In 1974, Texas Chainsaw Massacre made its debut. Texas Chainsaw Movies series is the most perplexing series in the history of movies. But don’t tax yourself because I’m going to untie the messy knot of this series for serious horror movies fans to understand its correct order both by release date and chronologically.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Best Watch Order By Release Date
Here is the best watch order by the release date of Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie series.
The Original Timeline
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
- Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995)
The Reboot Timeline
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film: The Beginning (2006)
The Third Timeline
- Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
- Leatherface (2017)
The Revised Original Timeline
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2021)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Chronological Watch Order (Detailed)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies have different screen-writers, production studios, and directors, but they follow the same plot. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Franchise has sequels, prequels, and remakes, and all of them elaborates in detail in this article, so hold on tight for this gruesome savage ride.
The first movie in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), is repeated in The Reboot Timeline and The Revised Original Timeline (chronological order), so I will tell the storylines of this movie only once in The Original Timeline.
1) The Original Timeline
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Release date:11th October 1974
This timeline is the least confusing timeline of this series. At the movie’s start, the narration shows that the film took place on 18th August 1973. But the date doesn’t have any significance in the plot.
With her brother and three friends, Sally Hardesty had a journey deep into the rural areas of Texas after she got reports of vandalism and grave robbery of her grandfather’s grave. During the trip, they gave a ride to a freaky hitchhiker who made them all scary.
The group asked the weird hitchhiker to go, and they successfully got rid of him, but they were wrong. Their fright was legit as the hitchhiker turned out to be a part of a cannibalistic family called the Sawyers.
On their way, they came across a farmhouse where the member of the group started to disappear. The house scares the players with human bones, charms, and chicken feathers. However, it was the hideout of the cannibal group of murderers who stole from the graves too. It was the family of the weird hitchhiker and his brother Leatherface.
Leatherface savagely kills all the people in the group one by one, leaving only Sally Hardesty. She barely escapes the terrifying fate in the hands of Leatherface when she chases a truck and successfully manages to jump on it. But the look on her face tells it all that she will never be able to forget this most gut-wrenching day.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
Release date: 22nd August 1986
Like the first movie, this movie also happened in the ‘present day, that is 1986, thirteen years after the horrible episode of the first movie.
After the events of the horrible farmhouse, Sally Hardesty became Catatonic when the police rescued her. The police failed to locate the family of the murderers, and the police didn’t even found the farmhouse leaving the savages free to harm anyone. Leatherface mercilessly killed two teens on Texas’s highways, which resulted in the investigation by Sally’s uncle Texas Ranger named Lefty.
He took it upon himself to get justice for his nephew’s death and niece’s madness. He managed to convince the local DJ to help him find the killers. Leatherface and his family brought the attack directly on the station because they didn’t kindly take the news of their investigation by a radio DJ.
Stretch was one of the DJs in the station; Leatherface and his family took him to an abandoned carnival place, where the Sawyer family were hiding. Stretch was the only living survival after he was successful in killing Leatherface’s twin brother, Chop-Top. A grenade blast killed the remaining Sawyer family, Lefty, and Leatherface.
Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III
Release date:12th January 1990
From this movie onwards, things start to get baffling. Only a reboot movie was possible as the Sawyer family died at Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. It means that Leather: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is a sequel to the first movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). This alternative movie completely ignores the second movie.
Although this movie is the complete re-considering of the series with new family members comprising Leatherface, this movie also follows the cruel events of the first movie mentioning that one of the members of the Sawyer family captures by the police and sent one of them to a psychotic asylum. In this movie, Leatherface goes and lives with another family, downright sadistic in their actions.
Leatherface, I dare say, dies at the end of this movie, too; as a dog was eating a hamburger, we don’t know if it’s a hamburger—all I’m saying is that it could be a cooked human.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
Release date:12th March 1995
This movie makes the water of Texas Chainsaw Massacre water murkier than the last movie. This movie also acts as a direct sequel to the first movie. The Next Generation doesn’t mention the captivation of any Sawyer family member. It doesn’t even mention the killing of the Sawyer family at the hands of Stretch at the end of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
This movie changed some elements in the story, like calling the ‘Sawyer’ family ‘Slaughter.’ In this movie, some teenagers wound up at the Leatherface’s house. As you must have concluded, most of those teenagers died on the property at the hands of the Slaughters.
As the movie progresses, it shows that there might have been a bigger picture behind the Slaughters family because they turned out to be a part of the Illuminati. A man named Rothman comes to the rescue of Jenny and takes her to the hospital after he killed Vilmer Slaughter with a crop duster.
2) The Reboot Timeline
The correct chronological order of watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series in the Reboot Timeline is first to watch The Beginning (2006), then The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003).
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Release date: 6th October 2006
After The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) made 10 million dollars in the box office, made a prequel in the face of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beiggining (2006). So it would help if you watched it first to understand the events correctly.
The opening of this movie shows Leatherface as a baby, adopted by a family in 1939. In 1969, two brothers spent time with their girlfriends before going overseas to the war location as it was the time of the Vietnam war. A man, a psychotically demented person, worked in a meat-packing plant, which recently got out of business.
The psychopath man later turns out to be Leatherface as he mercilessly kills the plant’s foreman. The brothers were traveling through an isolated highway when their car was involved in an incident, leaving them stranded there.
