The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre1974

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)



Critic Consensus: Thanks to a smart script and documentary-style camerawork, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre achieves start-to-finish suspense, making it a classic in low-budget exploitation cinema.

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Movie Info

Just as Hitchcock's Psycho was based on the life of deeply disturbed farmer Ed Gein, so is this little story of depravity and dementia. When a sister and her brother take a group of friends to visit the farmhouse of their deceased grandfather, they discover that just next door lives a whole family of repugnant psycho killers. Most noteworthy is "Leatherface" who is the bloke who wields the power saw and has a penchant for human flesh. Though the film did not enjoy immediate success at the box office, it has since gathered a hefty cult following. Directed by Tobe Hooper, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is considered by many to be groundbreaking work in the genre of horror.

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Gunnar Hansen
as Leatherface
Edwin Neal
as Hitchhiker
William Creamer
as Bearded Man
Jim Siedow
as Old Man
John Dugan
as Grandfather
John Henry Faulk
as Storyteller
Perry Lorenz
as Pickup Driver
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News & Interviews for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Critic Reviews for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (13)

This movie is nothing but an exercise in tension. Grotesque, looming, filthy tension -- and on that count, the film works extremely well.

October 8, 2020 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Morally retrograde it may be, but then so are nightmares. The point is that this one, though often crude and raw, really leads the imagination. What also works in its favour is that it doesn't pretend to do anything more than scare the pants off you.

April 7, 2015 | Full Review…

This abattoir of a movie boasts sledgehammers, meathooks and chainsaws, and the result, though not especially visceral, is noisy, relentless, and about as subtle as having your leg sawed off without anaesthetic.

October 14, 2014 | Full Review…

As disgusting, harrowing, and ugly as the 1974 horror classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is, the film has moments of eerie beauty.

September 22, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Chainsaw-wielding Leatherface remains one of the most disturbing characters in horror.

October 9, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn't try anything funny, there are no winks to the audience. And it's all the better because of it.

October 19, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

An unforgettable horror classic that proved low budget can be terrifying when done right, taking a careful time to build up its tension to an almost unbearable degree before fraying our nerves to pieces with its horrendous sadism, hysterical editing and documentary-style camerawork.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Unlikable characters and amateur acting makes it hard to get into this. But once the really horrible slaughtering starts you can't help but shift uncomfortably in your seat. Especially the last twenty minutes are really creepy, albeit unintentionally funny at times. But you can imagine what an impact the film must have had in its time.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Tobe Hooper's controversial classic is a landmark stamp in the genre of horror and a step towards the slasher sub genre. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a rare low-budget overnight sensation that produced hysteria and is still a disturbingly entertaining film for audiences then and now. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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