“Something is alive in The Funhouse… Something that tonight, will turn The Funhouse into a carnival of terror.”
In 1977, Director Tobe Hooper followed up the masterpiece that was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with an inept, confusing dud of a film called Eaten Alive. Here’s a movie that by all accounts should have been another exercise in terror from the newly established director, but instead fell flat. Four years later, Tobe Hooper released what one might consider his proper follow up: The Funhouse.
Now fully engulfed in the new wave of american slashers that took influence from his own Massacre, Tobe Hooper aims to recreate that fear of his original film – but within the template of a slicker, bigger budgeted teenage body count picture released by Universal Pictures.
And while it’s not a total return to form, Hooper’s carnival slasher can be pretty fun if you’re in the right mindset. It boasts a superbly creepy location, plenty of references and homages to classic horror films, and it even manages to spend a fair amount of time early on establishing its mood and characters. That said, it kind of loses steam by the end of the picture, when things start to get intense and the killer – who is unnerving in his own right – starts to really become the focus of the film.
At the very least, The Funhouse capitalizes on it’s carnival locale better than other similarly themed films. Much like a carnival ride itself, it provides enough thrills to keep you entertained for the duration of your visit.