Parents' Guide to

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

By Beth Pratt, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Best for older teens and adults only.

Movie R 1974 83 minutes
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 36 parent reviews

age 2+

Parents are saying 18+?!

I legitimately am disappointed by all these parents who are saying stuff like 18+ and 17+. It's nuts! Your kids should be able to watch a very un-scary and old horror movie at ages way younger than 18! I literally watched this with my 12-year-old, and my 3-year-old was in the room and wasn't scared a bit. I don't even think he understood what was happening. He literally asked me questions the whole time. When I told him what was happening he said, "Leatherface isn't very nice, daddy." Massacre usually makes people think of mass killing. Only one person got killed by a chainsaw. It didn't show it on screen. It just showed unrealistic blood getting on the floor. You couldn't even see the characters body as he was getting killed and the scene lasted five seconds.
age 2+

My 8 and 9 year olds loved this movie

How is this movie rated r? It literally looks like a kid's hand guide for how to be safe with a chainsaw. This is the most ridiculous rating. The only thing is the very infrequent language. It says the B-word quite a few times in one scene but other than that it's clean. Limited violence and gore, hardly any language, no sex, no drugs (only alcohol). This is a very entertaining movie and I highly recommend it for your next family night. My nine-year-old and eight-year-old loved this movie. This is nothing compared to other horror movies. Sure, maybe 2+ is a slight exaggeration but not really. It's pretty tame and outdated. Really entertaining.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (36 ):
Kids say (79 ):

As you might imagine, this is a very disturbing movie that is best for older teens and adults only. THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE is considered a classic by horror movie aficionados, and it's easy to see why--at the time, no one had ever created anything quite like it. Some called it a brilliant commentary on a post-Vietnam era. Others called it the most offensive movie ever made. Regardless, it struck a chord with audiences back in 1974, and it still manages to capture our attention today.

Despite this terrifying premise, the blood and guts is kept to a minimum for an R-rated movie. When someone is stabbed, we don't actually see the knife going into the flesh or the bloody organs that lie beneath. The audience is left to fill in these blanks on their own. Yet, the movie still manages to be extremely scary. The chase scenes are especially intense, and the scene is which Sally attends the family dinner is horrifying because we can see her pure terror--the camera zooms in on the blood vessels popping out of her eyes. One final note: This version is much better (and less violent) than the 2003 remake.

Movie Details

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