The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

You’re creeped out just reading that title. The film’s relentlessly menacing atmospherics — buzzing flies, animal sounds — make it one of the creepiest things ever committed to film. The chainsaw stuff pushes it far over the top. But Tobe Hooper’s very smart direction also lifts it far above its many imitators.

Despite the ominous title, the film implies more than it shows — like all the best horror movies.

Also: Grainy ’70s film stock makes everything scarier.

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