#4 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
One of the original horror films to tease viewers with the notion of "this movie is based on accounts of a true story", The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released in 1974 with that unnerving premise. Like countless others films that will eventually follow, it all starts with a group of young folks on a road trip. The poor lambs stop off in the wrong part of Texas backcountry only to find themselves being hunted and terrorized by an inbred family of cannibals and their maniacal chainsaw-wielding kinsman - Leatherface.
How does it make the top 10?
Let's face it. No, and I mean "NO" horror list can be complete without the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Leatherface predated Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers ... All of them, and he had a style all his own. No stalking, no teasing, no messing around ... Leatherface just came right AT you - brute force, bludgeoning, hacking, and chopping ... day or night. The tone of the film was impeccable. Taking time to get to know the doomed vacationers before the nightmare began ... the madness of not knowing who to trust ... And the 'lack of buildup'! These days - horror movies "tell" you when you are supposed to be frightened. The music score BUILDS to that big shock ... They tease with a fakeout or two and then REALLY let you have it ... *yawn* .... Texas Chainsaw didn't bother with that. One moment people are walking and talking, and then, before you even realize it, Letherface is out there in full view, doing what he does best.
I'm not a fan of "torture films" like Hostel or Saw, which people all too often lump together with real horror movies, but Texas Chainsaw Massacre floated that line between the 2 genres expertly, without even being aware of it. The menace was psychological as much as it was physical, and the abrupt, open-ended "What the hell just happened?" conclusion was nothing short of a cinematic work of art.
The remake had hot-ass Jessica Biel in it, but the effort, like most remakes, pretty much sucked. Forget that trash and all the sequels that followed the original ... Just stick with the 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre for a dose of horror movie perfection.
#3 tomorrow ... Want a hint? Just ask the tv people ...
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