Box art for Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning


Four friends on a road trip get into a car accident. The deranged sheriff arrests them and brings them to his house of sadistic and insane cannibals in a trip of horror and gore.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Bloody gore fest retreads old gruesome ground.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this grisly horror film isn't for kids -- though lots of horror-loving teens will want to see it. It's relentlessly bloody, dark-shadowed, and gruesome, with the titular chainsaw wreaking predictable (but still dire) havoc. Violence is graphic and incessant, with a range of weapons (guns, meat hooks, cleavers) producing severed limbs and body parts. A cow is smashed to bloody smithereens by a jeep; human victims are tortured (hung from hooks, tied up, taunted, stabbed, and sawed). The faux sheriff taunts a girl by pressing up against her and whispering ("I love you"). Some cleavage shots, and the girls' clothing appears in increasing disarray. Frequent foul language, mostly "f--k" and its permutations.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's representation of "families." How does it suggest that Leatherface's dismal birth, abandonment, and training make him into a demented killer? How is environment a factor in his brutality (and how does the film use the Vietnam War as backdrop for that question)? How can you tell that Chrissie's efforts to save her friends are futile? Does that encourage viewers to look forward to her bad end? What's the ongoing appeal of horror films? Does anything set this one apart from the rest of the genre?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

4 stars

As good as the original

- dukeakasmudge, Monday, October 26, 2009

2 stars

It doesn't really achieve what it sets out to do. The beginning was supposed to explain why the family descended into their horrific madness. This is just another bog standard chapter in a franchise that's past it. Nice cinematography, OK acting, plenty of gore but unnecessary and unsubtle. I know it?s a horror but this film is too violent and shares none of the real terror of the original.

- SirPant, Friday, September 18, 2009

1 star

"Witness The Birth Of Fear" On one last road trip before they're sent to serve in Vietnam, two brothers and their girlfriends get into an accident that calls their local sheriff to the scene. Thus begins a terrifying experience where the teens are taken to a secluded house of horrors, where a young, would-be killer is being nurtured. REVIEW A pointless film that presents an unnecessary and trite "beginning" story of one of horror's most infamous monsters, Leatherface and his cannibalistic clan. The reason they are cannibals: they can't afford food? Come on, what about that cow the kids hit? In all fairness though is any reason for cannibalism in this film's world a real good reason? No, but they could've tried harder. This film is also drained of all tension, since it is a prequel and since we know the police don't discover the Hewitt clan's deeds until Aug. 1973 we know that every person we are supposed to root for is going to die. That said (and believe me I could go on) there are some great moments in the film. The push-up scene is gruesomely delightful in all its manic glee and the scene where we discover why Old Monty has no legs in the first film is one of those classic moments. R. Lee Ermey continues his self-righteous rant that he so perfected in "Full Metal Jacket" (for you who may not know he was in fact a real life Marine Drill Sergeant before that film). And lastly the scene with the Tea Lady is perfectly macabre. This film was unnecessary and feels forced and completely out of sync with the decent enough for what it was 2003 remake. Last comment, This film is completely devoid of any real timeline connection to the 2003 film though. Supposedly the meat packing plant closed down in 1969, yet at the end of the remake Erin fights Thomas and cuts off his arm in a fully functional meat packing plant in August 1973. I guess it is possible for a new meat packing plant to have been built in that time, but based on the weariness of this film's story, I think it's an oversight.

- mrpopcorn, Monday, April 27, 2009