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The Funhouse (1981)


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Release Date: Mar 13, 1981 Wide



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Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 7,076

My Rating

Movie Info

This low-budget horror film about teenagers trapped in a carnival funhouse with a freakish monster is pretty standard stuff. Director Tobe Hooper manages a few shocks and includes some typically peculiar supporting characters, but this film is less entertaining than either of his previous excursions into such territory. Not as scary as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) nor as bizarre as Eaten Alive (1976), The Funhouse may as well have been directed by an anonymous hack as one of the foremost



Oct 19, 1999

Warner Home Video

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All Critics (16) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (5) | DVD (5)

With its two-headed cow, mutant baby in a jar, jokes about bestiality, references to 'Bride of Frankenstein' and misbegotten monster, this is very much a horror movie that contemplates, with awe and terror, the sometimes terrible consequences of sex.

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Bad date chiller.

July 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

An underrated gem, a mini-masterpiece of frights and atmosphere.

October 15, 2008 Full Review Source:

Lento e aborrecido, consegue criar tensão em um ou outro momento, mas só.

April 14, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Creepy but slow horror show. Neat monster.

March 20, 2003
Your Movies (

It's creepy and effective and a kind of fun horror picture we don't see anymore.

September 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Not as fun as it should be, but worth a visit.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Funhouse

An unknown and under appreciated movie. Tobe Hooper knows how to make great horror movies, and although this isn't as amazing as Poltergeist or Texas Chainsaw, it is still good. The opening scene is a great tribute/reenactment of the famous shower scene from Psycho.
May 1, 2011
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A somewhat creepy movie without many real scares, it's more like they were trying to remake Freaks as a modern slasher flick, but without a story, or something. Anyway, I didn't like it at all, and I don't recommend it.
January 11, 2011

Super Reviewer

The Funhouse is a terrifying gem of the horror genre. A film with loads of atmosphere and odd characters, this is one terrificpiece of early 8o's horror. Aside From The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this is the best film by Tobe Hooper. Elizabeth Berridge gives a fine debut performance as Amy, and Berridge would later land the role of Constance Mozart in Amadeus. A very talented actress, she pulls off something terrifyingly convincing here. Another unique performance is Kevin Conway as the Funhouse Barker, the villain of the film. Conway is simply diabolical and adds a lot of flavor to the film with his performance. Sure theres nothing really happening for at least the first 45 minutes of the film, but with a film like this, Hooper doesn't want to jump into the terror just yet. He wants us to connect with the characters, and when something happens to them, you feel something. The first 45 minutes was designed to establish a character relationship with the audience. Tobe Hooper manages to do something well here, and The Funhouse is a cleverly crafted horror film with tons of scares. When the terror starts, it starts. The Funhouse is awesome horror film that delivers top notch entertainment and scares The Funhouse is a very underrated film in my opinion. I personally feel that this is one of Tobe Hooper's best films after The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The thing that I really like the most about the film is that the setting is set in the Carnival. A very spooky, and chilling atmosphere. The acting is decent, some may fine the film too slow and the pacing not up to their standards. But The Funhouse is what I'd consider a semi classic film, in the sense that this is a film that take time to effectively build the tension and horror thats to come. The Funhouse is definitely a fun ride into terror, and is not a film to be missed. Recently, Tobe Hooper has lost more than his touch in the horror game. He no longer makes quality horror films, and falls short on many occasions. At least we have such a classic like The Funhouse, a film that doesn't attack the viewer with straight forward terror. The film steadily builds up it's characters and tension to get an effective reaction out of the audience. The Funhouse is definitely an underrated classic of the Horror genre, and is one of the finest films that Tobe Hooper has directed.
December 6, 2010
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Harper: I don't know where you're going tonight, but don't go to that damn carnival. It went through Fairfield last year, when they found the bodies of those two girls in the creek.
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
    1. The Barker: They wiggle and they dance. Six beautiful girls. They wiggle and they dance. (Looks straight at Amy very eerily) They wiggle and they dance.
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
    1. Madame Zena: Don't come back. Or I'll break every bone in your F**KIN' BODIES! Beat it!
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
    1. Marco The Magnificent: A little history. In the fifth century, Vlad V of Wallachia, known as Vlad the lmpaler to his friends, tortured 23,000 prisoners in a device not unlike this. Tiring of his name, he decided to change it. He selected his father's name, Dracul, meaning devil. He added the letter A and became. Dracula; literally, 'son of the devil'. And so legends are born.
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
    1. Carnival Manager: Alive, alive, a-live-ah. These are all creatures of God, ladies and gentlemen. Not men. They are authentic, and they are alive. Alive, alive, alive-ah.
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
    1. Bag Lady: God is watching you!
    2. Amy: Beg your pardon?
    3. Bag Lady: He hears everything! (Walks in the bathroom stall)
    4. Liz: I hate people who preach. Especially in bathrooms. Anyway, I don't know what you're saving it for.
    5. Amy: Who says I'm saving it?
    6. Bag Lady: (in the bathroom stall) God is watching you!
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Das Kabinett des Schreckens (DE)
  • The Funhouse (UK)
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