There have been a few times in my life where I felt truly suffocated. I knew I could breathe, but the circumstances surrounding me had every inch of my mind and body in turmoil. Everything happening was out of my control, and I was powerless to do anything about it. All I felt I could do was scream, though that too was fruitless.
The dinner scene in Texas Chain Saw Massacre brought this feeling to the surface. Not fear, but panic at the thought of being trapped and watching your murder play out before your eyes.
Sally's screams, which previously were grating and annoying (girl if you shutup you'd be a lot harder to find) now expressed a pure animalistic sound. She knows she is going to die, and there's nothing she can do to stop it. Her pleading and begging has gone ignored, and now, all she can do is release blood-curdling howls.
Up until this point in the movie, I was mostly unimpressed. Yes, I appreciated recognizabale themes (a large anonymous killer, machine weapons, and the final girl) that obviously influenced horror films to come. It just wasn't scary, yet.
Then came dinner with grandpa and his lunatic heirs. Can you imagine passing out because what you believed to be a corpse is now alive and sucking blood out of your finger (which by the way, they really had to cut her finger because the prop wasn't working)? Afterwards, you wake up tied to a chair made from actual human body parts. There is just so much ick tied to the overwhelming insanity going on.
Still even this grossness was no match for the sheer panic and madness to come. The frantic camera moves, intense lighting, and close ups of Sally's bloodshot, green eyes all play into this sensory overload. I'm convinced Sally has completely lost her mind at this point. You don't really come up for air again until that final momemt when her screams turn to laughs as she's riding away in the back of a stranger's truck.
Random Thoughts to Leave On