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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
from Film Forum, 10/12/06

Violence is a painful daily reality in this messed up world. Sometimes, movies portray violence in a meaningful way. Some of this season's most important films—Martin Scorsese's The Departed, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu's Babel, and Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers—examine violent subjects, consider the damage violence can do, and ask what the righteous man should do in the midst of a violent world.

Other films exploit and celebrate the evils that men do, and they make money by appealing to those with unhealthy appetites for bloodshed. They might even inspire violence.

According to those critics who have suffered through it, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is one of those obscene and destructive films—and yet it finished No. 2 at the box office over the weekend.

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) writes, "Director Jonathan Liebesman forgoes plot to pile on the bloody sadism. Such gratuitous brutality isn't amusement, but something closer to pornography."

Bob Hoose (Plugged In) agrees that the film "celebrates bloody mayhem," and he warns viewers that "a movie like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, with its overloud skull crunching and its meat-rending, blood-sodden visuals can sear and stick in your brain and in your heart like bubbling summer tar on bare feet."

You won't find many fans of this filth in the mainstream press either.