The Funhouse (1981)


The Funhouse

I bought this bluray at a record shop for dirt cheap. It was 5 bucks or so, which is pretty amazing for a Shout! Factory release. I saw this way back in the day because I thought Elizabeth Berridge was hot (and she definitely is, I can confirm). I didn’t love the film back in the day though. I re-visited it because I just felt the need to watch anything in my collection. I still don’t think its great. There are aspects of it that I like but overall as a horror film it doesn’t deliver on much.

The film is about four teenagers who decide to go check out the local carnival despite warnings not to because of dead bodies that had previously turned up. Once they get there they discover that a monster and his handler are killing others and are soon gunning for them. The film is directed by Tobe Hooper,a  horror film legend alone just for giving us the gift of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This film pales so much in comparison. I know they are completely different types of films but this one really could have used some of what made TTCM so legendary.

Positives first. I like the carnival fun-house theme. Clowns and the atmosphere of freakshow performers really go hand in hand with horror. The style with which this setting is filmed is quite nice. Other than that, the characters are typical horror junk. There are very few scary moments if any real ones at all. The little brother in the film is completely pointless. I can’t even tell you why he has a prolonged role in this film.

Tobe Hooper has been known for better. There’s no suspense, chills, wit, or blood and gore to make this film memorable. As an 80s horror it pales in comparison to other contemporary works. Carnival theme aside there isn’t anything that’s overly great about this. I am reminded that there are a few other films from Hooper that I need to check out and probably will.


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