A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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!
- Parents say
- Kids say
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 ...
- In theaters: October 16, 2003
- On DVD or streaming: March 29, 2004
- Cast: Eric Balfour, Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker
- Director: Marcus Nispel
- Studio: New Line
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong horror violence/gore, language and drug content
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love scary stuff
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch