The Funhouse - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Funhouse Reviews

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July 19, 2017
Though it does have its moments this slasher film is too plodding, not quite violent enough and neither scary enough to truly satisfy. Despite having a camp tone to it the script fails to capitalise on that tone, it is also badly acted and has unsatisfying conclusion. It does however have good practical effects, a solid score and a couple of tense scenes.
½ July 11, 2017
Setting? Check, creepy animatronics? Check, ghoulish creature to chase around our protagonists? Check. The Funhouse offers a modicum of chills, but doesn't quite live up to its potential. The problem lies with the fact that it fails to offer the psychological edge that would have given it some real zest. All we get is a simple creature feature where the omnipresent antagonists chase around some hapless teens and pick them off one by one until we reach the final confrontation. It doesn't help that the characters are written to make poor decisions at every turn. The film had all of the ingredients to stand out from the pack of the "me too" horror films of the time, but was content with merely not being awful.
½ April 29, 2017
Two dating couples quickly regret a decision to secretly spend the night in a carnival funhouse. A good horror movie with a creepy setting and nice casting. That barker looked a bit sleazy. Great tagline too - Pay To Get In, Pray To Get Out.
April 23, 2017
absolutely amazing movie loved this movie alot
March 22, 2017
silly but still ok for a laugh
½ February 15, 2017
Its gets mildly interesting for the last 20 minutes, but it takes 70 pointless minutes to get there. That is no Fun House... This movie doesnt have a lot of redeeming qualities. I got bored to death, EVEN when i decided to move the speed to x1.5, then to x2. It has generic directing, inexistant writing, bland acting, very little in terms of set value (?! For such a movie, its a big crime!!) and its barely creepy.
½ January 22, 2017
Tone Hooper is a director I'm still not sure it's he's brilliant or just lucky. "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is brilliant and an absolute classic. Hooper also directed the undeniably great original "Poltergeist," but writer/producer Steven Spielberg's fingerprints are all over that film and it's hard to discern what's Hooper and what's Spielberg. His TV mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's "Salem's Lot" is pretty cool, but just short of great. Hooper had a few other interesting films, like "Invaders from Mars" and "Lifeforce" but sadly nothing else in his filmography stands out. This film, along with "Salem's Lot," is probably his only other film that borders on greatness. The story is a simple one. A group of horny teenagers go to the travel carnival and decide to hide out in the titular Funhouse. Once there, they witness a Frankenstein's monster masked freak murder a woman and then play a game of cat-and-mouse with the freak and a creepy carnival barker played by a very good Kevin Conway. The film is suspenseful, scary, and genuinely frightening at times. The film is not as disturbing as "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," but it's close. Overall, this is a must see for horror fans, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it for casual horror fans or audiences.
½ October 2, 2016
Kids back in the eighties had it good, they could break into pretty much any place they wanted to go make out and not have to worry about things like security cameras, or their parents worrying about where they are. I personally wouldn't pick a carnival Funhouse for such an activity, but that's the basic premise of Tobe Hooper's "The Funhouse." The film isn't very scary, is fairly predictable, and features some plotlines that go nowhere, but doesn't change the fact that it's still a fun film to watch. Overall, the film is a big ol piece of well made comfort food that's far more entertaining than it probably should be. 3 1/2 stars
½ August 28, 2016
It's over an hour before the teenagers in this movie are in any danger. It's an hour of hanging out at the carnival, and 25 minutes of a horror movie. Don't waste your time.
½ August 17, 2016
Set a good creepy atmosphere, deformed dude was not scary. Didn't have live dolls like I thought
August 7, 2016
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.
July 14, 2016
From what I've heard from fans, this was suppose to be a fun slasher classic... one of the best?! It's the complete opposite!! One of my biggest disappointments in the slasher genre.
½ June 14, 2016
Don't waste your time with this movie it's slow and boring 0 stars
March 26, 2016
A group of teens spend the night in the Fun house of a carnival when they witness a murder, and one of the teens steals a carnies money.
½ November 16, 2015
Fist half is boring as hell, no action, no intrigue just lame jokes and annoying characters, second typical slasher in the gloomy carnival setting. Right name to this one is Yawnhouse.
October 28, 2015
Eerily and creepy as well as entertaining, The Funhouse may be less inspiring than Tobe Hooper's previous classics, but it serves up enough chills and shocks with a talented cast.
October 19, 2015
There is so much to love about The Funhouse. The title credits are amazing close ups of vintage automatons and make the film worth watching on that alone. The funhouse itself is really cool and the movie delivers on its carnival-night promises. Funhouse smoothly blends from lighthearted to dark, gritty and disturbing creating tension most slashers aren't able to match. (Minor spoilers ahead) I almost didn't notice that it was around an hour into the film before any actual killing took place, and the final body count is very low. However, like a Hitchcock thriller, the atmosphere and setup make the real action that much more powerful.
Super Reviewer
½ October 16, 2015
To label the first half of the listless dud The Funhouse phlegmatic is an insult to mucus. It crawls on its hands and knees to a creature feature. It's what Roger Ebert coined a Dead Teenager Movie with a slice-of-life focus on the park's attractions. The most eerie sights are a two-headed cow and another with a cleft palette. Finally, after an interminable uphill battle of pot smoking, peep-show voyeurism and exhibitionist sex, it shifts gears to a slasher film with a "freak". Unfortunately, the critter is a lanky albino bat without a backbone. There is nothing more flagrantly idiotic for a movie villain than humanization and then abject humiliation when the deformed Gunther Straker (Wayne Doba) basically cowers and mewls for the majority. When Gunther is henpecked and harangued by his father for his violent temptations, Tobe Hooper duplicates the askew nuclear-family dynamics of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. For such a declawed R-rating and harmless tonality, the hatchet-in-the-head overkill of one character and flaunting nudity of Amy Harper (Elizabeth Berridge) are jarring to the audience's sensibilities. The rationale behind Kevin Conway as the three carnival barkers is not nonsensical, it's completely nonexistent. Amy's brother's infiltration of the roving fair is a shaggy dog story that proceeds to no outlet. It hints at child-in-peril exploitation and quickly abandons those dubious plans. The Psycho shower scene with the Dario Argento killer-with-black-gloves trope is futile because it is a thrifty excuse for breasts and a jump scare. It might be faintly better than Eaten Alive but a calamity like The Funhouse still postulates the question what happened to the guerilla mastermind behind Texas Chainsaw Massacre?
½ October 13, 2015
I hated this one as a kid but have learned to appreciate it over the years. Hooper is adapt at bringing the thrills and chills to this little freak show
½ May 15, 2015
The Funhouse is one of the better slasher movies from this era. It has a great atmosphere and a good build, but there is one major problem with this movie: The buildup is way too long and way too slow. A big part of this movie is the carnival atmosphere, but the plot doesn't start until about 40 minutes into the movie and there are no deaths until about 45 minutes in. What happens in the first 40 or so minutes? Four teens walk around a carnival and visit the attractions. It was great for like 20 minutes, but it was just too long. There is just not too much going on in this movie, despite being one of Tobe Hooper's better directorial efforts.

The monster is hilarious. He flails around constantly and has this Leatherface-like scream that is so annoying and funny.

Tobe Hooper made this with a clear love for horror movies. There are so many references to classic horror movies like Psycho, Halloween, almost every early Universal horror monster, and others. For that reason alone it's worth checking out.
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