The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is barely a movie. … It’s a weird, creaking carnival ride that feels like it’s about to break apart and sling you off into the cotton candy and toothless barker stand at any moment. You can compare it to other movies, but the thing that it most aptly resembles is being trapped in a sweaty, revolving cart while “Freebird” blares at you through speakers that should’ve been replaced 20 years ago. It’s a grating, impossibly timed piece of celluloid.
A good third of the people that sat beside me when I saw it LOVED IT. There is a cult of Chain Saw that can barely be replicated by any other movie. It is to horror fans what Jimi Hendrix and Pulp Fiction posters are to your freshman year roommate who just had the best, most interesting, hilarious moment, bro, while being high for the second time: a monument dedicated to everything they stand for.
Another third of the audience seemed disgusted. The guy beside me kept whispering, “What the fuck?” whenever he saw a piece of furniture made out of something that a person uses to wave. There is nary a couch or table in Chain Saw that didn’t used to be a handshake, so “What the fuck?” became a musical cue to inform me that something awful had already happened. When it was over, a woman stood up, said, “That was sick,” and then immediately tripped in her aisle, because the world solely exists to laugh at us until we die.
The last third of the audience exploded out of the theater to tell their friends that they didn’t find it that scary. There was an intense fervor to these personal declarations of fortitude. It wasn’t just an “I wasn’t scared!” that you’d use to hint to your unfortunate date that your genitals are intact, fearless, and functional. It was them proving themselves able to sit through Chain Saw's fabled roller coaster of an experience and come out unscathed and with all of their pieces not yet turned into a chair.