The Scariest Things: “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”

Jula Utzschneider, Opinion Editor

Hello everyone! This week I watched “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974), directed by Tobe Hooper and inspired by serial killer Ed Gein.

This movie follows Sally (Marilyn Burns) after she hears that her grandfather’s grave may have been vandalized. She and her paraplegic brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain), set out with their friends to investigate. After a detour to their family’s old farmhouse, they discover a group of deranged, murderous outcasts living next door. As the group is attacked one by one by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), who wears a mask of human skin, the survivors must do everything they can to escape.

Without further ado, let’s start the review.


The Texas Chain Saw Massacre by Jula Utzschneider

Fright Factor: How scary is the movie?

Rating: 6/10

While there is gore present, “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is without purpose. The jump scares and chase scenes are relatively meaningless without an established plot. As a result, the movie created more confusion than fear.


Plot: Is the storyline/script interesting?

Rating: 5/10

As stated above, the director should’ve spent more time developing the plot of the film before diving into senseless murder scenes. Although there were some interesting aspects to the storyline, it would have been better to see the backstory of the sadistic Sawyer family themselves.


Quality: How well is it produced? How good is the acting?

Rating: 7/10

The production is fairly advanced, especially given the time of release and mere $140,000 budget. Despite this, however, the acting brings down the film’s score. At times, the actors’ attempts at being heartfelt and serious seemed cheesy and laughable.


Entertaining: How fun is it to watch?

Rating: 5/10

I won’t lie; this movie had its moments. At the same time, I found it boring. While shorter films are usually preferable, this film would have benefited from longer and more detailed screen time.


Overall Rating: 6/10

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” had potential, but failed to deliver in the categories that make horror movies stand out. I would still recommend watching it, but I stand by the fact that this movie was completely unnecessary to produce. 

Have a frightful Friday everyone, and be sure to come back on March 4 for my review of “The Conjuring.”