Then encountered a sheriff there who was not an actual sheriff; he was the mad uncle of Leatherface. The uncle kidnapped the three of them, leaving a girl who surprisingly escaped from him unnoticed. The uncle took them to Leatherface to polish his killing skills. The girl who ran came to her friend’s rescue with a biker, and his friend, whose girlfriend was allegedly killed by the Sheriff.
Three of the four friends were killed, along with two bikers by the Sheriff and Leatherface. Chrissie (the girl who came to rescue her friend) was running away in a car when Leatherface appeared in the back seat, where he was hiding, and put the chainsaw on her back, resulting in her turning the vehicle to kill a cop by accident. Leatherface then calmly turns back to go home.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Release date: 17th October 2003
In 2003, the franchise decided to make a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie disregarding every movie made after the first one, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). This movie presented a self-contained story of its own.
Young Five teenagers were having the time of their lives while cruising across Texas; then, they came across a blood-covered hitchhiker. They picked her up, then later, she blew her head off. The teenagers now had a dead body in the car and tried to call the police when they reached the gas station. While waiting for the police, they saw an isolated house where they got hunted by the cannibal family.
The Leatherface made all the killing with his favorite weapon, a chainsaw, but Erin escapes. She chopped Leatherface’s arm off. She tried to flee on the truck, but Leatherface chainsawed the whole car. You must find out if Erin was lucky enough to escape or not.
3) The Third Timeline
The correct chronological order to watch the third timeline is: first watch Leatherface (2017) because this is a prequel to the film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), watched second, then after that watch Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013). It will help you understand the movies more clearly.
Release date: 20th October 2017
Leatherface is a prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). It depicts the events before the Texas Chainsaw Massacre about the life of Jed Sawyer (Leatherface).
In 1955, a birthday celebration took place in the Sawyer household. The birthday boy Jedidiah asks for a present that will be a ritual to become a part of the sadistic family; he gets a chainsaw and forces to kill a man they thought stole their pigs.
When he got scared and refused, his grandfather killed the thief. Some months later, a young couple, Betty and Ted, were driving when they saw a wounded Jed. By the time Betty followed him to his house, the family had murdered her. When Betty’s father, Sheriff Hartman, got there and saw her dead. Hartman quickly got hold of Jed, and to get his revenge, he captured him to send him to an asylum.
After several years Jed escaped from a mental hospital with three of his insane mates during a riot. Lizzy was the one who started the riot for the teenager Jed to help him escape. While running, they took Lizzy on a horrifying road trip.
The group brutally killed the people in the diner. Sheriff Hartman is pursuing the group vengefully. Jed goes back to his family house, where his mother tends to his injuries. His mother Verna captured Hartman and led Jed to the room where Lizzy and Hartman were already locked. He got his chainsaw back; with that, he murdered Hartman.
Lizzy escapes the crazy family, and they start to chase her. She then got caught in a bear trap, and the family caught up with her. She pleads to the better nature of Jed because she has known him as a good person. Jed started to lower his chainsaw, but Lizzy insults his mother calling her crazy, which finally drove him to behead her. Later Jed was sewing his first mask with Lizzys’ face to become Leatherface.
Texas Chainsaw 3D
Release date: 4th January 2013
Texas Chainsaw 3D is both a sequel and a reboot movie. A sequel to the original 1974 movie.
At the start of the movie, the petrifying events of the original film, however, motioned in 3D. Next, a police car arrived at the Sawyer house along with another vehicle. The Sawyers’ cousins, the Carsons, come up and stand with them to barricade the door of the Sawyer house.
A sheriff, Hooper, announces that he wants the boy Jed known as Leatherface, because Sally Hardesty said he killed all her friends. The Sheriff told them that he wanted to take the boy Jed in custody.
Drayton discussed the issue with the family, and they decided to give up Leatherface. He went inside to call him. During all this, some town people came to the house led by Mayor Burt Hartman with one purpose only to kill the savage family.
Town people put the Sawyer house on fire and attacked the family. Almost all the family members were dead despite Sheriff asking the townspeople to stop.
After the chaos settles down, a man named Gavin Miller comes across a woman holding onto a baby. He took the baby and killed the woman, then brought the baby to his wife, saying they should adopt her. Later they named her Heather.
A grown-up Heather has inherited a Texas estate that was left to her by her grandmother. She decided to go and see the estate herself, so she commenced a road trip with her friends. On arriving, she got a cruel gift with the inheritance in the basement of the house. They met a hitchhiker during the journey and decided to give him a ride.
Leatherface realizes when he is chasing Heather that she is his long-lost cousin. Leatherface and Heather killed the mayor together and set off to go home. Heather finally read her grandmother Vera’s letter. Inside the envelope, she found the S necklace and wore it. The letter has instructions for Heather to take care of her cousin Leatherface and that is what she does.
4) The Revised Original Timeline
In the Revised Original Timeline, you only have to watch the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2021) to know the story.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2021)
The movie is a sequel to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). This movie is under production right now and might be released later this year.
Do You Need To Watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre In Order?
You don’t have to watch all eight of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies in order because most of them are reboots. You can only watch the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and the one going to be released this year probably, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2021). But if you are one of the die-hard fans of horror gruesome movies, you can watch all the other parts as standalone, or you can follow the chronological order mentioned above.