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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… not scary. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Unlike "Hostel" or "Wolf Creek," TCM:B is rank and depressing.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    The whole fear-of-obese-hillbillies device is starting to smell as stale as Leatherface's playroom. Does this horror trend simply reflect a national fear, as giant radioactive ants personified the Bomb in the 1950s? If so, maybe it's time for us all to go on a diet; America needs fresh fodder for its boogeymen.

    Read Full Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Bloody gore fest retreads old gruesome ground.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this grisly horror film isn't for kids -- though lots of horror-loving teens will want to see it. It's relentlessly bloody, dark-shadowed, and gruesome, with the titular chainsaw wreaking predictable (but still dire) havoc. Violence is graphic and incessant, with a range of weapons (guns, meat hooks, cleavers) producing severed limbs and body parts. A cow is smashed to bloody smithereens by a jeep; human victims are tortured (hung from hooks, tied up, taunted, stabbed, and sawed). The faux sheriff taunts a girl by pressing up against her and whispering ("I love you"). Some cleavage shots, and the girls' clothing appears in increasing disarray. Frequent foul language, mostly "f--k" and its permutations.

  • Families can talk about the movie's representation of "families." How does it suggest that Leatherface's dismal birth, abandonment, and training make him into a demented killer? How is environment a factor in his brutality (and how does the film use the Vietnam War as backdrop for that question)? How can you tell that Chrissie's efforts to save her friends are futile? Does that encourage viewers to look forward to her bad end? What's the ongoing appeal of horror films? Does anything set this one apart from the rest of the genre?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Not an issue

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: A cannibal family traps kids driving through Texas, then tortures and eats them.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Blood everywhere. A birth scene at the beginning is pained and ugly, with lots of screaming (mother dies, baby is monstrous); baby Leatherface is trained to kill and cut up animals; brief shot of gross roadkill; chopping of animal parts emphasizes loud sounds and bloody aftermath; weapons throughout include handgun, knives, chainsaw, sawed-off and regular shotguns, meat hook, hammer, cleaver, bear trap; a jeep hits a cow (bloody mess all over the screen), then flips several times, leaving occupants bloodied and tearful; torture scenes show bodies tied to table, hanging from ceiling, nailed to table; Leatherface saws off his uncle's legs (explicit image) and saws through the backs of three other characters; kids attempt feeble stabbing and punching of their adversaries and are repeatedly beaten back, in gory detail.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Hoyt leans into Bailey a couple of times, insinuating sexual interest and terrorizing her; girls wear short skirts, midriff tops, low-riding bellbottoms, showing some skin; their clothes become skimpier throughout the film due to ravaging, falling, water, and blood; brief moments of kissing between couples.

  • language false5

    Language: Repeated use of "f--k" (30+), along with other profanity ("hell," "c--ksucker," "a--hole," "s--t"); use of "gooks" to refer to Vietnamese.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Glimpse of Coca Cola sign in bar.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cigarette smoking and beer drinking in a bar.