The Funhouse Movie Review

When a group of teenagers decide to spend the night in a funhouse, all hell breaks loose and what results is an epic battle of good vs evil… or so I thought. Pay for a ticket and take a ride in this funhouse of a review by reading on…

Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: Four teenage friends spent the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a frankenstein mask.

My first paragraph in this review describes what I thought I was getting into when I popped in The Funhouse. Instead what I got was this: when a group of teenagers decide to walk around a carnival for an hour and do nothing, they decide to spend the night in a funhouse. All hell doesn’t break loose, but a few wacky carnies decide to yell a lot and finally some people die.

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am with this movie. I guess my expectations were too high, seeing as it’s 32 years old and I never saw it before. There isn’t anything terribly wrong with the movie, it’s just an accumulation of small things that result in a flawed package. The movie takes over an hour to get going. The teenagers visit a carnival, which is interesting for 20 minutes or so, but come on, the movie is only 1 hour and 43 minutes long, which leaves probably a good 30 minutes of mayhem and murder (sadly, the murders are lacking originality, save for one final kill at the end). Also, I think it should pointed out that Elizabeth Berridge, who plays lead girl Amy, looked to be 12 years old. So colour me surprised when in the first 10 minutes of the film, you see her boobs. Was I disturbed at first? Yes, but after some extensive research I found out she was 18 at the time. Whew! Also, what was the point of having Amy’s brother sneak off and go to the carnival as well? It added nothing to the film and just panned the running time.

The film is directed by Tobe Hopper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), so it’s to be expected that the villains in this piece reminded me a little of the crazy family in TCM. I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt that the scene of the father yelling at the son over killing a woman seemed straight out of said film. The crazy grunting/yelling of the kid echo’s Leatherface and the screaming/taunting from the father is definitely the same as the father (Editor update from the future! Was he the father or a brother?) in TCM.

A few positives can be mentioned. The main killer in the movie is pretty gruesome looking and I really enjoyed the makeup on him. The acting from our teens was above average, although what little was needed from the roles was probably helpful. The funhouse the kids stay in overnight was pretty creepy looking and had some interesting set designs. Speaking of creepy, the opening credits was probably the most terrifying part of the film; shots of clowns and dolls would send shivers down any ones spine. Finally, I also got a kick out of the little homage (*cough* ripoff) of Halloween/Psycho at the beginning of the film.

The Funhouse should’ve been named Dullhouse (badump bump chhhh!) Taking way too long to get started and having barely any inventive kills, The Funhouse was a disappointment. I say if you’re going to give it a watch, lower your expectations. Maybe then, you won’t be as crushed as I was.


*By the way Funhouse, if you’re going to have a killer clown on your poster, have a killer clown in the movie.

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11 years ago

Agree on this one. I had the exact same problem. It was a movie I had seen numerous times on video store shelves growing up but I never had the pleasure of seeing it. Fast forward about 20 years and I finally watched it with massive anticipation. Unfortunately, I felt the same way you did. I don't mind the slow burn of the first hour but it just left me with that "Who cares" feeling. I think Funhouse is fondly remembered by people who saw it when they were young. Seeing it for the first time now is definitely a… Read more »

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