MrTaylor’s review published on Letterboxd:
In 1974 Tobe Hooper unleashed one of the most brutal and shocking horror films ever made. He tapped in to that unspeakable fear we never knew we had. Not for the squeamish and not for the tender hearted, this independent masterpiece separates the men from the boys. The unpolished look and feel to Chainsaw Massacre only adds to the incredibly realistic nature of what we see and most importantly, what we feel. A million years before CGI came along, films like this one challenged us to finish the whole movie because of the authenticity and lifelike tension. This is a smashing good time and one that will remain fresh in my mind for many years as it is virtually unforgettable. Stand-out horror films have come and gone, but very few have solidified themselves as classics quite like Tobe Hooper's mega massacre.
Five friends are traveling to a cemetery to check out their grandfather's grave since there has been a recent string of grave robberies in the area. Along the way, they pick up a deranged hitchhiker and he scares the life out of them before they barely get away with their lives. Well, that's nothing compared to what awaits. Soon they find a nearby house and try to get some gasoline for their empty van. This is where the chaos begin. The house in inhabited by a family of cannibals, one of whom wields a chainsaw and wears a mask of human flesh (he is named Leatherface appropriately). One by one, each poor kid finds their worst nightmare come to life. It's teenagers vs cannibals and the footage is raw. Will anyone make it out of this story alive? Who the heck are these crazy cannibals? All these questions will be answered- if you can sit still long enough to find out.
Hooper sinks his hooks into us before the action even gets underway. In the very beginning credits, he coyly brands this tale as a "true story" when in actuality it is far more fiction than truth. I'll never forget the first kill with the hammer, the meat hook, or the dinner table sequence. In fact, the very end is just as shocking as any scene before it. It's a addictive pace with all the gore you can handle- a real bloodbath. No modern remake or Saw flick can top this achievement in actually scaring viewers out of their minds. It has the sudden jolts of violence and yet it also takes it's time to explain and divulge what is taking place and why. Only with interesting villains like these can one summon terror from our untouched human instincts. The tension, anxiety, and pure panic that is felt here is like no other in its class. The disturbing images and rush of adrenaline are far more than expected and when it' s all said and done, we're just as exhausted as anyone we've been watching. Search high and low, I challenge anyone to find a horror hit like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.