can possible be expected, but it doesn't really hurt the film that much. The camerawork is unique and adds a nice change of direction for the film. The story itself is unpredictable and suspenseful for about half the movie, but as soon as people start getting killed off it degenerates into typical horror fashion until a few twists are presented towards the end. This is actually a pretty tame film by today's standards (it cuts away from any kills when they are happening so you don't see guts and gore), but the way it is presented still makes it seem depraved. The fact that this film was banned back in the 70's is kind of funny. You could say the story is somewhat exploitive, especially towards the end, but nothing made my stomach turn. Overall, it was a solid low budget horror film that is respected due to its influence on the genre and for that I recommend it. Just don't expect it to live up to other classics like Psycho and Halloween.

Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

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