The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie Poster Image

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre



Hard to do worse than this extremely gory mess.
  • Review Date: May 3, 2004
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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


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.


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


Nonstop extreme profanity.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

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!

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:October 16, 2003
DVD release date:March 29, 2004
Cast:Eric Balfour, Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker
Director:Marcus Nispel
Studio:New Line
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong horror violence/gore, language and drug content

This review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • First Michael Myers slasher fest isn't for kids.
  • Graphic mystery-homage to teen-slasher movies.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written bySanjay407 October 22, 2011

Read this

Rated R: Strong Horror Violence and Language. A scene of drunkness
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
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 the movie. There is blood and brains all over the back of their car. There is also some profanity and drug content. Violence-10/10 Sex/nudity-3/10 Profanity-5/10 Drugs/alcohol-7/10
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 November 29, 2011


Not as good as I thought it was gonna be.but i want to know what youre talking about if you say this is for 17+ because the suicide scene did NOT cause walkouts and its ok for 7 and the other one.its better.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?