The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre ★★★★★

I have seen a number of great, even effectively frightening horror films, Mulholland Drive, The Shining, The Witch, It Follows, to name a few. All of these amazed me with their abilities to create atmosphere and present truly frightening images and ideas. Not until today, however, had I seen a film that paralyzed me with utter terror. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a vile and rancid exercise in pure, unadulterated horror.

Films carry immense power and are capable of creating numerous different feelings, thoughts, and emotions. I now know that they are also capable of creating pure terror. There is no time to mourn the loss of life. There is no space in which we can hide from impending doom. There is not even hope. Hope, which often keeps films from becoming completely inhumane, is nowhere to be found. There is only evil and pain and murder. During the last fifteen or so minutes of this film, and during the five seconds or so that the aural scape is not filled with screams, I thought to myself: "Welcome to Hell." For all the imaginings of hell that there are, this must be the most accurate. This is the pit of human corruption, the lowest point to which the evil of mankind can stoop. It is merciless, utterly inhuman, and absolutely hellish.

If the ultimate purpose of the horror genre is to create fear, then this is its pinnacle. Of course, I know that the horror genre is capable of other things besides pure terror, none of them less. But of all films crafted with the intent of making palpable the very pit of human terror, I am sure that this is the greatest.

RIP Tobe Hooper

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