Texas Chainsaw Massacre Parent Guide
Killing teens is like riding a bike: you never forget how.
Parent Movie Review
Harlow, Texas, is essentially a ghost town. A handful of weary residents still manage to scrape a living, but most of the town up and moved out, leaving a desolate main street to gather dust. But entrepreneurs Melody (Sarah Yarkin) and Dante (Jacob Latimore) have big plans for this little smudge on the map: The combination of abandonment, age, and distance from a major city means that real estate prices in Harlow are incredibly low. Melody and Dante plan to open a restaurant and they’ve also bught up some of the other real estate and plan to auction it off to other eager developers. This creeping gentrification isn’t popular with the remaining locals, but one in particular takes issue with the ham-fisted attempts to change the town…one large, masked, chainsaw wielding maniac, to be precise.
Now, I have not exactly kept up with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. I saw the first one as a teenager, hated it, and haven’t seen another one. Apparently, this is the ninth film in the series, which blows my mind. How many chainsaw massacres can you honestly expect Texans to put up with? Texas has more registered firearms than any other state in America, so I’d have expected Leatherface to catch a mouthful of buckshot by the second or third film. But, seeing as he hasn’t, he’s once again mangling the hapless inhabitants of Harlow.
The writing is unbelievably lazy. We have the standard clueless urban youths trying to butt into a rural small town, and meeting a messy end, but that’s hardly the extent of the scriptwriting sloth. One of the first characters to die is Dante’s girlfriend, played by Jessica Alain, a character apparently so undeserving of attention that the writers haven’t bothered to give her a name. Even in the subtitles she appears as “Dante’s Girlfriend”. Not that the named characters have it much better, since their dialogue seems largely composed of screaming and cussing – but at least they get to have names.
As the title might have suggested, this is not a film for family movie night. The franchise is infamous for its no-holds-barred approach to gore, and this one is no exception. Among other things, this features a man’s hand being ripped off and then the exposed bone being used to stab him in the neck, a character’s head being completely flattened by repeated blows from a sledgehammer, and a number of decapitations and bisections. I have a nasty suspicion that the filmmakers spent considerably more on fake blood than they did on the script. Perhaps the kindest thing I can say is that the film is at least brief, but I think it could be improved by making it even shorter. Somewhere around zero minutes seems right to me.Directed by David Blue Garcia. Starring Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham. Running time: 81 minutes. Theatrical release February 18, 2022. Updated February 18, 2022
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Rating & Content Info
Why is Texas Chainsaw Massacre rated R? Texas Chainsaw Massacre is rated R by the MPAA for strong bloody horror violence and gore, and language.
Violence: Characters are routinely dismembered and mangled with chainsaws, knives, broken glass, sledgehammers, and blunt instruments. People are also shot. There are flashbacks to a school shooting. A character is shown butchering a hog.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 32 uses of sexual expletives, 11 scatological curses, and infrequent uses of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character is briefly seen smoking tobacco.
Page last updated February 18, 2022
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Parents' Guide
The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was inspired by real-life serial killer Ed Gein. What other films did Gein inspire? What do you think some of the ethical issues are around fictionalizing the exploits of actual murderers?