Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


    No Rating Available

Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is a prequel to 2003's quasi-remake (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) of a 1974 movie that was grotesquely inspired by real-life events. This time around, we are given the inside splash about the origins of Leatherface—a chain saw-wielding mass murderer—and what created his cannibalistic, insane "family."

We see Leatherface born in 1939 on the bloody, grimy floor of a slaughterhouse. And we see his surrogate mother discover his unwanted, misshapen body wrapped in butcher paper in a garbage bin.

From there we zip through his childhood and his first handful of animal tortures. Soon he is a hulking, silent, meatpacker who keeps his deformed face hidden behind a veil. By the late '60s, the place is condemned and the real slaughter begins as Leatherface smashes his boss' skull when he tries to fire him. To keep the brute out of jail, his uncle murders the local policeman and assumes his identity. Other family members fear that these actions could bring trouble. But at least with two dead bodies lying around, there's now plenty to eat.

It sounds like a bad joke, but The Texas Chainsaw movies aren't prone to idle jests.

Later, two young lusty couples are road tripping through the area and are unfortunate enough to have a car accident. Leatherface's policeman-impersonating uncle (Sheriff Hoyt) throws the kids in the back of his stolen cruiser and takes them home for dinner.


Positive Elements

In a film like this, that celebrates bloody mayhem, there is little good to note. However, a few selfless acts are displayed. In spite of being a witness to the horrendous tortures inflicted upon her boyfriend, Chrissie turns from escape and goes back to try to rescue another friend. And brothers Dean and Eric each put their lives on the line in futile hope of saving the other.

Spiritual Content

When Sheriff Hoyt brings a pot of stew made from human flesh to the dinner table, Leatherface's mother chides him that he must say grace before anyone eats. Later, with their young captives this time, Hoyt delivers a lengthy prayer of thanks for the bounty that they have: "We were hungry and he gave us meat. Thirsty and he gave us drink." He ends with an "Amen" and then goes on to yell at a young victim at the table, "You're gonna pay for your sins!"

In the opening scene a pregnant woman clutches a rosary around her neck as she feels a pain in her abdomen.

Sexual Content

When we first meet the four travelers, they're spending the day at a run-down motel. Dean is tied to a bed for sex games with his girlfriend, Bailey, who strips down to bra and panties and licks her way erotically up his chest. She coos, "I'm gonna use my tongue in ways the Lord never intended." Meanwhile, Chrissie and Eric are out by the pool. Eric slides his hand up her bare leg and talks about last wishes before he ships off to Vietnam. She retorts, "You've been getting 'last wishes' all this last week."

After being captured, a battered Bailey is shown tied up in cleavage-revealing positions that exude a kind of sexual bondage undertone. She's tied to a bed at one point (in a mirror image of the scene with her boyfriend) and Hoyt puts his hand on her breast and leans in to kiss her saying, "I love you." (The camera then retreats, but we hear her screams.)

The sheriff grabs his crotch while in his boxer shorts. Chrissie wears a midriff-baring halter top. A vulgar jab is made about incest.

Violent Content

Leatherface's first murder encompasses him breaking his boss's arms and legs and smashing his face in with a large hammer. But that's only a mild warm-up for the rest of the film. From there, nearly every scene in this 90-minute gristle-fest is ripe with some kind of blood-drenched violence accompanied by extremely loud percussive sounds.

There are several shotgun blasts to the face; bludgeonings and bone breaks with hammers, sticks and pipes; near suffocation with plastic wrap; the repeated smashing of a face on hardwood; knife, scissor and cleaver stabbings; skewering and dragging with a meat hook; skin stripped from living victims; and, of course, hacking, slashing and impaling with a chain saw. Everything and everyone gets drenched in gallons of blood and gore.

Two particularly graphic and disturbing scenes are worth calling out. When a man gets shot in the leg. Hoyt instructs Leatherface to remove the offended limb with his saw. The act is displayed in stomach lurching detail. Then the sheriff notices that the second leg was nicked by the chain and instructs Leatherface to cut it off, too. "For balance."

Elsewhere, the facially deformed Leatherface keeps rubbing his foul, malignant hands all over the handsome visage of one of his victims. He then butchers the man with his chain saw and we watch as he slowly and painstakingly cuts and peels the corpse's face off (which he sews into a mask for himself).

Crude or Profane Language

Over 30 f-words and around 20 s-words. Male and female genitalia are crudely and obscenely referenced several times. Jesus' name is abused a handful of times, and God's name is combined with "d--n" four or five times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A beer is pulled out of the refrigerator. Some bikers are seen drinking. Hoyt spits chewing tobacco juice. A woman smokes.

Other Negative Elements

Cannibalism is a large part of this film and seems to be spurred on by Sheriff Hoyt. He tells two boys of once being a prisoner of war and culling out members of their group to kill and eat. He also goads Leatherface into his first human butchery with the statement, "Meat is meat. Bone is bone. Get it done." The family is shown putting severed fingers and a man's tongue into the soup pot, and the soup is scooped out filled with human bone joints and flesh.

As if there weren't already enough ugly content, the filmmakers also throw in a shot of a girl hiding under a car while an old man urinates next to her face.


One night when I was 18, I arrived at the scene of an accident in my friend Al's tow truck and saw a big Oldsmobile crumpled up on the side of the road. Police were busy trying to save someone who was still alive in the car, and the ambulance hadn't arrived yet. The 16-year-old driver of the vehicle was miraculously unscratched and searching the ground for his car keys (of all things). Then I saw a girl on her knees. Her glazed eyes stared at nothing as her mouth slowly opened and closed. Her throat was cut from ear to ear. Blood and tissue poured down the front of her T-shirt. Al, a licensed paramedic, went to her. I couldn't help. So I tried to look away. And I learned that images like that can stick with you.

Gory movies aren't real life. And some will inevitably believe, "It won't bother me." But 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.

Enough said.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!