Spooktober Movie Review: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

What is The Texas Chain Saw Massacre?

When Sally hears that her grandfather’s grave may have been vandalized, she and her paraplegic brother, Franklin, set out with their friends to investigate. After a detour to their family’s old farmhouse, they discover a group of crazed, murderous outcasts living next door. As the group is attacked one by one by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface, who wears a mask of human skin, the survivors must do everything they can to escape. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was directed by Tobe Hooper and stars Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, and Paul A. Partian.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is one of the most infamous and influential horror movies of all time. It is regarded as one of the most disturbing, creepiest, and one of the scariest horror movies of all time. So to say I went into it with high expectations would probably be an understatement and I can’t lie when I say I left watching it a little more than disappointed. I think I went into The Texas Chain Saw Massacre expecting more than it was offering. With the expectations that I’ve bestowed upon the movie, the script, the acting, the scares were probably just always going to under-deliver. I probably would have enjoyed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre more if I had not gone in expecting more from it. It’s a film that script is weak and the acting isn’t particularly good, but the antagonist is what makes the movie. For a lot of people that make the movie a classic horror movie, but I’m just not one of them.

So what did I not like about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre? I didn’t find the movie interesting at all for the first 30 minutes. And that’s worrisome when the movie is less than 90 minutes long. I know that because it was setting up the characters and what was to come later in the film, but I just found the buildup dull. Sometimes an actor’s performance can help build up your film no matter if the information it feeds the audience itself is dull, unfortunately for this film no actor stands out from the cast. The acting is serviceable for the film, but no one in the film is particularly good. I will say once Leatherface joins the film, it becomes so much more interesting. They are creepy and disturbing. I wouldn’t say scary, but sometimes creepy can be better than scary. I think the antagonists are what make the film for me and keep me interested in the entire film.

But even then the antagonists aren’t enough to save the film for me. I didn’t care about the characters so when they died I felt nothing. Maybe that’s because the movie is so short and we spend so little time with characters before they are killed or maybe the characters’ meh acting stopped me from caring. But either way, I didn’t care. It also didn’t help that all the characters did was scream when being pursued. There’s was so much screaming, too much screaming in fact. I think I got a headache from the final act of the film with how much screaming there was. Yes, the screaming may be realistic, but it’s also very annoying. The final scenes do have good tension and the final shot is indeed perfection. The final shot is etched into film history forever and for good reason, but I just wish I had enjoyed the rest of the movie that was attached to it.

Have you seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre? What am I missing about this movie. Tell me what you thought about it in the comments down below.

2 responses to “Spooktober Movie Review: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)”

  1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was meant to shock and be disturbing. I’d say it succeeded. Some say it’s an anti-meat allegory, but I don’t get that deep. I think it’s best not to see it as any more that horror for the sake of horror.

    Liked by 1 person

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