Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Movie #1 - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) - Review

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Year of Horror - Movie 1
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Sub-Genre: Slasher

Director: Tobe Hooper

Main Cast: Gunnar Hansen (as Leatherface), Marilyn Burns (as Sally Hardesty), Allen Danziger (as Jerry)

I wanted the first film I watched as part of my Year of Horror campaign to be a classic, and it doesn't come much more classic than Tobe Hooper's 1974 masterpiece, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The plot is simple; five friends, driving through Texas, happen upon a deranged family, equipped with deep psychosis and chainsaws. What ensues is a desperate fight for survival, one which epitomises horror and provides some truly memorable scares.

The isolation of the setting provides the basis for the chill of terror the audience is going to feel during this movie. We sympathise with Sally; in the middle of nowhere, far away from home and slowly losing her only anchor to the outside world, her friends, she becomes a character we grow to care about and root for.

One of my favourite scenes in the movie is when Leatherface is chasing Sally through the fields outside the house. As sally runs toward you, the fear is palpable; Leatherface is behind her, closing in and all you can do is watch as she becomes closer and closer to her tormentor. The tension reaches fever pitch and then...you know what? You'll have to watch it to find out what happens next! If you've seen this film then you'll know that the ending is just glorious. An amazing, haunting ending that you'll never forget.

With the Texas Chainsaw remake looking like it will be huge, I think this is an opportunity for people who have never seen this movie to turn off the lights, settle down and prepare be terrified. Or at least revel in the utter fear-drenched delight of this film. I'd hate for someone's first experience of Chainsaw to be a remake, good or bad, when, if experienced properly, the 1974 piece of art can become one of your all time favourite horror experiences. If you have seen it before, relive it. Even when you know what's coming, the film is a captivating, enthralling experience.

A truly fantastic film, I'd recommend it to everyone.




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