31 Days of Horror: Day 2 “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
The film which we are about to discuss is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them, an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Behind the scene knowledge makes this movie even more incredible such as low budget, unknown actors and directors, and harsh filming conditions. There are some very basic things in the movie that scare most people like the rumor of this movie being based on a true story, running out of gas in rural areas, crazy irrational people that enjoy inflicting pain on others, and that there are very dangerous people who seem normal on the outside or at first glance. There is a creepy feeling that the movie gives off from the very beginning all the way through the end. The other thing that is really creepy about this movie is how insanity is passed down through the family. The end scene is truly iconic and makes you really think that the actress has gone a little insane herself.
The beginning of this classic is nothing special. That may sound harsh but I stand by it. Step 1: Get some teens. Step 2: Isolate them. Step 3: Murder them and I guess you have a horror movie. THEN… the third act. And oh my what a good climax! The pieces fit so well you can’t help but think “of course!” You leave all cynicism behind and your only focus is what the heck is going to happen next. The practical effects didn’t age all that well, but the tension holds up. That is why we come back to Texas.
P.S. The video game Resident Evil 7 plays great as a spiritual successor to Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Best played alone, in the dark, with a great pair of headphones.
It’s familiar to us. The dysfunctional families, and how they seemingly frighten all others. But this is taken to different plateaus. A grit and gore-fest that inspired haunted houses across the globe to terrorize the public with chainsaws; that inspired that public’s dread and fear of said tools. It’s a dark one, this film. One that isn’t mere suspense, or brutality. It’s a dazzling amalgam of both polar ends, seasoned just right, stirred gently enough. Tastefully horrific. Best served coldly in the dark hours, but just make sure to keep an ear out for the grinding of those blades.
Wanna know what happens when industrialism takes over and leaves workers in the dust for the sake of their advancement? You wind up as a consumer, taking a road trip through the sticks and finding some killer bbq all to discover that you’re the one who is now being consumed… The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an intense, terrifying and somewhat depressing look at what the roots of the American Dream do to people who aren’t fortunate enough to end up on top. A family of killers (of cattle) are left in a position of survival after their jobs have been replaced by machines. They stuck with what they knew and made some kick ass bbq. This movie is terrifying for fans and people who won’t even watch it. It’s got a reputation based on the title alone. Leatherface is also a known character and icon of horror. If you’ve yet to see it, I believe you’re doing yourself a disservice. This is horror canon and it deserves its place in history for so many reasons. The saw is family. -Josh T. Romero
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