The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Movie review by
Beth Pratt, Common Sense Media
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie Poster Image
Hard to do worse than this extremely gory mess.
  • R
  • 2003
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 32 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Dark, cruel sentiments throughout. Crude and tasteless humor ("I guess that's what brains look like--kind of like lasagna.")

Positive Role Models & Representations

You wouldn't want your kid acting like any of these characters.

Violence

This is a very bloody and gory movie. There's an extremely graphic suicide scene, characters are hung from meat hooks (and then tortured), sliced, ripped, cut, shot, murdered in various ways, run over, etc. We see many severed limbs. Stabbings, impalings. The sheriff brags about sexually assaulting female corpses.

Sex

Some crude sexual talk. A couple makes out. The camera lingers on a female character's wet tank top and backside.

Language

Nonstop extreme profanity.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The sheriff drinks and drives. The main characters smuggle and smoke marijuana.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is not recommended for anyone under 17. Yes, kids love to be scared, but the violence here is so disturbingly realistic that it's too much for most older kids (and some adults) to handle. The various murders are definitely graphic (we get to see the flesh rip and the organs exposed) but the suicide scene is so disturbing that several people walked out of the theater immediately afterwards. Violence aside, there's still no reason to see this movie--the story doesn't make much sense, the acting is mediocre at best, and even at 98 minutes, it feels way too long. Bottom line: Save your money!

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThatDanGuy April 9, 2008
Adult Written byCSM Screen name... September 18, 2014

Bloody and disturbing!

Too much language and violence in this movie!
Teen, 13 years old Written bySanjay407 October 22, 2011

Read this

Rated R: Strong Horror Violence and Language. A scene of drunkness
Teen, 13 years old Written by2jayz October 25, 2014

Extremely disturbing

Some kills are very graphic, and some kills are off screen (but still extremely disturbing of course). The worst part is the suicide part at the beginning of th... Continue reading

What's the story?

In this remake it's still 1973, but you would never know it by the fashions and hairstyles of the hip young cast. They're on their way to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in Dallas, but get slowed down when they pick up a hitchhiker who blows her brains out all over their van. The gory events that follow the suicide (which involve Leatherface, a disfigured man who uses human flesh for a mask, his chainsaw, and his equally crazy family) don't make a ton of sense, and it doesn't really matter--it's all just an excuse to bring on the blood and guts.

Is it any good?

This film is extremely violent and bloody, the profanity never stops, the characters aren't particularly likeable, and the story doesn't make sense. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is a remake of a 1974 low-budget horror movie by the same name. The original movie about five Texas teens who stumble across a family of cannibals was considered extremely edgy when it was released, but it now seems downright quaint when compared to modern horror movies like this remake.

Jessica Biel leads the cast of doomed characters, but considering she's the biggest name in the movie, you're pretty certain that she's going to stick around the longest. After all, if she were killed off too soon, we wouldn't be treated to the many gratuitous shots of her wet white tank top. The rest of the cast isn't memorable at all with the exception of R. Lee Ermey's portrayal of the "Sheriff" (his untraditional crime scene procedures, such as making sexual jokes about the victim as he carelessly wraps her body in Saran-Wrap, hint that he's not exactly what he seems). There's absolutely no reason for kids to see this movie, and mature teens and adults would be better off watching the original movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the amount and type of violence in this horror film, and some of the more graphic films of today. Do you think it's possible for young people, and even adults, to become desensitized to violence by watching really violent films?

Movie details

For kids who love scary stuff

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