The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on October 01st, 2019 | Movie Review | Slasher, Texas Chainsaw massacre series, Cult Classic, Dysfunctional Family, Maniac

Add The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) to your Watchlist

Add to Watchlist

You need to login or register to add this movie to your horror watchlist.

It's about a group of friends who stick their nose where it doesn't belong and pay a very, very stiff price for it.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was directed by Tobe Hooper (who also directed Poltergeist, Salem's Lot, The Toolbox Murders, Night Terrors, Djinn and The Damned Thing) and stars Marilyn Burns (from Butcher Boys, Kiss Daddy Goodbye), Edwin Neal (from Satan's Playground, Murder-Set-Pieces) and Jim Siedow (from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2).

Who will survive and what will be left of them?

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Review

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a cult classic created by the legendary Tobe Hooper way back in 1974. He took the backwoods redneck concept, first seen in 1967's Spider Baby, and really ran with it. This movie seriously freaked people out back when it was first released. The combination of the macabre theme, the surprisingly realistic approach to violence and the raw fear that burst out of the victims was something not many people back then were very prepared for.

The realistic approach to violence really jumped out at me the first time I watched this. Most movies, both then and now, rely heavily on score to build suspense and jump scares for climax. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was different. The score was memorable, but wasn't relied on for suspense. This movie doesn't actually have much suspense at all. One moment everything's fine, the next not so much. Many of the kills don't even contain build up and there's little chance for the victim to avoid the inevitable.

The atmosphere in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is thick. Everything from the sun burnt desert to the dingy houses, you can practically smell the stink on everything in this film. It's extraordinary, especially for its time.

The story itself is simple enough, and the trouble this group of friends get themselves into entirely preventable. Of course, if everyone in horror movies made rational decisions we wouldn't have much horror. This particular group thought it would be totally safe to walk into rural desert homes like they owned the place (after being clearly warned not to). It just so happened the actual owners were depraved psycho cannibalistic killers.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a very influential film and was the inspiration behind many modern horror movies, most recently The Devil's Rejects which focused heavily on the human skin face mask originally worn by Leatherface.

Alright, so with all that being said, I did have one HUGE problem with this movie. The incessant screaming by our final girl was extremely over the top and obnoxious. Seriously, she screams a lot at first which makes sense. But then she never stops, like ever. Most people scream at first, then they go into denial, then they try to plead with their attackers... you know, normal human efforts to escape a dangerous situation. Not this final girl, she screams her lungs out without stopping for air. I literally had my TV on mute for a good 15 minutes because all she does is scream constantly. There's a scene where she's being held captive at a dinner table and she's just screaming as loud as she can non-stop. Nobody's around to hear her and she knows it. Nobody has come to her rescue so far. She knows her friends are toast. But she just screams constantly anyway.

This pretty much sums up the last 15 mins of the movie:

Maybe people in the 70's ate this up, but I found it so overwhelming that it's unfortunately what I remember most about this movie.

Worth Watching?

Absolutely, it's a legend for a reason and should be required viewing for all serious horror fans. Just brace yourself for a lot of this:

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) Review - ALL HORROR Tweet it

Would it Kill You to Subscribe?

Get horror news, reviews and movie recommendations every Friday!

We respect your email privacy