Unlike many of the unpolished and much lower budget Slashers of the time, The Funhouse demonstrates a much more studio-polished look and feel, which is not surprising since Tobe Hooper had Universal backing the picture. Money doesnt make a movie though, and while the film is fun at times, it never takes off or transcends mediocrity. A group of teens decide to spend the night in the funhouse of a traveling carnival, but discover that it is the home of a misshapen beast that has been leaving a trail of bodies at each of the carnival's stops. Typically I love the carnival setting, but it is not used to its full advantage in the film, and anyone who has ever been to a carnival spook house will instantly be able to tell that the funhouse is overdressed and extremely over-sized (shit, it has a basement!). That already annoys the hell out of me, but whats worse is the terribly unbelievable creature FX that look like a cheap mask for the lead villain. In terms of blood and gore, there are really only 4 characters left when the action begins, 6 if you count the villains, so its clear the body count will be low from the start. The deaths are very tame, but not as smartly played as, say, Terror Train. Hooper does instill a decent level of suspense, and the acting is on par with other Slasher entries of the time, so this one comes in at a solid "C".
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