To horror fans, when you mention the word chainsaw they will immediately think of Tobe Hooper’s gritty realistic film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This movie paved the way for how horror movies were made and how future films would utilize its scare tactics. The film is about a group of teens that get stranded out in the Texas countryside. Little do they know the family that inhabits the nearby house is a family of cannibals that picks them off one by one. This movie is famous for introducing us to the immortal Leatherface and his cannibalistic clan but also for scream queen nominee Marilyn Burns. However, there was always something that seemed really out of place here.
This movie is set up and filmed to look like a documentary or at least to give us this sense of gritty realism. As scary as it may be, the one thing that always seemed really out of place was the acting towards the end. When Sally wakes up and sees the entire family at the dinner table they proceed to mock her and make fun of her. Sure this may be scary but it’s way too over the top and it takes me right out of the movie. It discredits all the realism from the rest of the film and makes me feel like I am watching a really bad b-movie. There has to be a point where you should realize that this might be a little too wacky for the film. As insane as these people are, I’m sure they wouldn’t be acting like Loony Tunes characters.
If that’s not enough, the dinner sequence is plagued by the constant screeching of Sally Hardesty. I know she is being held captive and is about to be killed but screaming like a gut-shot banshee is not going to help. When I saw this in a theater I had to cover my ears because it was so loud. Nobody came to help the first couple of hours and nobody is going to come the next couple of hours. Perhaps my ears are sensitive but… there also needs to be a point where the female character needs to shut up and stop screaming so dramatically.