‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ movie timeline fully explained

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The timeline in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise is all kinds of confusing, so stop by and I’ll try to explain it to you the best I can.

Throughout all of the most popular horror film franchises, perhaps none has a “timeline” more baffling than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘s. But for the sake of all curious horror fans, I’m taking the task upon myself to map out the series, talking about each film’s place in the franchise.

With that said, let’s get the show on the road, starting with the 1974 original…

‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ — Courtesy of New Line Cinema

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

I’ve gone on record in the past to say that this cult classic film from Tobe Hooper is the scariest movie of all time. Even watching it today, it really holds up — the film is freaky as hell.

Being the first movie in the series, you could say that this is where the timeline is least confusing. Though it doesn’t reveal an exact date, the film is set in the “present day” of the time, in the mid 1970s. The narration in the beginning of the sequel subsequently reveals that this film takes place in the year 1973.

After reports of vandalism and grave-robbing concerning the grave of her grandfather, Sally Hardesty, her brother, and three friends travel deep into rural Texas. On the way, they pick up a strange hitchhiker who really freaks them out. It turns out, he’s a part of the cannibalistic Sawyer family living nearby, which they’ll all learn soon enough.

One by one, the hitchhiker’s brother Leatherface murders the group, leaving only young Sally left. Chasing her onto the road, she just barely escapes with her life by jumping into the truck bed of a passing motorist. But it’s clear from the look on her face that she will likely never be sane again.