Tobe Hooper Weekend – The Funhouse (1981)

Director: Tobe Hooper

Writer: Lawrence J Block (Screenplay)

Starring: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin, Jack McDermott, Cooper Huckabee, Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin


Plot: Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Tagline –  Something is alive in the funhouse!

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Standard 80s Horror


Story: The Funhouse starts as four friends Amy (Berrirge), Buzz (Huckabee), Liz (Woodruff) and Richie (Chapin) head to a mysterious carnival, that has a reputation for the strange occurrence appearing around it. While they smoke weed and have a good time, Amy’s little brother Joey (Carson) sneaks his way to the carnival to as he follows her to report back to mum and dad.

When the friends decide to try and stay in the carnival overnight they find themselves needing to fight to stay alive after it turns out the carnival has their own deformed man that has an anger problem which will leave anybody in his way dead.


Thoughts on The Funhouse


Characters – When we look at the characters we follow the generic horror figures, we have Amy the virginal leading lady that is trying to learn to break the rules from her parents by sneaking off out to a forbidden location. Buzz is the jock with a job that is taking Amy on her first date, he is the most macho of the group. Liz is the slutty friend that is trying to push her friend into bed for the first time and Richie is the lucky one that Liz has picked for tonight, partly the geek figure and part the stoner, chances are you can work out which one will be in trouble first. When it comes to the villain, it takes a while for us to understand who they are and what they want, but turns into the generic freak figure.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances Elizabeth Berridge is the star of the film, your typical final girl if you want. When it comes to the rest of the friends, they are fine without being standout and when it comes to villains they are mostly fine too again nothing standout in their performances.

StoryThe story follows the four friends that go to the carnival only to try and stay the night and learn the darker side of carnival life as they must fight of the resident freak to survive. The slasher genre of horror was just coming to life and this style of story fits in perfectly to this movie, it is nothing overly original and with carnivals being something that attracts the American audience it does make sense to make a horror film out of something that has always had an air of mystery around them. The fact the story happens over one night is a big plus because we are not left to see the slow pacing which would have ruined the idea, but it does take a while for this film to get going with the horror side of the story.

HorrorThe horror side of the film is the slasher genre through and through, we get the generic horror characters, we know the order they will die and we know the final girl will need to face the hardest obstacles to survive, this is routine if you have ever seen a slasher you know the way this will go.

SettingsThe film takes place at the carnival, we get to see the populated side of the carnival and the closed side which brings the horror.

Special EffectsThe effects are good for a slasher, we get the blood where we need it and the bodies falling when needing to add the terror.

Scene of the Movie –
The first meeting face to face with the freak.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Calling an old guy a perv for doing the same thing as her boyfriend, peeking at strippers.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book slasher movie, it checks the boxes well and you will get enjoyment out of the film if you are a fan of the genre.


Overall: By the books slasher.




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