ByAmy Martin, writer at
Amy Martin

For part 2 of my 'Battle of The Remakes' series, I am going to be reviewing both the 1974 and 2003 versions of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', and seeing which one reigns supreme. For Part 1 of the article (Halloween) click here.

I am going to split the review into 5 different sections: Characters, Acting, Special Effects / Costumes, Originality and General Overview.


So the 'final girl' had a different name in both the films. In the original, it was Sally Hardesty (played by Marilyn Burns), and in the remake it was Erin Hardesty (played by Jessica Biel). To be honest, I liked them both and don't have a personal favorite. I think they were both born for the role, so I am going to give one point to each film for that.

I would say that I prefer the group from 2003, and I was very pleased to see that there was no annoying Franklin! I guess that both the groups were better suited to their time era, so maybe nowadays it is harder for us to relate to the teenagers of the seventies? Either way, take away Franklin and I'm happy!

Original: 1 Remake: 1


No complaints about the acting in either film! I thought that Jonathon Tucker did an absolutely fantastic job at playing 'Morgan', who we were annoyed with at the start of the film, but felt sorry for towards the end. The actors and actresses were all very good, and portrayed all of the different characters incredibly well, especially in the fighting and chase scenes.

Marilyn Burns did an awesome job in the original, as she acted absolutely hysterical! All though Jessica Biel is a great actress, I don't personally believe that anyone would stay as calm as she did, considering what her character was going through.

Original: 2 Remake: 2

Special Effects / Costumes

With most remakes, more blood and gore is added. This one is no different, but I don't have any complaints about that - because a movie named 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' is bound to be bloody right?

As always, I am going to be fair to the original by saying that they did not have the technology that we have nowadays to make the same effects, or really have any on screen death scenes. However, the blood on Sally did look very realistic even by today's standards, so it scores a point for that.

In the remake however, we get lots of extra bonuses like people having their arms and legs cut off, and it just had a much darker atmosphere than the original did. Although I am not normally a person that goes for blood, violence and gore, I think it worked really well in this movie as it wasn't used in copious amounts.

The 'Leatherface' costume was definitely more menacing in the remake, and I don't know about you but I was a bit freaked out to see 'Thomas Hewitt' wearing the face of one of the dead teens! The original definitely had more of a redneck hillbilly kind of look, and we never got to see his real face. In 2003 we did, and boy was it creepy. Due to the updated effects and more menacing costumes, I'm going to give this round to the remake.

Original: 2 Remake: 3


Now obviously the original is the most....'original' movie here, but then again there were definitely some major differences between the two films. I can't decide if this is a good or bad thing, considering the remake was meant to be retelling the original story.

To be perfectly fair though, even if the remake did incorporate some new ideas and scenes, it is still a remake, so instantly gets bumped down about 10 points just for that! So I think it's obvious that I'm going to give this round to the original!

Original: 3 Remake: 3

General Overview

So the remake had a LOT of different scenes to the original, which I wasn't actually too bothered about, as it gave us different twists. Although saying this, if they did want to go in a different direction, maybe it should have been a reboot instead of a remake?

The 3 main differences were:

The Hitchhiker, who was originally a member of the Hewitt/ family, and starting cutting himself and the other people in the van. "I think we just picked up Dracula!" - Whereas in the remake, was a traumatized young girl who had escaped from the Hewitt family, only to blow her brains out in the back of the van.

The Family, which originally only consisted of 5 people, had many more members in the remake, along with a kidnapped baby.

The Sheriff, the whole scenario with how Leatherface got to each of the characters, and the creepy insane sheriff who was never in the original movie.

Although both movies were very good and both had their frightening scenes, I would have to say that the original 1974 movie was scarier. We had some heart pounding chase scenes, namely the one where Sally is being chased through all the bushes and trees by a chainsaw wielding Leatherface, after the ordeal she went through at the families dinner table.

As far as remakes go, I thought this one was respectable. As I've already stated, I'm really not a fan of remakes, but this one was actually pretty decent. Despite the movie's good points, I really don't think it *quite* lives up to the brilliance of the original movie, or that incredibly eerie opening scene that it had.

Original: 4 Remake: 3

So by one point, the original takes this round.

If you're a fan of the original, you'll be happy to know that it is currently being 'digitally remastered' and will be back in cinemas some time this year!

Do you agree with me, or are you absolutely outraged by my choice?


Which did you prefer, 1974 or 2003?

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