The Funhouse Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 22, 2011
I'm just going to be honest here up front and say that I've never really been a fan of Tobe Hooper. Outside of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, his work has been spotty and lackluster. Such is the case with The Funhouse. I do praise the score for the movie, even though it's overused, and the design of the monster's mask, but other than that, there's nothing really spectacular about this one. Paying homages to Psycho and Halloween in the opening minutes didn't really help it much either. Sub-standard horror film fodder with plot threads and ideas that go nowhere fast, I don't really understand how this broken plot got put into production. I suppose the dolls and the animatronic characters in the movie would frighten some people, or even creep them out, but that stuff doesn't really work on me. This had potential, but it's such a slow build-up to essentially nothing.
Super Reviewer
½ May 1, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
August 23, 2009
Of "Death Proof," Tarantino said something to effect that the Slasher film is such a definite form, that if you divert from it a little bit, you're in the middle of deconstructing/dumping the whole thing. The Fun House makes an interesting case study of that theory. In this one, the teenagers actually follow the audience's advice and don't ducks in a barrel, as it turns out. The plot pacing goes into a sprint at the end, but most of this movie is virtuoso on a small-scale. It might turn some viewers off by leaving them wanting more.

Others might feel cheated by the fact that a third of the movie takes place in a funhouse ride, a claustrophobic mousetrap when we're used to having a whole neighborhood to play hide-and-seek with a slasher. But the musical score is a classic, the cinematography is impressive (with an unbelievable high crane shot over the entire carnival grounds that makes you fear for the safety of the cameraman), the editing is psychologically precise, and the production design could net over $100 million on Antiques Road Show. The automatons featured are ingenious works of art, a startling assortment of monsters, eerie creatures from popular myth and history and Norman-Rockwell caricatures gone grotesque.

The carnival, a menu of cheap and flashy thrills for the young and young-at-heart, is supposed to be the kind of entertainment people say movie audiences are looking for (in lieu of high art). But Hooper might be telling us that the old-time carnival attracted its audience by a phantasmagorical quality that the industrial Slasher product can't have, and good horror/monster movies can.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2007
"The Funhouse" makes for a nice horror film filled with seedy and creepy carnival atmosphere. Great story premise of having a group of teens daring to spend the night in a Funhouse.The buildup with them walking through the carnival has clever foreshadowing. Once the fair shuts down for the night, monstrous fates await the teens. My only complaint is how the Funhouse was filled with novelty puppets rather than traditional monsters which would actually frighten; perhaps the director was not wanting to upstage the real monster hiding within. Well-done 80's slasher, showing that Tobe Hooper has some talent beyond his Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame.
Super Reviewer
½ August 14, 2011
Most of the time it was badly-acted, unoriginal, and dull-looking. In other words, it was pretty routine for a low-budget horror flick. Only one thing was missing... it wasn't scary! In fact, it kind of reminded me of the Goonies.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2011
Most of the time it was badly-acted, unoriginal, and dull-looking. In other words, it was pretty routine for a low-budget horror flick. Only one thing was missing... it wasn't scary! In fact, it kind of reminded me of the Goonies.
Super Reviewer
½ July 24, 2011
Interesting little piece of gem, the atmosphere was extremely eerie!!
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2008
Not bad. Welll acted and directed but takes to long to take off (yawn!). The slasher flix starts at the last 25 minutes the rest o the movie is just blah, blah, blah.
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2008
A very wierd, yet enjoyable flick.
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2007
Decent but it seems too much like TCSM but with a carnival. But it wasn't a bad movie, kinda weird though.
Super Reviewer
½ September 18, 2007
February 23, 2014
Love it! The opening scene pays homage to two of the most iconic horror films in horror history, Halloween and Psycho! Add in a crazed and deformed killer named Gunther and this film makes for a fun ride!
½ March 22, 2009
Sleazy and creepy stuff from Tobe Hooper, I was very impressed with the unsettling tone maintained throughout, and it definitely got a lot sleazier than I was expecting it to, which is a weird thing to look forward to, but that's the kinda guy I am, eh?

Well worth a look.
March 21, 2013
At first seeing The Funhouse many years ago I was disappointed because I thought that it would simply be Texas Chainsaw at a carnival. And of course there is the clown used as a selling point, which isn't in the movie. The fact of my opinion is that the Funhouse is pretty stellar and classic. The set of the Funhouse itself is way cool as are many shots (such as the craning out of the carnival). I think that the world of a traveling carnival is well shown here and is really a place that I would have gone too. How I would have liked to have gone to one that has a freak show, magician, and strippers! Teenagers have the dumb idea of staying the night in the Funhouse and of course deathly mayhem ensues. A pseudo slasher and monster movie is really what this is. People who erroneously slag on Hooper for being a one hit wonder and attributing Poltergeist to Spielberg need to give this a shot as it demonstrates Hooper's ability to create a hysteria driven atmosphere that drives characters to death or the edge of sanity. The Funhouse is one to definitely catch around Halloween.
January 8, 2013
The Funhouse definitely has some classic horror movie elements. A cast of 4 teenagers who decide to spend the night in a carnival funhouse. Good start for a premise with tons of potential. The sets were done really well and alot of the moving sets were very creepy. What was lacking was dialog, character development, and overall story. I was hoping that I would want to root for someone to live but sadly I found myself just watching the movie and wasn't invested enough in anyone. Of course, the villain's know exactly where the kids are at all times and can just pop up when and where they want. Also, everything is so conveniently placed (ie. the rope that falls and the trap door), but again, this falls into classic horror so I'm not complaining too much about it. On a side your sister yelled at you because you scared the shit out of her in the shower...let's not help her out when her life is on the line. What a little prick!
January 7, 2010
the funhouse is one of those typical 80's slashers where you have a group of teenagers getting killed off one by one and usually the vrigin who didnt smoke or do pot lives but the funhouse is very different style of horror film for it's when tobe hooper released the texas chainsaw massacre back in 1974 which had terrifyed audiences everywhere but the same lies with this film but more teenage slasher the begging starts out with a few parodies of john carpenter's halloween and alfred hitchcock's psycho so the one that bothered me at the begining if I was going to like or not but it ended to be a decent horror for it's time highly recommended.
February 27, 2011
this movie took a little longer to get into it than I expected. I was thinking it was gonna be a whole messed up carnival of freaks but really that wasn't the case. I did enjoy the flick although it could have used some more scares.
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